Let me start by saying, no matter what, you can’t have a bad day in the canyon.  That said, it is one of the hardest places to fish in the world.  Many say it is the most technical fishery in the country and for good reason.  It’s a steep canyon so access is tricky.  Once you get to the clear water, the fish are spooky and require perfect drag free drifts through the multi and cross currents that the large granite boulder create.  Mainly a nymph fishery these fish are indicator and split shot shy and require small flies to have success.  Pretty much all the tough aspects of a river are rolled up into one on the Canyon (or as I like to call it, the Chedda).  Cheeseman canyon is popular but requires a hike to access keeping the less adventurous out.  There are some days in the canyon that are lights out and even if you spend your whole day not catching a fish, the water is gorgeous and you’ll see more fish than you do in most other rivers.  The canyon gives you a birds eye view to the fish and I often spend half the day just watching the trout feed from the big boulders above.  Fish range 12-18” in this section and can get much bigger than that if you know where to look.

One the more famous, popular, challenging and enjoyably frustrating places to fish for a day.  Close to Denver, you can make it in little over an hour and after a 30 minute hike from the lower lot, you can be in the canyon sighting fish all day long.  Exceptionally size and incredibly educated, these trout will put you to the test, but make you feel like the best angler in the world when you have a good day in Chedda Canyon!

Other Sections Near Cheeseman Canyon

Wildcat Canyon

A tough hike in and out, wildcat canyon has a lot of fishable water that remains fairly untouched throughout the year.  Most people don’t fish it because of the name (which is accurate, lots of cougars up here) and because it’s a long hike and there is ample fishing closer.  You either pass over eleven mile canyon and dream stream or you pass over cheeseman canyon and deckers, all of which are world-class fisheries.  Stuck in the middle it’s likely the canyon holds good fish, but few make the effort.  Browns and rainbows live here and they range from 12” to 16” most of the time with a few getting bigger.  Plan accordingly before access this rugged section and be in good shape to make the trip for the day.  Not a great idea to get stuck in cougar town overnight.

Deckers Tailwater

On the other side of the wigwam club private water below cheeseman, Deckers section begins and continues to the confluence with the north fork of the south platte.  This section has a ton of fish and is only an 60-90 minutes from the front range.  The proximity to Denver makes this place often pretty crowded, but with some driving, you can find open water.  There are miles of fishable water and the fish are plentiful.  There are more fish above the bridge in deckers most times, but there are also 3x the amount of crowds.  Fishing downstream of the bridge often yields more fish.  I’ve seen some real beasts down there too, so don’t overlook these sections.  There are a lot of 18”+ fish in the river that are worthy of a picture or two.  Practice good catch and release here as the fish get pressured hard.  It’s a fun and challenging place to fish for the day.