Winter Pick of the Week: Cheeseman Canyon

The past two weekends I have decided to hike into lower Cheeseman Canyon and have been thoroughly impressed with not only the fishing but the solitude and aura of the place. If I was to spend a day of fishing close by, this would be the place. Fishing has been good and fish of some size has been caught. The rainbows in the stretch vary significantly in coloration but are all fine wild specimens.

With the cold front the past two weeks, nymphing has been the most effective tactic. If you are comfortable nymph fishing without and indicator, I highly suggest you do it. These fish are well educated and using an indicator is just one more thing to alert them that your flies are not real. With these fish recently, fly selection has not been nearly as important as presentation and having the correct weight. With the high pressure system and low temps, the fish have been on or near the bottom of the riverbed for the most part, so it is very important to be fishing your flies on or near the bottom.

Flies to try are:

Nymphs: Hda Flav #16, Ice Blue Poison Tung #16-18, Spanish Perdigone Nymphs in Black #16-18, Black Zebra Midges #18-22, Copper Ribbed RS-2 #18-22, Cream Midges #18-24, Peach Eggs #14-16, Black Stone flies #12-16, and #18-22 Mercury RS-2.

Dry Flies: Parachute Adams #18-22, #18-24 Griffith’s Gnat, and a #18-24 Morgan’s Midge

During the warmer days, you may find some fish looking up.

Start with 6x fluorocarbon, but on bright sunny days, we have been having better luck using 7x fluorocarbon if you are comfortable using it. Try to use a heavy anchor fly in the middle of a three fly nymph rig so that you are not having to use split shot to get your flies down.

Cheeseman Canyon is a great winter fishery, and is well worth the short hike in.

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