Tuesday, September 21, 2010

South Platte River: Below Deckers, Cheesman Canyon











After our hike out of Lawn Lake we said goodbye to Rocky Mountain National Park and the next stop on our journey was the famous South Platte River. We really didn't plan this part of the trip very well but wanted to fish some bigger water while we were out there. We got to drive through the remnants of the Hayman Fire from 2002, wow what a fire this must of been. Charred trees are still very visible for miles on end as you travel through this watershed. To our amazement the town of Deckers consisted of a fly shop, country store and liquor store. After 5 days of camping we were kind of ready for a hotel room. But we bucked up and camped 3-4 miles below Deckers right next to the stream at one of the campgrounds. Beware if you go here......water was nonexistent at the location we picked. We only had a few hours to fish that evening but we ended up catching 7-8 fish on Rainbow Warrior Nymph's. The water was very low in this section, consisted mostly of shallow riffles and some deep poles. The bottom was very silty and bug activity was quite limited. That is all we have to report on that section, didn't spend enough time there to really judge it.
The next day we woke up early and drove up to the Gill Trail parking lot. We suited up and headed down to the Cheesman Canyon Section. I thought the hike down to this part was blown out of proportion, most of what I read made it seem like the hike down and up was brutal.......I would say the uphill part took only 10 minutes to climb. Anyway, my brothers got into the Family Hole and I headed up stream. I hooked a huge rainbow within the first 10 minutes on a Rainbow Warrior but didn't get a picture of it. There were tons and tons of fish in each hole of this river, a decent number of fish over 18 inches. Unfortunately what they write about this section is true, very technical with no drag drifts a must. The fish are very smart and see tons of flies on a daily basis year round so they are no pushovers. I landed 5-6 fish, all very beefy and all put up a nice fight. Tricos came off but not many fish were on them. There were plenty of other anglers trying there luck but didn't see too many guys catch fish. The scenery was great and just seeing lunkers in the pools makes this a worth while trip. I wasn't a huge fan of it, it probably fishes better at other times of the year. I wouldn't plan a trip more then a few days to fish here in the future.

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