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The Fourth Time’s the Charm

04 Nov 2012, Posted by The Fly Trout in Gone Fishin'

There are a few sayings that go along with my fly fishing outing to the South Platte in Cheesman Canyon on Saturday. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” “persistence pays off” and “the third time’s the charm.” It was actually my fourth time to Cheesman and a quite satisfying time it was.

The first few trips to Cheesman Canyon were either alone or with my buddy Esteban. This time Esteban and my other buddy Jason came along for the adventure. All week we explained to Jason how tricky the fishing was and that the trout were very particular in that stretch of the South Platte. We didn’t want him to have high expectations of catching a bunch of the nicely sized trout that call Cheesman their home.

The morning temperature when we arrived was a brisk 21 degrees and surprisingly enough, the parking lot had just one other car in it. We bundled up, grabbed our gear, and headed up over the mountain and down to the river. When we got down to the river Jason went downstream just a little with his spinning gear and lures. Myself and Esteban fished on either side of the river with our fly rods.

Probably not even a half hour in we started seeing just a few fish eating off the top. It was still quite cold and I couldn’t see what they were eating so I switched to a midge pattern, Matt’s Midge. After only a few cast’s, wham fish on!! The previous three times visiting Cheesman I was skunked. This was the first time that I even had a fish on the line and let me tell you I was quite excited! All I had to do was net him. I played him for a little bit and slowly eased him in and when he was about four feet away he got off the hook. So frustrating!!! When you go to Cheesman to fly fish you generally have to use small flies and light tippet. So once you get the fishy to take your fly, the next challenge is netting him. You have to be gentle and take your time, otherwise your line will break or the hook will wiggle free.

There were still fish rising here and there so I dried off my fly and tried again in the same vicinity, but closer to a big boulder. Several casts later I had another one on my line. This one didn’t stay on the line very long because he swam to the other side of the giant rock and when I attempted to guide him back towards me he managed to unhook himself. Two fish on and none landed. I wondered if I would ever catch a fish here.

After the early action we moved upstream a little ways and didn’t have much luck. We met back up with Jason and wouldn’t you know it he caught two nice bows during the same time I lost my two fish. That lucky SOB! First time to Cheesman and he get’s two right off the bat.

We all moved upstream even more to a nice looking spot. The sun had been shining down for a little while now and a hatch was starting to go off. The fish were rising everywhere. I still had my Matt’s Midge on so I tried that for a bit, but that was the wrong fly. I could see the trout weren’t interested. I switched over to a size 22 comparadun and immediately that got the attention of these feasting fish. It took three strikes before I was able to hook one, but when I did I told myself this guy is not getting away! After several minutes of play and slowly bringing this fool in I got my net out and attempted to net him, but I couldn’t quite reach. I didn’t want to risk it so I handed my net over to Jason and quickly got the fish safely in my possession. Finally, I have caught a fish at Cheesman! The saying goes that “If you can catch a fish in Cheesman Canyon, you can catch a fish anywhere.” Looks like my next stop is anywhere.

  • Jason Lechuga

    Great story! I want to buy that hat onthe front page.


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