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Old 04-19-2017, 06:59 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

Ivory,

This is an awesome thread! I just read through the whole thread this evening. I have never had the chance to fish or even see the scenery of the Rocky Mountains. Some day I hope to get the chance to. Your explorations, stories, photos of your beautiful fish and gorgeous scenery are just a dream to me. Thanks for keeping your thread going this long, it was truly enjoyable to read through it. I'll keep checking in for updates. Keep up the good work!
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  #122 (permalink)  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:21 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

Quote:
Originally Posted by ivory arrow View Post
I don't think they are in the winter holding lies anymore. I think my real problem is the small amount of water I have been able to cover by nymphing with an indicator. Fish are definitely holding in some water I can't get a natural drift in. It's too fast to long line, and too much water to cover by short lining. I have been reduced to picking pocket water. It takes a lot of walking over rough terrain to find these little pockets. It's wearing me out and limiting the water I am covering.

I think I am going to tie up a big soft hackle that could be used as a lure on the swing, or as a stonefly imitation under an indicator when I come across pocket water. Maybe trail a smaller soft hackle hares ear behind it.

I wanted to learn some new fishing techniques and how to fish different types of water, but I underestimated how difficult it would be. I think I am going to try Deckers or Cheeseman before going back. Just mix it up. Hopefully in a week or two the Caddis will be in full swing.


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Rainbows will seriously be in odd places this time of year. Sometimes the entire population for several miles will be in one spot attempting to reproduce. I wouldn't discount that effect on your ability to catch them this time of year.

I assume by the fish holding in water you can't get a natural drift in you mean the deep plunge pools with several stacked opposing currents?

I did a lot of this pocket water fishing in small streams in boulder county, (and toasted more than one pair of waders) now I am using the same techniques to fish streamers on the Colorado river. Fishing pocket water and really covering ground can produce epic days. 2-3 casts and move. 2-3 casts and move. Shocking how often the strike is on the drop on the first cast. I'm guessing a big hopper and a big tungsten beadhead would work...

I imagine that water isn't very pressured?


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Old 04-19-2017, 09:38 PM
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Default Exploring the Rockies

Thanks D.C. Its been an amazing experience and I am enjoying sharing it with everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smcnearn View Post

I assume by the fish holding in water you can't get a natural drift in you mean the deep plunge pools with several stacked opposing currents?

I did a lot of this pocket water fishing in small streams in boulder county, (and toasted more than one pair of waders) now I am using the same techniques to fish streamers on the Colorado river. Fishing pocket water and really covering ground can produce epic days. 2-3 casts and move. 2-3 casts and move. Shocking how often the strike is on the drop on the first cast. I'm guessing a big hopper and a big tungsten beadhead would work...

I imagine that water isn't very pressured?


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It can get surprisingly pressured. Particularly if Big Horn Canyon is muddy it pushes the crowds closer and closer together upstream. But with over a hundred miles of public river there is always somewhere to fish. It's just a matter of how far you want to drive.

As far as getting a natural drift. The areas I was speaking about are about 3 feet deep slicks/riffles. The water is moving too fast to form a pool at the end of the run, so above the tail out you sometimes get long uniform runs. Not quite boiling but moving pretty fast. Lots of big submerged rocks in the river for fish to hide behind. There are large stretches of water like this. Too fast to long line and too much area to short line. Plus wading into position without spooking these fish presents difficulty.

There is enough food in the water that they can pretty much hold wherever they want. I think it is a matter of covering enough water to find those random spots, rather than looking for specific runs holding high numbers of fish.



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Old 04-19-2017, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

So I'd suggest two approaches,

1. Use a small weighted streamer and cast step step cast. Casting upstream and stripping your way across the fast stuff.

2. Cover water with a hopper dropper and just nail the pockets nearest fast water. The fast water outside the pocket makes these fish opportunistic.


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Old 05-31-2017, 02:19 PM
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Default Exploring the Rockies

Hi guys. I'm back from exploring another new spot. The infamous Cheesman Canyon. They say if you can catch trout here then you can catch them anywhere. I don't know if that is true, but is definitely a very technical and challenging fishery.

The sight fishing is absolutely fantastic, and the fish are extremely well educated. You only get a couple of casts before the fish are wise to you. You also have to walk very slowly and keep a low profile. Downsize flies and tippet. The whole 9 yards. I can really see how fishing here regularly will make you a better angler.

It's located right outside the town of Deckers. It's the same distance from me as Eleven Mile Canyon, but it's about an hour closer to the folks in Denver so it sees a lot of people. The Canyon takes about a half hour to hike into and the trails are pretty steep in some spots. That helps make it feel remote and keeps the crowds down. But it still sees plenty of people.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

The scenery is just like Eleven Mile Canyon.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

I think the fish are a bit bigger on average than in Eleven Mile though.
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Last edited by ivory arrow; 05-31-2017 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

Gorgeous photos of the canyon and that rainbow, congrats!
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Old 06-01-2017, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

Deckers- technical as you please, difficult fish to catch. BUT, when you do catch one, it's a worthy fish. Good job.

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Old 06-02-2017, 04:09 AM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

Deckers and Cheesman are fun to fish. I doubt any section of the Platt or any other river in the state, gets as much pressure as the area does, yet it seems to hold up well. Nice photos - got some great color on those. Its hard to do areas justice sometimes, yet I think you captured that very well.

I used to fish in the canyon at least once a week but to get to it, I pass about 12 miles of great river that doesn't require the hike, so I tend to be a lot more lazy now....

Thanks for posting the pictures and report
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:25 AM
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Default Exploring the Rockies

Thanks guys. Cheesman definitely schooled me. I went out there the first time and used 5x and size 16-18 nymphs. I was really over confident too.

Only missed one fish and I broke my cell phone. I hiked out of the Canyon in a bad mood and never stopped to rest. My legs felt like jello by the time I reached the car and I left cursing the place.

I realize it was ridiculous to think bad of the Canyon. I was just in a bad mood. I wanted a happier memory of the place and I decided to go back. I am glad I did.

I came back the second time a bit more humble. Size 20-22 of my best patterns, 6x tippet and trying to keep in mind to enjoy the scenery because the fishing can be tough. Definitely had a better day the second time but catching a few fish didn't hurt my opinion of the place either.

There are a lot of nice trout in there. If you catch them when they are feeding then you can probably have a day to remember.
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Last edited by ivory arrow; 06-02-2017 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 06-04-2017, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Exploring the Rockies

It was in the Cheesman Canyon parking lot where my dad handed me my own fly rod. Talk about getting me hooked! The best was when I began fishing "with" my dad. I actually think it became more enjoyable when the tears of frustration ceased and the mutual laughter began. The stories we can share to this day makes people laugh and still scares my mom.lol Some of my best childhood memories with my dad are in Cheesman. The tears I cried from frustration to the look on my dads face when I lost a huge bow. Growing up in Douglas County I had the river to myself most days and the small dirt parking lot limited the number that could access. The next parking area was too far to walk.lol From what I understand a paved lot exists today. Last time I fished there was the year before the Hayman fire. From what my front range H.S. buddies say the big fish never really recovered. I look at these pictures and the holes still look the same. How many monsters I hooked and lost from the granite domes, how many winter days I spent freezing my butt off in the "Ice Box". The pattern was an RS2. Didn't matter the time of year. I remember one day tying a RS2 trailer off a stone nymph. My dad looked at me and said "You really going to throw a stone?" Well, after the fourth of fifth fish I hooked on the stone my dad tied one on.

Cheesman was the canyon of my youth. I got drunk the first time while camping there. Landed my first +25" fish there. Got my first lecture in trespassing from the Wigwam Club(?) there. Probably would have taken my first date there if it wasn't for my buddies. lol

Great canyon. Thanks for the pics and tolerating my brief incoherent scribble down memory lane! lol

CFF
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Nice fish! Do you have anymore pictures of it lying in the dirt? How about one dangling from your finger in the gills?
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