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jhardin80 12-03-2012 01:37 PM

Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
So I was thinking of going to fish cheesman canyon. As I'm looking at the map I see that gill trail is just past the Wigman club but it seems like there is A LOT of distance from the trail to Cheesman Dam. How far has anyone gone up the river from gill trail and is it good fishing the further up you go or does it get worse? This will be my first trip to gill trail. I've been to deckers a few times and like it there but would like to have less of a crowd.

gjcordray 12-03-2012 02:15 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
It is approximately three miles or so from the time you access the river until you hit the dam. It can be a sketchy hike once the snow flies because the sun doesn't hit the canyon much at all. There is also a really big rock face you must go up and around about two miles in. There is a trail that starts at the top of the dam (or close to it) and works down to the bottom of the canyon. It is really steep and can be a drag to hike out of at the end of the day.

Fish are not quite as educated the farther up the trail you go (this is awfully relative, though. They are still pretty selective), and the fish tend to get a little bit smaller (also relative). But right below the dam, there are some pigs.


jhardin80 12-03-2012 02:18 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
Do you know if the road going into cheesman is open yet? I know they were doing some dam work at the beginning of they year and had the road closed off to get to the dam.

double dry 12-03-2012 03:28 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
The fishing, in my opinion, is good along the entire trail. You generally find fewer people the further you go. Therefore, the most folks are in the lower sections below Cow's Crossing. There is a nice sign about 1/4 mile from the trail head that breaks the river into named sections. I always advise folks to fish from the Family Pool (just above Wigwam) on up to really get the canyon experience. You probably couldn't pull that off in a day, so break the river into "day bites" and fish it accordingly.

It's roughly 3 miles from the Wigwam fence to the dam. About 4 miles total hike from the trailhead to the dam.

You can also access the river from the dam down. It's quite a hoof out.

Hope this helps.

---------- Post added at 04:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:31 PM ----------

The road was opened July 1st this year. It's closed again. Not sure why or for how long.

Some very nice small mouth in that lake.

jhardin80 12-03-2012 03:39 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
Ahhhh just found the site that says it's closed from Oct.1-April 30 under the seasonal info. :( Guess I will be hiking up from gill trail then. :)

double dry 12-03-2012 04:06 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
I should clarify. The road may be closed longer than the stated date. Not sure why.

Have a great time!

williamhj 12-03-2012 04:11 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
If you access the Canyon from just above Wigwam there is great fishing that is very walkable. The walk in is not much at all, though the trail up into the canyon can get a bit rough as you go along. It's well worth it and the scenery can't be beat. Took a buddy up there recently, he didn't catch anything, but the experience convinced him to get a fly rod :)

When you say the road is closed, do you mean the dirt road that heads up just before the lower parking lot, and around the north and west side of the mountain towards the dam, or the road from the upper parking lot where the upper trail access begins down to the reservoir itself? The upper access trail is a much tougher hike in, but is very doable and also enjoys some great views. The view of the dam itself is really worth it. Access down to the river is tough, lots of loose rock but I've found the fishing to be great.

jhardin80 12-03-2012 04:25 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
I don't know about the upper and lower parking lots but I believe the road that takes you across the dam is the one that is closed. Not real sure.

double dry 12-05-2012 08:28 AM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
I may be wrong but I think the road is open up to the parking lot. Access to the lake and the trailhead are limited up there. Heck, the weather has been so nice I'm thinking of playing hooky and fishing the canyon bottom to top.

countr21 12-05-2012 07:59 PM

Re: Gill Trail Cheesman Canyon
I was there in October and the road going to the dam area was closed. You can access the river right below the dam via a one mile hike on an easy trail. The trailhead is right above where the road is closed. We caught rainbows to 18" and some little browns to 12".

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