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Discussion Starter #1
My partner and I hiked in at about 8 all the way to the dam. Surprisingly, no ice to be found anywhere! Right away my partner hooked into one which sprung of his 24 CDC midge.  After that promising start, it was really tough.  The water was super clear, shallow and the sun was directly over head.  It certainly made for some very skittish fish and a tough day of technical fishing.  If you even came close to putting your fly line over these fish, forget it they were gone. Slowly but surely we started to peg down our presentation...and it wasn't a very fun one.  From fly line loop to loop connection to my final fly, my entire leader was consistently around 14 feet long!  I started fishing 6X  and nothing for the first hour.  I lengthened up my leader a bit and then switched to 7X.  It was then that I was able to hook into about four fish sight fishing and a couple others blind casting into typically productive water.  Of the handful of fish I hooked I only managed to land two of them both around 15 inches.  Kinda a damned if you do damned if you don?t situation with the 7X. Oh well, better to have hooked then to have never hooked at all.  As for fly patterns, I landed  one on a size 14 tan scud and the other on a new pattern my partner has been working on called a laser larva in size 20 (great little pattern and very easy to tie). Two of the fish I lost straitened out my 24 cream colored CDC midge and I imagine a couple of other ones that broke my line probably took similar midge variations. we took a seine sample and found a lot of golden stones in the water.  I really hadn't ever seen that many stones in Cheeseman but they comprised the bulk of our sample.  We started back out at about 2 hit the family hole where the trail dumps in and we each picked up one fish (one of which I already mentioned). Finished fishing at 3:30 and then got the heck out of there.

For those of you thinking about heading up Cheeseman here's my two cents of advice and things to ponder. Be prepared for a very technical and delicate day of fishing.  These are some of  the hardest fish I have ever fished for. My partner today was a very skilled and experienced guide in cheeseman canyon.  For him to only hook into half a dozen or so fish certainly says something. as for the trail, it kicked my butt. About four miles each way and it was very slick in spots especially coming down some of those switchbacks.   If I were to do it again, I certainly would not take the hike all the way up but rather fish right where the gill trait begins to have river access points.  There are a lot of good spots around there, and though people will tell you they are more skittish down there then by the dam, let me to tell you they are just as bad up by the dam.  Final thought, if you want a serious challenge to test every bit of your ability then give it a go, if you just want to spank a ton of fish then go some where else.   
 

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Thanks for the report Top, sorry it was such a hard day on the water... atleast you didnt get skunked and could get out there and fish.
 

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Sounds like a typical day in the canyon for this time of year...lower flows and clear water can make it tough. plus you violated one of my most sacred rules of fishing--- if you hook up right away, the rest of the trip will be slow. its a proven scientific fact, yes sir. well maybe not, but for me thats what always happens ;)

a 14 ft leader/tippet setup can be a lot to handle, especially on a river while nymphing...7x always makes it rough also, with the small flies and terminally cold fingers. yuck.

Ive never hiked all the way up the canyon...i usually start about halfway and work my way down. this time of year cleated soles can help, as the ice you mentioned can be horrible on those steep trails.

it sounded nicer than my day though, regardless...im at work--- id rather be sliding up and down the ice messing with size 24 flies ;) great report...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yea those studded wading boots make all the differance. My partner had em, and he only lost footing a few times. On the way in I wore my hiking boots and packed my waders and such in. Coming out though, I was in my felts and they might as well be skies.
 

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SLAYERFISH said:
You flailers are all sadists!
LoL look whose talking. :p
 

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I'm surprised that you saw golden stones in there now. I've seen them in April but not much earlier than that . And generally not too many. But, to be honest, I haven't fished in Cheesman during the winter months in many years. The weather sure has been cooperating lately, hasn't it?

Did you see any bald eagles? There's usually a pair or two wintering over in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thats one big misconception Slayerfish, just because insects aren't hatching, doesn't mean they aren't still in the water. For example, caddis flies don't really hatch in the winter, but the caddis larva are still in the water but just very inactive. Since they are inactive and not crawling around, they have less of a chance of getting swept away and becomeing trout food. Thus, whatever insect is active and crawling around will probably be what the trout key in on, and this time of year its midges. nonetheless, last year I had great success in cheeseman throwing huge crane-fly larva in size 4 but by no means were these insects hatching.
 

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TopSlugger4 said:
thats one big misconception Slayerfish, just because insects aren't hatching, doesn't mean they aren't still in the water.
The sadist remark was in reference to chucking microscopic flies on 14 foot leaders after hiking over hill and dale for the privledge of having snobby fish turn their noses at ya. ;D
 

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dang sounds like some tough fishing! You did very well to hook into a few though; very technical. What are the regulations for cheeseman canyon? Is it gold metal fly/lure only catch and release or what?
 

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SLAYERFISH said:
TopSlugger4 said:
not to mention the 7X ;D
Is that like 1 lb or so?
7x is typically around 2lb...i rarely, if ever, fish it...its a pain, especially if its cold out and my fingers are numb...plus when it tangles its about impossible to deal with...

sometims though i guess you need it...i just prefe 6x flouro...easier to work with.
 

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TroutFishingBear said:
dang sounds like some tough fishing! You did very well to hook into a few though; very technical. What are the regulations for cheeseman canyon? Is it gold metal fly/lure only catch and release or what?
as far as i know its artificial fly and lure only, and catch and release. hopefully it stays that way, its hard to manage a fishery of that quality so close to Denver...it gets a lot of pressure. there is enough "put and take" type stuff around, i enjoy the catch and release waters...not that im against killing a fish now and then, i just like puttin them back....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yup catch and release flies and artificial lures only. The place is finally strarting to recover after the haymen fire which destroyed a lot of habititat and killed a lot of fish.
 

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Yes Cheeseman is "Gold Medal" water.
TopSlugger have you ever tried using vanish 2lb test instead of 7x tippet? I think it doesnt break as easy as some of the tippet I buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Epic....I absolutely hate 7X and if there was anyway I could have avoided it the other day I would have, but we were both convinced it needed to be. We both use orvis mirage flourocarbon...pretty good stuff.
 

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Rio Flex and Orvis Mirage are probably my favorite brands of flourocarbon. i dont know why im telling you this, perhaps its because its 2:20 am and im bored?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
that makes two of us!!! went to waterton today, and it was awsome all accept for the two jerks. I added a post to my waterton report and detailed the situation. It was bad.
 
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