Winter Fly-Fishing Around Deckers, Colorado

Winter Fly-Fishing Properties | Lazy Bones Ranch

One of the things that makes Deckers, Colorado an incredible Fly Fishing area is its’ year-round accessibility and warmer water temperatures.

Deckers, Colorado is found directly downstream from Cheesman Reservoir. Cheesman Reservoir, located along Highway 67, is a popular recreational area and a vital part of the Denver Water system.  Besides its primary purpose as a water source, Cheesman Reservoir is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The area offers opportunities for fishing, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. Fishing is particularly popular, and the reservoir is known for its trout.

The Cheesman Canyon stretch of the South Platte River is arguably one of the most popular and beautiful tail water fisheries in the state. This stretch sits directly below Cheesman Reservoir, which provides for great water clarity and quality fishing year round. While you might think the 1.5-mile hike to the river would detract anglers, the canyon experiences heavy crowds all days of the week, morning, noon and night. Due to the heavy fishing pressure that the canyon receives, the trout are spooky and difficult to catch, but don’t worry, your efforts will be strongly rewarded with large resident Browns and Rainbows. Cheesman Canyon was the first section of river in Colorado to be designated as catch and release only. Therefore, if you land your dream trout snap a quick picture for bragging rights and quickly release it back to the water.  Cheesman Canyon is known as one of the most technical fisheries in the state and arguably the country. We have heard time and time again that if you can catch a fish in the canyon, you can catch a fish anywhere. Due to the high fishing pressure and clear water, anglers must be stealthy in their approach and precise with their casts. To be successful, we encourage anglers to use light tippet (no larger than 5x), long leaders and delicate strike indicators. Reckless casts and sloppy presentations won’t be rewarded here. While the canyon boasts some incredible dry fly fishing opportunities, the most consistent form is nymphing with flies in size #20 -#24. Cheesman is also famous for subtle takes, so sight fish whenever possible and keep a close eye on the opening of the trout’s mouth. If you’re able to achieve this, you’ll be in for a productive day. From Discover Deckers

While most rivers form thick ice layers during the winter months, tailwaters like Deckers are warm enough to stay ice free throughout the winter; make sure you make a stop by Flies and Lies in Deckers while you’re there! The water temperature and available food sources in the river allow large Rainbow and Brown trout to inhabit this section of river year round.


Nymphing will be more consistent than dry flies during this time of year. If you are looking for solitude and able to fish with smaller productive tailwater flies like midge larva and pupa imitations, Deckers will be a prime winter fishing location. When the flows are up and the winter storms have subsided, you can sometimes catch fish greater than 20” on this specific stretch of river. 

The portion of river near the property is considered “Gold Metal Water” with some of the best Rainbow and Brown trout in the nation. In order to receive this designation, the river must produce 60 pounds of fish per acre and at least twelve of this total 60 must be 14”. Only 322 miles of Colorado’s 9,000 miles of trout streams, and three lakes carry this “Gold Medal” classification. This Gold Medal section of the South Platte starts below Cheesman Reservoir and ends just downstream from the Scraggy View Picnic Area. Although a lot of public access points can be found upstream, as you get closer to the property you will find greater privacy and seclusion on the river.

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