Deckers/Cheesman Canyon

Information about hiking the Gill Trail to gain access to the three mile  stretch of the South Platte River that flows through Cheesman Canyon  near Deckers, Colorado.

Upper Gill Trail

Join me on a fly fishing trip into the upper tail water stretch of the  South Platte River as it flows out of Cheesman Lake into the  awe-inspiring Cheesman Canyon.

Tale of Two Seasons (Cheesman Canyon)

Take a trip with us on the South Platte River's Cheesman Canyon during  the late summer and early winter of 2019, while we fly fish for rainbow  and brown trout. Explore both the upper and lower gill trail through the  beauty and grandeur of one of natures most awe inspiring fly fishing  canyons.

South Platte River: Deckers/Cheesman Canyon

19" South Platte Brown Trout

Deckers and Cheesman Canyon Access

The 10 mile stretch of the South Platte River that runs from the Wigwam Club north to the confluence of the North Fork of the South Platte is commonly referred to as "Deckers." This entire stretch can be accessed by road. River access can be found along S Hwy 67, South and North Platte River Road, and Y-Camp Road. Check the posted Forest Service and DOW rules and regulations. They change depending on what stretch you fish, but regardless of where you are, catch and release is always an appreciated practice. 

The three miles of the South Platte river that runs out of Cheesman Reservoir north to the Wigwam Club is known as "Cheesman Canyon." It is a world renowned wild fishery that holds Gold Metal status. Catch and Release only for this stretch of the South Platte; that is if you can catch them. Cheesman Canyon holds some of the pickiest trout in the country. 

The river can only be accessed via the Gill Trail which is a foot path that runs the entire stretch. There are two access points to the Gill Trail. The first is the north trailhead located just west of the intersection of Jefferson County Rd 126 and Forest Service Rd 211, and the southern trailhead located at Cheesman Dam off of Forest Service Rd 211.

Fishing Report

Learn what to use by the shops that frequent this river. Below are some trusted links to current fishing reports for this area:

Flies & Lies

The Blue Quill Angler

Current River Flow Data

River flow data for this stretch of the South Platte River is updated every fifteen minutes by the USGS. Click here to view.


Rainbow, Cutthroat, Cuttbow, and Brown: 

Expect to catch fish from the 10-25+ inch range.

Local Services and Lodging

Deckers has a few services that anglers can take advantage of to include a restaurant/bar, a full service fly shop, a country store, liquor store, and cabin rentals. The nearest gas station is 18 miles from the town so make sure you fuel up before your trip.

Links to accommodations:

Flies & Lies-Fly Shop and Cabins

Deckers Country Store/Cabins (303) 647-2332

Deckers Corner Restaurant 

Rainbow Warrior

A how-to-tie on a fantastic pattern for the Deckers area. The copper variant is my favorite in the fall! 

Huge Decker's Rainbow

Big South Platte Rainbow being released by into the river.

Free Deckers Area Usage Maps

Denver Water area usage map. Includes Deckers and Trumbull areas of the South  Platte. Shows where guiding is allowed and restricted by the Denver Water Board on their properties.