Birthing ground of Cheesman – beautiful!
I just couldn’t let Cheesman beat me, and I am glad to say it didn’t. We packed in for a full day trip, donning several full Nalgene bottles, leaving pickup vehicles at both ends, and exploring the whole river (with emphasis on the upper canyon). Didn’t get a lot of pics, as most of the time our gear was hundreds of feet away hiding under boulders, but we did score some cute little browns – very healthy, brightly colored fish. And I am not going to say I have it dialed in – I really don’t, and Mr. Todd Pepin warned against making such claims on this place as it can come back to haunt you.
I’ll send a big thanks to Todd for hauling me in there. I won’t thank him for the soreness I feel today – we really slogged down that canyon, covering many miles with packs in tow. I’ll also thank Zoka’s Restaurant and Bar in Pine Grove, CO for pouring a great Heff (lemon or orange – your choice) and cooking a great gourmet burger, after the fact. I won’t thank them for forcing that chocolate truffle with rasberry glaze on me – I need to cut some poundage if I am going to continue doing trips like this!
Flies of the day were tan and red San Juans, trailed by RS-2s and Pheasant Tails (both smallish 18-) – best production between us was on the latter. One was taken on a 16 Prince, followed by a reddish caddis emerger, but I’m not counting it. The fish took me downstream and wrapped himself around the rig as Todd screamed from behind…”Where the hell’s your net!!!???” (it was in the pack, along with the camera). By the time I scrambled down three granite boulders the size of semi-tractors for a landing (all the while thinking that any second I was going to slip and tumble in), he had spit out the Prince (which was now snagged on the top of his head) and the emerger was stuck to his belly. No harm done (with barbless), and he scrambled off just fine – but we’re calling this one a double-foul hook just to keep things honest.