Monday, August 5, 2013

Taylor River Catch & Release

Several days ago I flew from Nashville to Denver, where David met me in the new Trout Mobile. We took off from Denver International and headed into Western Colorado. We were staying in Almont, so we had several hours of driving through the mountains, over the Continental Divide via Cottonwood Pass, and we even met a very nice guy with blue lights atop his car...and they flashed too! Finally we made it to Almont and the cabin.
The next morning we took off in the 50 degree weather, this time up the mountain to the Taylor River C&R section. When we arrived there were several anglers above, but the Avalanche Hole was void. So, David and I stepped in and began trying to catch that pig. 
You can see the avalanche chute in the photo above. Since there were only small snow fields in the highest elevations it seemed safe to spend some time probing this piece of the Taylor. We fished nymphs and dries for a while. The Green Drake hatch was on so I tied a knot to a #10 Green Drake pattern and began to fish it. David suggested a skating the big ole fly and fish began to respond.
After catching a fish or two I looked down and saw a couple 20" browns cruising my boots. It sure was tough to concentrate with fish like these swimming under my nose. But, somehow I made it through the morning. 
Later in the day David was fishing a dry and getting lots of looks and refusals. He was fishing a seam along the hole when a nice brown came up and opened its mouth and then the fight was on. David played the fish perfectly and soon got it into the slack water. So dries were working too.

The fish in the C&R section have vivid colors. Photos don't really do them justice. The reservoir has mysis shrimp and similar to a shad kill they get sucked through the dam, then into the mouths of the waiting fish below. The fish grow fast and are a real healthy. They are  also easy to see because the water was super-clear...which was good and bad.
So, into the evening we fished. Always on the hunt for a feeding fish, or should I say a feeding fish with enough room between anglers. There were several fish feeding right along the bank and there was enough room to drop a dry. Lord knows I went through a lot of patterns, then I took a play from our Tennessee Fly Fishing Playbook and tied up a spent midge pattern. 
This fish was eating about every 20 seconds or so. The bugs were tiny so I figured the fish was eating midges. The fish was eating on top and it was easy to see the white from the mouth when it took a bug. When the spent midge got into the feeding lane the fish couldn't resist. The line came tight and the fight was on. David was several yards down the stream and the fish took off in that direction, and into the waiting net. It is always good to end the day catching a good rainbow on a dry! Day one was in the books.

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