Tuesday, August 11, 2009

On the River: Taylor River C and R, Gunnison, Colorado

August 8, 2009

After many failed attempts to meet up with Ron from coloradoangler.blogspot.com we finally succeeded! Sure, Ron may have jumped the gun a bit and showed up at the river at 4 AM, but who wouldn't be excited about a trip to the Taylor C and R?

I, however, casually rolled onto the river at about 10:30 (mostly because my brother-in-law called around 9 AM and you can't neglect family). That's the beauty of living only 40 minutes from world class water, you get spoiled and don't quite feel the pressure of being on the water at first light.

Anyway, we had a great day on the water! Ron is nothing short of a "focused laser beam of trout catching energy". Apparently, getting snubbed by a fish only strengthens his resolve to fish even harder for it. Ironically, the Taylor is REALLY GOOD at strengthening Ron's resolve.

The day was almost as good as it gets. We had feeding fish parked along the banks, and perfect sun for watching their every move. If I had two complaints it would be:
1. The water was pushing hard (about 350 cfs) and in that stretch of the river it means your fly is almost always downstream of your indicator (unless your fishing a TON of weight) which is tough for strike detection.
2. The wind was in Springtime Force, which is just weird for August.

Nevertheless, the conditions were great and we had our fair shot at a lot of monster fish. We also got snubbed by a lot of monster fish.

I got to a point where I would tie on a fly, make 5 drifts, each targeting a different fish. On each drift the fish would look at the fly, reject it, then never look at it again. It was pretty amazing to see the fish in full "professor" mode. But, there were enough fish moving that you could turn a fish off and just fish to his buddy next to him. Eventually, you got a good take, then it was a matter of perfect hook set timing, after that the fish had to actually stay hooked, and finally, you had to not break him off or get wrapped around a rock.

The flies were the usual fare ... #24 midge pupa (coming to the website soon!), Blacktail PMD took a few hook ups, but the surprising winner of the day was the Gammarus Scud. It was by far the fly that fish would move 2 feet to look at and/or take.

Yep, it was another day on the Taylor. I'd say the final score was:
50 looks
15 takes
8 hook ups
3 landed fish

I have always been curious to do some tests on the river to see if tippet size made much of a difference, so I went all out and fished 8x for half of the day. All in all, I'd say it didn't do much better than 6x, and not worth stressing over each fish you caught. I landed one fish that was 19" or so. So, I can officially say 8x has the power to move a big fish.

I also had one on that Ron claims was in the 30" class. It was definitely big! I feel as if I could have landed him on 8x, but after about 5 minutes of fighting he managed to wrap a rock and 8x just can't stand up to that. A lot of times with 6x I can buy enough time to throw a huge roll cast, unleash from the rock and not lose the fish, but I didn't even have a chance to throw the roll cast with this monster fish.

One thing I will say about the Taylor ... lately I feel like I've been seeing LOTS of MONSTER fish up in the shallows, more so than I've ever seen before. Ron was fishing to some rainbows that I'm sure were 15 lbs. + and apparently someone on the river had landed a 20 lb rainbow earlier that day! That's just crazy!

Tight lines,



  1. Love the underwater shot. :)

  2. Jeff! Great day, and I can't thank you enough for taking some time out and beating the water with us. Eva had a great time and enjoyed it just as much as I did - even though we were both near-delirious with exhaustion.

    And yeah, that fish was in the 30 inch range - no doubt about it. Sure, he wrapped you - but your skills with a rod are top-notch, and I have a feeling that had he not made that quick dash to the rock, you would have landed that tank.

    Scuds have always been my favorite - love the pattern that you sell - I know from experience that that look destroys them, being that it's my first choice.

    Thanks again Jeff, for an awesome day.

  3. Awesome guys! Good to hear the big fish are moving. How was the crowd? Next time let me know and I'll meet you there.

  4. Crowd wasn't too bad, pretty much a normal day ... ok, I guess it was bad, but you just get used to fishing 20 feet from people and working water they just worked for 2 hours.

    Yeah, we'll let you know, Ron was talking about a return trip in the Fall.

    I will be up there this Sunday, but only for the afternoon (3 PM to lights out).

    I miss the Fork! I haven't hit it yet this year. Way too much water around here and too little time!