Friday, January 29, 2010

On the Rivers: Uncompahgre and Taylor

January 1 and 16, 2010

A quick catch up ... I actually didn't make it out during the month of December, which is quite rare, because Michelle and I typically love hitting the Taylor C & R during that time. In fact Michelle and I even ventured up to the Taylor once, but arrived to see 10 cars and the temp was about 8 degrees, so we decided to go for a quick walk up the banks and then headed home.

I did make it out to the Uncompahgre on the first of the year. I arrived at the river and promptly realized I left my camera at home ... bummer. The day was glorious, the fishing less so. I spent the majority of the time blind fishing, and walking the river looking for midging fish, or targets I could sight fish to, and was met with little success. After about two hours I rolled up on a nice gravel bar that held about 10 good sized fish and I was able to spend some quality time fishing to, and landing most of them. All in all, it's pretty good to start your year on the water with balmy 40 degree temps in the air.

The Taylor was ... not too special. Mostly cold, and windy. With snow glare enough to blind the hardest of mountaineers, Michelle and I resigned ourselves to blind nymphing some popular holes and only produced one 14" brown. He was a good looking fish, but not exactly what we were looking for that day. We eventually went home and had some hot chocolate!

Tight lines,
Dreams of summer,



  1. were you fishing Paco? The Uncompahgre is my home water born and raised in montrose

  2. I fished the Unc once in the winter and left with a big goose egg. Good to know you got into some fish.

  3. Bigerrfish - yes, I was fishing Paco. If I swing that way again I'll let you know, maybe we could meet up and you could show me the ropes around there.

    Zach - I know the feeling. I should mention that the entire morning I never even saw a fish, then I rolled up on that one pool and spotted like 10! After that I think I only saw and hooked one more fish.

    I talked to some guy on the river that said the dam was built on a giant nitrogen gas pocket and in the low winter flows it affects the Paco area bigtime by giving the fish nitrogen poisoning of some sort. I don't know if he was right or not, but I can verify that the fish were pretty few and far between. I pride myself on my "hawk like" eyes and spend a lot of my time looking for fish before even wetting a line ... there was not much there that I saw.

    Maybe Bigerrfish can verify the nitrogen theory. Any thoughts???

  4. I have heard of the nitrogen theory once before. personaly I dont 100% believe that. Although I heard a coment a couple weeks ago that makes me wonder,, that was all the fish from paco are down river 4 miles, I went right after them to find that, that wasnt true either, Remember this about the unc there are always a ton of fish at paco, remember that this is a tailwater with a boundry, providing a buffett and a social gathering at the dam.. Fish in the unc do not move...unless they are forced,, when flows are down fish are laying in huge stacks sometimes 50 or more, if there is a place you cant see fish thats where they are.. oh and caddis larva is the best pattern for summer. recomended by local guides as that,, the brighter the better.

  5. Yeah, I agree. I wasn't too sold on the nitrogen theory. All the fish I caught looked very healthy. If it is true, I'm sure it just forces them to congregate where there are some natural springs, or dissolved oxygen areas.

    Good to know you didn't find a bunch of fish downstream, that's what this kid told me.

    Also, I agree with the depth theory, I scoped that mega pool just 20 yards upstream from the bridge and definitely saw 20+ fish down in the depths. If I go again in the winter I'll probably try some more deep rig nymphing (though it is my least favorite).

  6. oh yea just up from the bridge... nice deep hole there,, I stood there and waited for my turn one time for about 35 minutes I changed my rig twice just spotting how the fish were feeding from the bridge. deep rig nymphing becomes a favorate real fast! I mean listen to us talk about all the trout down there.. you saw 20+ that + could have been 20 more smashed to the bottom waiting their turn... when my leader gets under 10 feet it makes my nervious.

  7. I think deep rigging has the opposite effect on me. I hate not being able to predict what 5 different layers of constantly changing current is doing to my line at those depths. Unless ... you add a ton of weight, then I feel like I'm either snagging the bottom, or snagging fish.

    I much prefer to stick to manageable currents, though I do realize the limitations.