Jump to content
Turkey sandwich

So I just landed in Denver...

Recommended Posts

Enjoyed a delicious bison steak and I'm going to be bouncing around the state slinging flies for the next 9 days.  I'm ridiculously stoked to be spending the next 4 days on the Gunnison and Taylor and then probably front range rivers and mountain lakes afterwards.  I'm going to try to keep this thread updated with killer scenery and of course whatever fish porn I can offer up.  I'm hoping for at least a solid 6 days of chucking hoppers, mouse patterns, and of course, big, ridiculous streamers at fat browns and rainbows.  Wish me luck. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds fun! Good luck, we look forward to the pictures and stories 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck buddy. You are living the dream. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you are going to have a fun vacation in a beautiful area. I have fished for trout and have caught rainbow, palomino, and brown trout while on vacation and would consider traveling for them again.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey everybody!  Sorry for taking so long on the update.  I just landed last night and am still settling back in.  The vacation was wonderful.  I got a chance to see lots of people that I rarely see and had a lot of fun in the process.  I spent 5 days on the Gunnison and Taylor Rivers before heading back east towards the front range to catch up with non-fishing friends at a killer mountain house in Bailey.  These were some of the most beautiful rivers I've ever seen.  I'll have the pictures uploaded as soon as I can get them to fit here.

 

Friday we set up camp and did some nymphing and mousing on the Gunnison.  We picked up a few rainbows nymphing and got skunked throwing mouse patterns (wrong place to do it).  Notable catch:  My cousin caught a bat and somehow managed to unhook it from a size 20 beats nymph unharmed.  

 

Saturday, I did a guided float on the Gunnison with a friend who drove out from SLC.  Once we got the feel for fishing from a raft, we picked up quite a few nice rainbows and lost at least two larger fish in the 20+ range fishing hopper droppers (a series of nymphs tied below a dry fly - large grass hopper pattern, using the dry as a strike indicator).  I hate nymphing, but this was a blast.  Fish were only taking tiny size 18-24 BWO ad midge patterns.  This was the theme for most of the week.  

 

Sunday we got up to the tailwater section of the Taylor.  I have never seen anything like it.  The fish holding in the half mile or so below the dam were some of the biggest browns and rainbows I've ever seen and they weren't shy about surfacing for emergers.  In fact, on one occasion a 10+lb rainbow went airborne right over my line on a drift.  Being a holiday weekend, it was almost combat fishing.  There were dozens of guys chucking flies and probably another 5-10 throwing jerk baits and spinners.  Fish were almost all only taking nymphs (we'll come back to this...).   The first fish I hooked into was well into the mid 20s and snapped my 6X tippet on a rock after running straight upstream.  The second fish, was very similar, and the third fish I hooked was a brown that was easily 24-26' that snapped my tippet on a friend's botched net job.  (He also ordered a cauliflower steak at a steak house in Crested Butte and will never live down either of these events).   I think I picked up one or two rainbows in the 15-18" range with some incredible colors.  My cousin and Craig each picked up a few decent rainbows euro-nymphing.  

 

I spent Monday teaching my best friend to fly fish.  He picked up super quickly on the Gunnison and within a feve everw hours his casting looked pretty good and he was getting the hang of fishing current seems and mending.  After I picked up a few smaller browns and rainbows, we headed back to the Taylor.  The middle and lower sections fish like an absolutely gorgeous freestone.  It's like it was cut from A River Runs Through It.  But we went there because I wanted another crack to 10+lb rainbows and fat browns, so we went back to the high tailwater section.  I landed a few nice rainbows and browns on the nymph and was broken off by a monster that got downstream of me and took off into a boulder field of alpine riffles.  I was not going to to give chase also a la a River Runs Through It.  Later that day I started throwing streamers (because meat flies are terrifying and fun!) and moved more big fish chasing a Zoo Cougar than I've ever seen in one pool.  I seemed to finally get the attention (at least) of some of the monsters.  No takes, but watching a 30"+ trout chase down your streamer elicits a feeling of a bowling ball hitting your bowels.  We don't have a lot of those in PA, and experiencing that while 10,000 feet up, is something special.

 

Tuesday I went back with the hopper dropper rig during the day and landed a few nice browns and rainbows.  I felt pretty good holding my own with the locals at this point.  I don't fish nymphs often, but I was doing well and landing fish, which on 6X tippet is no easy task for a guy used to chucking meat for smallmouth.  Later in the day, it was myself a dude from Texas in the bottom pool.  I noticed that my deer hair grass hopper was getting more attention while I stripper it back at the end of the drift.  It's action on the strip looked like a swimming jerk bait and the fish coming up to chase it were Leviathan-esque.  Seeing this, I asked the other fella to watch my gear, ran to the car, rigged up the 8wt and grabbed a pocket full of Zoo Cougars and Drunk and Disorderlies before heading back down to the water.  I was getting follows with the Zoo Cougar, but no commitment.  Big trout definitely do not like having something like a jerk bait dancing in their faces.  Three or four casts in with the D&D and I was moving HUGE fish.  The D&D basically fishes on a sink tip line like slow rising or suspended jointed jerk bait covered in flash with an angled head that causes it to dive like a jerk bait.  Ripping it back across the head of the pool, there was one brown that took particular offense to it, and through the clear water, I saw one of the most vicious strikes I've ever seen.  I set the hook, and now with the benefit of 13lb FC tippet, I was able to control and land a 20" brown pretty easily (I almost considered it revenge for all of the fish that I lost on 6X). Not a terrible way to close out a trip.

 

I spent the next few days hiking, relaxing, and getting my back spasms to calm down after 5 days on the water.  I promise that I'll get pictures up here as soon as possible.   Also, I was pretty shocked at the number of fish being moved by big streamers.  Tons of guys lined the shores throwing tiny nymphs all weekend, and while they had some success, every one of us struggled with landing such large fish on such light gear. Going back, I'm absolutely committing to throwing streamers more.  Had I done that, or borrowed someone's jerk bait rod for the weekend,  I have no doubt that I would have beat several personal best fish.  I also built a lot of confidence nymphing - something I generally don't love to do unless it's a necessity.  

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post needs Pics!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, J Francho said:

This post needs Pics!

I'm on it as soon as I can start shrinking and uploading them.  I don't have pics of any monsters, a side from possible video of one running me upstream and breaking me off.  A friend has that (somewhere) and its laced with the finest obscenities. The scenery is unreal.

If anyone here is friends with me of Facebook or Instagram, I'm uploading them now.

This is the guy that crushed the D&D.  So. Incredibly. Violent. 

Screenshot_20180910-145725_Photos.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_101.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_125.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_108.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's awesome!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful pics. Looks like paradise for the fly fisherman in me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks fellas. There are tons more.  The tailwater section of the Taylor was surreal and super hard to capture in a few pictures.  I have never seen so many huge fish in a half mile of water. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scenery is ridiculous.  Trip of a lifetime!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like trout heaven. Great post.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, J Francho said:

The scenery is ridiculous.  Trip of a lifetime!

I'm going to start doing this more.  The scenery and absolutely ridiculous fishing make it worthwhile, and realistically a pretty cheap vacation since I'm cool with camping.  Traveling with fly gear is SO much easier than bass tackle. 

 

4 hours ago, Dwight Hottle said:

Looks like trout heaven. Great post.

Thanks Dwight! It absolutely is.  I feel like fly fishing in the mountains should be a must for anyone who loves to fish.  

 

I have so many more pictures to try and shrink...

9311.jpeg

9312.jpeg

9306.jpeg

9299.jpeg

9300.jpeg

9302.jpeg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Turkey sandwich said:

I'm on it as soon as I can start shrinking and uploading them.  I don't have pics of any monsters, a side from possible video of one running me upstream and breaking me off.  A friend has that (somewhere) and its laced with the finest obscenities. The scenery is unreal.

If anyone here is friends with me of Facebook or Instagram, I'm uploading them now.

This is the guy that crushed the D&D.  So. Incredibly. Violent. 

Screenshot_20180910-145725_Photos.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_101.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_125.jpg

IMG_20180910_143745_108.jpg

 

Also, the other dude in these pics... that's my best friend and this was his first day fly fishing. (How you live in Colorado for a year and don't IMMEDIATELY buy a fly rod is beyond my comprehension) Not only did he pick up basic casting in just a few hours, he's also insanely spoiled to learn on THOSE rivers.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome report and pics. I Too hate nymphing but they eat almost all nymphs so it’s necessary 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah.  Nymphing is my least favorite way to fish, but d**n if it doesn't work.  I was absolutely shocked, though, by the sheer number of huge fish I was able to move with Zoo Cougars and the D&D once I finally had the room to fish them.  I'm thinking that the next time I fish a tailwater pool, I won't hesitate to chuck meat flies.  The fish I moved were MASSIVE. That brown went somewhere around 20" and some of the fish straight up dwarfed it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • fishing

    fishing forum

    fishing rods

    fishing reels

    fishing

    bass fish

    fish for bass
    fish

×