Myself and buddy, Andrew Rowlan, decided to make a weekend trip up to the Taylor River in Colorado. After last years success this time of year and the cabin fever, the long drive seemed to be no issue. We arrived late Thursday night/Friday morning at our gracious host's house and a few hours of sleep sounded good.
We were the first people on the river at about 8:00 and set in to fishing in solitude, which is a particular delight on the Taylor. After a few minutes in a favorite run a solid drift produced a big tug. The fish took off down river faster than I have maybe ever seen. I was on the reel and losing line quick so I took off on foot to chase the fish. The closer you are to that fish while fighting it allows you to stay in the best control of the fish. I knew this was the size fish Andrew and I were after in this great river but the first fish of the trip? I was pretty excited to start off like that.
Anyhow, the fish was too strong for me to gain any control but after a few minutes of constant side pressure on the fish and throwing it off balance we had him in the net. A pig of a 23 inch, male rainbow emerged from the net and we greeted him with smiles.
The rest of the day was tough due to the huge storm front that moved in, dumping snow on us all day with wind gusts also an issue. No more photo worthy fish were landed that day, but it was big fun nonetheless.
The weather was a bit nicer in the valley when we woke up to find better conditions. However today was marked with difficulties. I felt as if the fish were not as active. The barometric pressure from that front had things definitely off kilter. When a good drift at larger fish was achieved often smaller fish were the first to respond. I took a decent brown on a streamer as well.
We were able to enjoy ourselves though. I would not rather be in any other place no matter the situation. Beautiful scenery surrounds you and is often all I need to be satisfied.
After helping a nice guy out in the parking lot with a dead car battery we decided to change our plan of attack. Hearing that the Roaring Judy fish hatchery had released kokanee salmon fry in to the East River to make their journey to Blue Mesa Reservoir, we tried our luck on the East with streamers. Breaking out the big sink tip and articulated streamers gets me fired up! This fishing style is my favorite on rivers other than the big tailwaters that contain mysis shrimp in their reservoir. We had some very aggressive strikes with some browns completely breaching the surface. It was a great way to end a long day!
Against our will we had to limit ourselves to fishing the morning and leaving at 10:00 A.M. to drive the 12 hours back to Norman. The fishing was amazing. Quickly warming weather had fish feeding like crazy. I wish we could have had this entire day on the water rather than just 2 hours. I started at one of the less popular runs hoping to find willing fish. Within 2 casts I had a very large rainbow hooked. His head shakes resulted in the fish coming off and exposing the problem; knot failure. I was very upset as I cannot remember the last time I lost a fish due to knot failure. The 15 degree morning may have had something to do with a poor knot. My cold hands were not working at 100%, but that is still a bad way to lose a fish. As I wondered back up river I encountered Andrew who was pretty pumped. While we were spit up he had landed a beautiful 25 inch female rainbow.
An onlooker helped him get the hen in the net. The fish looked more like a steelhead than a trout! What a beautiful fish and the perfect way to end a trip. After seeking the caliber of trout found in the Taylor being rewarded is very nice. Long hours in the car and on the river paid off and I returned to Norman with 3 weeks left in my college career, very happy.