Sunday, August 28, 2011

Greenback Kinda Day

I received a message on facebook the other day from a good friend of mine saying that we were going to pursue some Greenback Cutthroat when he got back from the IFTD in New Orleans.  We made a plan to meet in the parking lot at 10 A.M Saturday morning.

The lush vegetation was incredible!

Casey and I before heading out in search of trout
 Vincent brought along a friend of his, so he and I decided to hike ahead of the other three guys.  We hiked pretty far up, and fished about a mile and a half upstream from where we started. It was a breathtaking place full of great scenery. clear water, and tons of Greenbacks.  We started off the morning with ant dries, and switched later to attractor dries with unweighted emerger dropper patterns.  It was amazing to see some of the takes.  One of us would spot the fish, and then the other would cast to it.
Discussing tactics in order to fool that particular fish

Can you spot the fish?

Super clear water, and rising cutties. Nothing gets better.
Not huge, but beautiful as can be!

I was a bit upstream of Casey, and spotted a nice (for this area) greenback feeding heavily on emergers, so I decided to try for him.  I put one cast over him, and he came up to check out my dry, but refused it.  On the second drift, he kicked over to the side a few inches, opened his mouth, and I set.  The reward was a beautiful cutthroat.

Trying to Indian Hand Grab  a monster Rainbow in the stocked pond
 We ended the day with eating at a local pizza place is estes park, and had some fun messing with the huge trout that reside in a stocked pond there.  Overall I had an awesome trip, and will definitely be heading back soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Late evening spinners

My dad and I had a chance to get out and fish one more time before I start school, so we decided to head up the Poudre canyon a bit.  We decided not to leave the house until about 5:15 due to the high number of tubers that would be out, so we ended up getting on the water at around 6:00 that evening.

As soon as we got to the river, we noticed a few green drakes fluttering around, lots of caddis in the air, accompanied by a couple of PMDs.  We both rigged up with big attractor dries, and small caddis pupa droppers, and set out in search of pocket water.  It didn't take very long to find a colony of boulders strewn throughout the water, and every cast into pocket water seemed to produce at least one take, but the fish would often miss the fly due to their small size.

This little guy came up and slammed the dry fly in pocket water

Then, at around 8:00, the sky was suddenly loaded with PMD spinners, and we were both jumping with excitement.  We clipped off our pre existing rigs, and tied on anything that was small, and slightly yellow colored.  As we scanned the surface of the water, noses began showing up in every direction, sipping the fallen spinners by the dozens.  I ended up pulling in four trout in the course of probably 30 minutes, putting me at six for the night.  Th fish were by no means huge, but I did manage one nice brown that went about 16 inches, caught under the light of the moon.

One of the better browns of the night; he calmly came up to sip my PMD spinner pattern.

Same fish as above, just a different angle.
The story of the trip is this: I was standing midstream fishing the tail-out of a riffle, and all of a sudden, I look to my left, and this pit bull is charging into the water like he wants to eat me.  Thankfully the current was strong enough that he couldn't swim upstream, instead he just swam stationary. He proceeded to charge me three more times, but again, the current saved me. Scary, but at the same time, I did enjoy taunting him as he sat there idling in the current.

Overall it was a fun night on the water with my dad, and it really made me feel good seeing the Poudre fish that well.  All of the fish caught were browns; all of them wild. In short, it was a good outing to one of my favorite rivers.

Oh, and I apologize for the quality of the pictures, all I had was my two megapixel cell phone camera, so they are not the best.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stones by Day, Drakes by Night~Taylor River

 Personally, I enjoy being challenged as an angler.  Challenging situations drive me to think outside of the box, and try new tactics on tough fish.  Until recently, I had only heard stories of the grotesque fish that live in the Taylor River Tailwater, also known as the "hog trough".  Big fish, and I mean BIG fish being pulled on a day-to-day basis, tons of mysis shrimp, and solid hatches of a plethora of different insects.  What else could one ask for in a trout stream?  Long story short, I had been chomping at the bit to get to this amazing fishery, and have my shot at some monster trout.

Well, my opportunity came a few weeks ago when a friend of mine invited me to tag along with him, his mom, and another one of his friends on a camping trip to the Taylor River.  I did not hesitate to say yes, and before I knew it, we were on the road, headed down to Gunnison in search of trophies.  I had never fished the Taylor C&R before, so I had no idea what to expect; how tough the fish would be, if we would catch any monsters, etc. 

Well, we arrived at our campground at around six o'clock that night, and headed to a few beaver ponds in search of dinner. We spent about 45 minutes searching for brookies, and ended up with 9 trout for the three of us. As much as I hate keeping fish, it had to be done.  We cooked our fish over the fire, gobbled them down, threw our gear on, and headed to the River at about 10:30 that night.  It was bitter cold, and the river was rushing at around 500 cfs. Being sight fishermen, we both stuffed a flashlight into each side of our buffs, and set out looking for trout. 

We found trout, and sat with our lights focused on them as we drifted our rigs past them.  When we saw the mouth open, a calm lift of the rod produced severe headshakes that made you look as if you were hammering nails, and intense runs that made the hair on your neck stand up straight. We fished all through the night and all through the day, slept for a few hours in the car, and repeated the process again.

21.5 Inch Rainbow that moved out of his spot to slam my fly

My buddy Joe with a sweet brownie that didn't hesitate to move over 3 feet to slam the nymph as it swung through his viewing lane.  My mysis/scud/midge rig was the best producer, so we alternated with that rod
We spotted this fish midstream, and he took on the second drift
A trophy is what you make of it; the colors of this bow made it the fish of the day
This brown was spotted right on the edge of a fast seam, slamming drakes.  We made a presentation, and on about the twentieth drift, he inhaled our green drake nymph.
We also fished the lower Taylor in the Town of Almont, and did quite well with an assortment or fish landed on big dries.
Matt and I spotted this fish from a cliff rising constantly to what appeared to be green drakes.  Using binoculars, we were able to determine that the fish was feeding on small yellow sallies rather than the green drakes that were everywhere.  Joe went down to cast to him, and on about the ninth cast, the fish calmly came up to slurp his dry fly.  We waited until the fish turned to yell "lift!"
 We ended the trip with a stop at duck lake, which is just below squaretop lake.  We were in search of big greenbacks, and boy did we get into them good.  Right off the bat, we all landed cutties, the smallest measuring 16 inches.  we kept having success throughout the day, with the biggest fish being caught by Matt, and measuring 21 inches.

this monster greenback appeared from the depths to try and eat my 17 inch cutty. Luckily, Matt was right there, and was able to coax the fish into eating a beetle pattern off the top.
 Overall it was a sweet trip, and I am looking forward to going back.  My next trip will most definitely be in the winter/early spring when the rainbows are spawning, so that the chances at a monster are even higher.
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