Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Little Trip to Gunnison

Of course we fished the Taylor... with spring time coming around, the Taylor is heating up.

7lb 24 inch 'bow took a caddis larvae

Larger fish are starting to hold in fishable water

Some of the snow is melting: reducing glare and making it easier to spot the big fish

Many of the fish were keying in on small thread midges

10 lb 25.25 inch bow refused many patterns but took a flashy midge on the first drift

We spotted two fish at or over 30 inches. Neither of them were feeding, but it was worth watching them chase each other and any other fish that got in their territory. If they were just a bit more aggressive, we would have thrown streamers at them. A 'yahoo' performing RIP sets with an indicator actually tail hooked one of the monsters and we watched it porpoise across the river like a tuna. Monstrous fish.

Later that evening we found another 30+ fish up near the top of the C&R. It was extremely spooky and wanted nothing to do with us, even with our extreme stalking. Its tail must have been 10-12 inches tall.

The Taylor should only get better in the next couple weeks.

Day 2: we went to check out the Lake Fork of the Gunnsion

Definitely a gorgeous river, yet wasn't that fishy at this time of year. The lower stretches toward Blue Mesa Reservoir is in a scenic, steep canyon. The river is crystal clear and has deep holes between fast rapids, even at the extremely low flows of spring. We decided to fish streamers and had a few hook ups and many more follows. 

We then fished farther South (upstream) in the meadow ranch land section. This section has extensive stream improvements and looks like a hybrid of the Blue River below Dillon and the Yampa. we saw very few fish here, and the fish we did see took Baetis patterns. The Lake Fork was not as productive as we expected, but definitely worth the drive.


  1. Hey Guys-
    My Name is Jake Ruthven, and I am a 15 year old avid fly fisherman and fly tier from Fort Collins. I stumbled upon your blog about a week ago, and love it! I have been talking to my dad a lot recently about possibly going to fish the taylor river, and would greatly appreciate any tips/patterns for the river over say the next 2 weeks. Again, you have a great blog, and I look forward to hearing back from you soon.

    Best Regards,
    Jake Ruthven

  2. Jake,

    the Taylor is definitely a special river, and my buddies and I consider it the grad school of sight nymphing. The fish are big, smart, picky, and way over-fished. If you are lucky enough to find them feeding in a spot you can get a drift to and then get a fair hook up, be ready for the fish to try to wrap you on every obstruction in the run. Personally I recommend fishing a 6 weight rod and 5x fluoro. To raise your success of landing one of the very big fish you have to break the will early of the fish, and a 5 wt or 4 wt rod will not do that. You can fish a 5 weight, but 6x or 7x ends up in many lost fish and flies. Have a big net with a long handle, it does not have to be an expensive broden or wood one, one of the nets we use was homemade out of a hockey stick with a bass net attached. In regards to pattens, proper presentation is most important, any sign of splitshot or an indicator can cause fish to spook or stop feeding, so a drift with the flies getting to the fish first is a must. Have a variety of midges from simple thread midges as larvae to more complex and flashy pupa. Usually every time I am there a new pattern prevails. We often have success with midge or attractor patterns that those fish don't see as regularly, (also have some eggs and mysis, again a variety). As well we always bring a vise and some material in the car to tie during breaks if necessary. We usually spend 12+ hours on the river or multiple days at the taylor to try and pattern the locations and movements of some of the larger fish. We often won't get a chance at the big boys until seeing them multiple times. Be patient, be stealthy, work the river slowly and completely, and good luck!! If you land any monsters send us a picture and we will post it.

  3. Looking good boys. I envy you. California blows.

  4. BEN, i feel your pain. Go North and steelhead

  5. Charlie-
    Thank you so much! I appreciate it greatly! Maybe (hopefully) we will run into each other down there. I appreciate all of the advice, and can hopefully trick my dad (Scott) into taking me down there. I have been fly fishing for eight years now, and have only ever fished the Poudre, and Big Thompson rivers. This sounds like a great challenge, but it obviously looks like it is worth it. Again, I appreciate all of your time, and hopefully we will see each other on the river sometime.

    Best Regards,
    Jake Ruthven