We got to the river around 8:45 a.m. after quickly stopping at the Gunnison River Fly Shop, to discuss tactics at high flows. The one interesting fact we learned, is that at high flows the pressure of the water getting pushed through the bottom of the Dam will literally pulverize some Mysis Shrimp, so using bigger bulkier patterns can be beneficial as they can look like these nuked shrimp. As well we also learned The Trophy Stalkers were in town. If you haven't heard of these guys...they slay fish, especially at the Taylor C&R. Luckily they didn't get into all the big fish.
The flows were 400 cfs when we got there and were very fishable, but as the day went the flows were bumped to 450 cfs and eventually 500 cfs, making wading very sketchy. We fished 4x fluorocarbon exclusively, and could have gotten away with 3x in some areas.
Wes with a nice high shouldered male
We lost countless fish because of the inability to wade and follow many of them. If they hit the fast water, and we were in the water, it was pretty much guaranteed that we would lose the fish.
Court loves tailing big fish, but I made sure the hockey stick "Pig Stick" net was underneath until we could weigh the fish and take a few pics
Walking up the far bank on the lower river I found what looked to be a good sized fish, in a very catchable spot, and hooked the fish once, but lost it after the first headshake. The fish actually returned to feeding within ten minutes, so I switched my rig and put on a home-made mysis pattern tied similarly to the tucker scud, and got a solid hook up. Right away the fish went into headshakes, and I realized how big it was. It was a relatively short fight, and the fish didn't run to the fast water. Definitely a good B-day present.
This old guy has been in a few battles
The fish ended up at 28" and just under 11 pounds
Attractors were the name of the game in the high flows
25-incher in the recovery room
As usual we were the last ones on the river, and were watching fish from the bridge. Usually the fish around the bridge are extremely hard to catch, but the second to last guy to leave told us a few guys were sticking some good fish on bead eggs. We didn't want to rig up bead eggs, but put some mysis, midge combos on and targeted fish in front of the big rock below the bridge. We had a spotter on top of the bridge, and then casted from the side, swinging the patterns on a dead swing to the fish actively feeding in front of the rock. Every good drift seemed to be a hook up.
This 7 1/4 pounder took a mysis below the bridge
Every fish we hooked was replaced by a new fish in that prime feeding lane
Court holding another slab
The last fish of the day was a large male who went into violent head-shakes, which allowed us to net him very quickly in his disoriented state. I don't think we caught a female all day, where as a few weeks ago it was all females.
You don't wanna be headed down this tunnel
This 7 1/4 pound 2 footer was a great way to finish off the day!