Hello all and thanks again for tuning in to the O’Grady fly fishing adventures blog. I have written a little in the past about the difficulties Cat and I have about trying to get out of town for any extended period of time. I am not complaining, we get plenty of time to fish, it’s just not always on our time. Some friends of ours were heading to the Taylor this weekend and asked if we could join them. Looking at Cat’s and my schedules we didn’t think there would be any way we could take the time off work but started asking around anyway. Either the stars were perfectly aligned or Alex was really sick of us because somehow we were able to get the weekend off (thank you Cody and Alex).
We left Pueblo just after lunch on Friday and we kept having to pinch ourselves to make certain we weren’t dreaming. The drive was going very well until we began making our way up Cottonwood pass. The snow started at the bottom and was sticking to the road half way up, the color contrasts of the green firs, the yellow cottonwoods, aspens, and the white snowy backdrop was breathtaking. By the time we got to the top there was already 5 inches of snow on the ground and with the snow slush and mud, the drive down was a white knuckled and totally gut wrenching. I have always felt like those are the longest 13 mile on the face of the earth and they are even longer in the snow. We got to the C&R at just after 4:00 and we were so excited that I think we dressed and were in the water by 4:03.
We have never been to the Taylor so late in the year and weren’t really sure what to expect. The snow must have brought out the best of the fish because they were willing and ready to eat. The first evening we hooked maybe a dozen or so but only a few made it all the way to the net. We usually camp when we fish The Taylor but luckily our friends had encouraged us to get a cabin at Harmel’s. Saturday morning we made it up to the C&R about 9:00 a.m. with our game faces on and primed to show the Taylor fish how we play P-style. As we began walking up the river we noticed that the fish had returned to their Zombie state from the summer and the first 2 hours were very slow. At about 11:30 or so one of the greatest Baetis hatches I have ever seen began to hatch. Three different size PMD’s and giant Blue Wings began to explode and the Zombie fish returned to life. I stuck with a double FOD and a midge rig and Cat switched to a double dry. I wish we had more video but it is hard to stop and film when the fishing was that good. My landing rate was not very high but I don’t think I have ever had so much fun getting my tail kicked by fish. I think I hooked 30 or so that day with a dozen or so to the net. The three hog’s that I hooked are all still swimming around laughing at me.
Saturday evening we all met back at Harmel’s and had a feast made for a Pueblo king (sloppers) followed by some of the best story telling around. I have written in the past about Ants being such a great storyteller but I think Jeff gives him a run for his money. Jason Hocheavor was there and had a hard time removing the grin off his face from the 23 inch brown he had caught that day. Sunday we were thinking about heading down to the Gunnie to look for salmon but a little excess of alcohol and a little shortness of sleep squashed that idea. Cat and I were not in a huge hurry to get to the river Sunday morning and I think we made it at about 10:00. We ran into Pat and Brett and I was thinking maybe Pueblo should just take over the Taylor. We were expecting tough sledding and were not disappointed, nothing for a while and then I moved up to an area that I had hooked a pig the day before. I looked in and he was back, I carefully adjusted my rig and casted. First pass and he nailed it, another monster rainbow three feet out of the water and the line snapping back at me as he splashed down. Since it was before the hatch it felt like a bonus fish so I didn’t even mind losing him. It was about noon when the bugs started hatching and just like the day before, it was on. I know for a fact these were the two most impressive boils I had ever seen on the Taylor and maybe the best anywhere. I looked over and saw Jason battling a monster and Jeff helped him land an absolutely beautiful 20 inch fatty rainbow. Cat switched back to her double dry and I went back to my double FOD rig. I was just blown away by how many very large fish we hooked this weekend. The ciggle (Cat giggle)echoed through the canyon most of the day. Sunday was the day for spotting the pigs, hooking them and having them sail out of the water only to eventually have them pop off. We saw Brett out there and I told him that they were a new long distance release skill I had been working on (he doesn’t think I am very funny).
Anyway it was a great weekend of friends, family, and fish making that place like heaven on earth. We put together a short video and as you can see by the number of clips the Taylor was particularly good to me this weekend. The music was contributed to the video by some of the most amazing musicians whom we are lucky to have as friends, Lefthead. As always, thanks for reading, Connell, Cat, Winston and The Drift Fly Shop….