Thursday, July 6, 2017

Taylor River 2017...the Evolution...

            Hello friends and thanks for checking in at the O’Grady Fly Fishing Adventures. As we were on our way home today from our annual Taylor vacation, I began to reminisce of the twenty plus years of this trip. The early years were my brother Hugh, Jimbo and myself and we were all throwing spinning rods and wearing our rubber “Michelin Man” waders. I was looking through pics a few months back and I saw one of me standing on a rock with my tennis shoes and my brand new purple inaugural Rockies shorts. Other pics from 1994 had my four and five-year-old sons fishing and playing in the river. Over the years my father, my mother, and several nephews and nieces have made the trip. It’s hard to put into words how the Taylor has imprinted itself on my family. It was around the year two thousand when I first began to get enamored with the C&R section of the Taylor. I remember staring at the fish and being completely amazed at their size. I would spend three days in the section without ever bumping a fish and while driving over the bridge to go home, I would throw a little despairingly sign language and say I’m never coming back again. And after reviving my spirits on the Ark, I would begin to plan how to do it differently next year. It is interesting how our view of the C&R section has changed over the years.
            After last year’s June back surgery canceling our trip, Cat and I were really chomping at the bit to get back on the Taylor. In addition, many of our shop friends have told us that the fish in the Trough are looking big again. This year’s trip had all the usual suspects: Cat, Jimbo, Brandon, Winston and Myself and in addition this year, Brandon’s wife Liz, Charlie and Abril all made the trip. This was Liz’s first extended time spent around the O’Grady family and we figured if she makes it through the week she is definitely a keeper. Congrats Liz, now you’re an O’Grady! Hehe Anyhow, Charlie and Abril made it up a few days early and when we saw him we asked how the fishing was and he said, “it’s the Taylor.” That was all that needed to be said. Monday afternoon, while walking the bank, Cat looked at me and asked where I thought all the “big fish” are. I’m not sure if it is my perception of the fish or if actually, the fish have changed, but I just don’t see the monsters of yesteryear/yore. What has changed is the way Cat and I view the water. Even if we’re not seeing the hogs, every fish poses its own challenges. Spending all day looking for the giants has changed to just looking for fish that are actually eating. One of the most difficult parts of fishing the Taylor is the amount of foul hookups we seem to get. This year I was trying something a little different to alleviate the foul hookups up by making really light hooksets. My landing rate was pretty lame but I had a lot less foul fish.                                                                                 The biggest fish landed this week was a rainbow that went just a tad over 21 inches and we really didn’t spot anything any bigger than that. The most enjoyable part of the trip was watching Brandon and Liz and Charlie and Abril fishing together. It was funny listening to Brandon talking to Liz and it seemed every time Brandon told Liz to be careful, she would slip and go down. On the third day, Liz landed her first Taylor River bow, now it wasn’t a monster but it was a Taylor Bow! The nightly campfire gab sessions will live in O’Grady infamy. Now even though it was awesome having Liz and Abril there, I don’t think Cat’s job security will be in jeopardy. On the Fourth afternoon, Cat and I decided to stay back and just fish the section across from camp. That part of the river is really moving so wading can be a little difficult. It is the perfect spot for the Sage MOD. We started by tossing a caddis and a dropper and my first take was a brown that barely made it across the width of my hand. The next take was a huge 9 incher. I started seeing a bunch of giant stoneflies so we switched to match, we got several hits but I don’t think any of the fish were big enough to get their mouths around the fly.
            Cat and I were planning on doing a video of the trip and even had some really great new music ready to go, but after getting home and looking through the footage, we just didn’t think it was up to our specs. Our most exciting clips ended up with lost fish shortly after. Every fish landed this year was earned but the fish just weren’t the fish of yore. Maybe it’s the Ark, Spinney, or Antero fish of recent but the Taylor trip was more about the company and less about the fish. We did include lots of pics below, enjoy! As always, Connell, Cat, Winston, Jimbo, Brandon & Liz, Charlie & Abril and the Drift Fly Shop want to thank you for reading….