Regardless of how much you practice you have on the water, even a good fisherman needs a little luck to bring it all together! WATCH THE VIDEO
By Lu Warner, Master Guide
August 25, 2014—About three weeks ago I spotted a Rainbow Trout in the Taylor River at Wilder that was a extremely large. Hard to tell how large but he was an impressive fish. Of course he was in a tough spot to fish and was protected by fast, heavy currents on either side of his domain. To get a fly to the fish would be hard and I tried three quick times in the next two weeks, once with an owner, once with Brad with video camera, and once solo with little success.
The first two times entailed a few casts with a heavily weighted Streamer which failed to move the fish. Then one evening I had the chance to try a large Mouse
pattern just at dark. I cast and mended several times hoping to hold the fly near the fish. It was not pretty. At the last seconds of reasonable drift, I saw a huge mouth and wake charge the fly, just as it got pulled away by the fast currents and on down the river. It was a miss! I stayed for a few more casts but it was obvious that the big guy had enough for the time being. Back to the drawing board.!
A few days later, the dam release flows on the Taylor were cut by 150 CFS or roughly 30% and the river now low looked prime to try for the big fish again. The only problem was that with the lower flows the fish had moved. I searched the pool from the bank and was unable to find him for two days. Then, when working at Wilder with a fellow guide, Mike, a few days later, we had some time to look and it was Mike who noticed the big fish, about 30 yards downstream from before, in a new lie. Plans began to formulate in my head as I tried to figure out when would we have time; how to approach the fish; how to film it if it happened; what fly to use etc. !
The following Thursday we had a group of clients leave in the morning and another one arriving in the afternoon. Between groups I had a little time so I walked out to the river with Jason White from Crested Butte Anglers and Brad Willett from the Wilder and we saw the fish finning in his new spot. Previously I had thought that I needed to cross the river to get the proper angle for the cast I wanted to make, however when I walked to the water and waded in without rod it became apparent that I was standing in the spot I needed to cast from. Presto! With the positioning problem solved, we walked up to the camp to have a sandwich and a plan came into being. Brad would set up the video camera and Jason would be the net man if we were lucky enough to hook the fish. I would get the first try with the rod. !
I carefully set up a rod, attached a large dry and a long dropper, debated which tippet to use, selected short 20lb to dry, 3X from Dry to #6 Double Bead Nymph and 4X to trailing #20 Hares Ear (thinking he would eat the small fly), double checked all the knots and with butterflies in my stomach walked down to the river. I was about as nervous as I can remember as I waded into position and got ready to cast. Showtime!!
From where I stood I could see the fish, about 20 feet away, 3 1/2 feet deep on clean gravel and this didn’t help my nerves at all. Truthfully, it looked like a pretty easy deal so I particularly didn’t want to blow it, especially in front of Jason and Brad. Whew! Finally, I took a deep breath, told Brad to turn on the video camera, and worked out a little line to prepare for the cast.!
Above the fish were what we fisherman call “hinky” currents. Confused swirls that make it difficult to judge where the fly will go when it hits the water. I picked a spot and made a cast. When the fly hit the water the currents boiled and the big Dry was rejected and deflected to the left of and ten feet above the fish. “Short” I said to myself as the fly would clearly drift down about six feet to the side of the fish. Whoops! !
I wanted to wait until the fly had passed well behind him to re cast so he wouldn’t spook and was already thinking of the next cast when a huge shadow moved quickly over to where the nymph was drifting. Just as my eyes went from fish to fly, the top fly took a dive, I set the hook hard, Jason whooped, threw his cell phone in the grass and the battle was on!
Read the rest of the story at http://wildercolorado.com/blog/lucky-fishing-the-taylor-river/