They still have the blockade in place on the East river at the Roaring Judy fish hatchery, and they are again not letting fish get up stream from that point so don't bother with the East if you're looking for salmon. Flows on the East averaged anywhere from 200-300 c.f.s. but expect that to come down to it's usual fall levels if we can avoid getting another 16 inches of rain in a single day... The Taylor river coming out of the dam was running around 198 c.f.s. the entire second week of Sept. which is an excellent flow, and the crowds were aware of this also. The parking area was full by 8 a.m. both days we fished it.
It was the typical Taylor river experience. There were dry fly purists, guys deliberately foul hooking fish, and we didn't see a whole lot of rods bent most of the day. I did lose several fish in the 10lb class in and just above the Avalanche hole, and managed several 12-18 inch colorful browns to the net as we moved around the C and R. We still had a ton of fun despite these things! The Taylor river is always a challenging break from salmon slaying on the Gunni.
Salmon fishing on the Gunnison started slow for us. Flows were kind of high compared to previous Septembers and locating fish was difficult, combined with the fact that it took adding 5-6 BB sized shot on our leaders to get down low enough and quick enough with our egg patterns to catch fish. Once we figured all of this out we were in salmon and having a blast. It was obvious we were still early because the numbers of fish were low, and the fight in these Kokes was impressive! As the days get shorter and the water gets lower and colder look for more salmon to be there from the confluence down.
This was a family experience as most of our fishing trips are, and the fun we had really shows in the photos. Our little family drastically needed this vacay! Kristen has been working her tail off in her full time job as a NICU nurse taking care of sick babies, and this was by far my busiest year as a full time guide, writer, tyer, and photo/videographer. Things don't seem to be getting any less busy so being sure to take some time to have these little adventures together has been important to us.
It's so rewarding to see other anglers reactions to Bree being on the water while we fish! The typical reaction being "starting her young?! I like that!" For those of you who we haven't told this story, Bree's inaugural trip was on Antero Reservoir in early April during a cold windy day two months after she was born! She's no stranger to the outdoors. It's also cool to see how excited Bree is to play with other anglers fishing companions a.k.a. puppies. We don't have enough space at home yet to own a dog so Bree loves playing fetch and having fun with them. And -knock on wood- Bree hasn't shown to much of her dark toddler side yet, not that she has too much of a dark toddler side to begin with...
The best thing that anyone can do who is trying to get someone into fishing is put them in a spot where they can catch fish, and salmon fishing on the East river before they put the blockade up is exactly how I got Kristen turned into a true troutbum. She looks forward all year to Kokanee salmon fishing like I look forward to carp fishing or throwing size 24 Tricos in 11 Mile Canyon, and I can't say that I blame her. These fish pull hard and are beautiful. Here's a few photos from this Sept. on the Gunni...
|Kristen with big fish of the trip!|
|My first Gunni river rainbow and man are they colorful!|
This first short video clip above is a blooper reel that I thought was awesome! Kristen was a head dodge away from getting some face jewelry as this salmon jumped and spit the hook at her while I was recording in slow motion! Quick reflexes indeed... Check it out in HD!
This clip is me hooking up with a dry fly on the Taylor. We had to share it because Bree was playing in the background and being adorable. Thankyou again fellow anglers and readers for your support!