Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taylor Park

For my sons 7th birthday, we had two choices at hand. The first camping with one group of friends at a Disney Park type of campground in Grand Lake with all sorts of rides, foods, events and high dollar cost for the weekend or rafting with another set of friends. Jen and I let Quinn decided on how he wanted to spend his birthday weekend. He chose rafting. Great choice Quinn! So Friday we packed up the camping gear, rafting gear and of course the fishing gear and headed off to Taylor park. We left town right around the four a clock mark on Friday afternoon. The traffic thru the western suburbs on I-70 was slow going and once we got to 285 it was easy sailing thru the mtn towns. We made it to Buena Vista at about 7:30 for a quick stop at Subway for some dinner. Got back on the road and started up Cottonwood pass. We made it up and over Cottonwood pass as the sun was setting. Once we made it down into Taylor Park, we needed to find a camp site. It began to rain a bit, but not bad or heavy, just a light consistent sprinkle. We found a campsite up on the upper Taylor in a field about a 100 yards away from the river. We got the camp set up, fire going and got the kids ready for bed. After a few beers and discussing about the float next day we headed off to bed ourselves.

We all woke up just after 7 to bright blue sunny skies. The girls made breakfast while Jason and I readied the gear for rafting. Got all loaded up and headed off to down river to Almont to raft the Gunnison. We set in where the East and Taylor Rivers merge to form the Gunnison. Our float was an 11 mile float down the Gunnison to what the locals call the Bridge. After dropping the raft and running a quick shuttle, we got back to the launch site and got ourselves all geared up and ready to go. Jason was on the oars, the girls in the back and Quinn, Myles and I up front. I got the boys all set up for fishing, but they were more interested in just floating and having a good time, so I strung up the fly rod.

Started with a streamer dropper, but I soon noticed fish were taking Caddis off the top, so I quickly changed to a stimulator and dropper for the afternoon and began working the shore line. Missed and broked off the first few fish, but finely landed a nice brown. After a few more fish a few mishaps and just plain old relaxation we made our way down river to the take out. The fishing was not hot nor cold, but average and most importantly a good time with the families.

After we got off the river and ran the shuttle back to my truck we got loaded up and quick stop at Almot to get the kids some ice cream we headed back towards the campsite. But Jason and I decided to stop at the Taylor dam and let the girls go back to the site with the kids so we could fish. We only had about 2 hours to fish before we were to be back at the camp for dinner, so we didn't want to waste much time, we quickly got dressed and headed down to the river. I had to tie up a new leader, because towards the end of the float, my back cast caught some trees and broke off, so that took about 30 minutes to get myself ready. I finally got my self ready and tried to find an open spot of river, but it was crowded and we walked down from the bridge, but it seems all others were moving up river as well, I looked back down towards the bridge and few anglers had left so I moved up towards the bridge, got my self positioned and saw a couple of pigs to fish to. Started to fish and caught a nice 16" rainbow, landed and quickly released, and moved a little closer to the bridge and spotted a huge pig in front of boulder and made a few cast and didn't even entice the big boy, so I resorted to looking through the fly box and picked out a smaller midge dropper trailed by a Craven Juju in the colors of purple and chartreuse and made two cast towards the pig, but a brown intercepted my drift and he was a nice one, pushing 20". Quickly landed and released him. Made another cast up stream to get the perfect drift for the pig, I saw the huge red strip move and my rod bent quickly, got him. But as quickly as I hooked him, he went into a deep hole and broke me off just as quick. Moved out of the pocket and sat on shore to rerig and some guy jumped into my hole, so I finished tying up and moved up stream about 20 yards and saw a whole pod of fish. Landed another small rainbow and made a few more cast and hooked into another nice fish and he snapped me off, not the rig, but broke the hook in the bend, damn cheap Dai Riki hooks. (I find that the size 22 and 24 Dai Rikis to be really weak and will no longer buy those hooks in those sizes.) So I headed back up stream to find Jason and get myself ready to fish, but the time flew by and we needed to head back to the campsite.

Headed back up to the site, when we reached the site, we encountered 65 mph winds and couldn't get a fire going or charcoal for the grill going, and the sand, dirt was pelting us so hard, we decided to head down to Almont for dinner. Made the 45 minute down to Almont for dinner, had a nice dinner and some beers and headed back up to the site. Once we reached the site, the wind and subsided, we got a fire going, got the kids some smores and off to bed they went. Jason broke out the guitar and we had a few drinks and Jason played a few tunes before we headed off to bead.

Woke up about the same time shortly after 7, the girls got breakfast going, we started to break camp down, had breakfast, cleaned up, Quinn opened up some presents for his birthday and then we finished packing up to head home. We decided to do a hike up to a lake which was 3.3 miles to the lake. The boys basically ran the first mile and half and I had to leave everybody behind to stay close to the boys. A little time later Jason caught up to us, we finally made it up to the lake, what a nice little lake surrounded by the mtns, and the rain clouds came in, a little thunder, rain, snow mix we quickly headed back down the trail to meet up with the girls, they were waiting at the car for us, time to head back to Denver. We loaded up and head back, making it back to Denver about 5:30. Quinn had an awesome time for his birthday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TU and Urban South Platte River need our help!

Please join the Denver Trout Unlimited Chapter and the Cutthroat Chapter in their quest to restore the South Platte River and bring trout back to the city!The South Platte River runs throughout Denver-metro area, providing millions of metro-area residents and visitors the opportunity to connect with a resource that makes Colorado great--our rivers! Although trout and other wildlife currently suffer from severe habitat degradation and poor water quality along this 12 mile stretch of the South Platte, a private-public partnership has developed a plan to take back this urban gem to provide recreation and enjoyment for all! Having raised over $20,000 for the project to date, the Denver Trout Unlimited Chapter and Cutthroat Chapter are hoping to raise $250,000 more through the Pepsi Refresh grant, and they need your help to win--projects that receive the most votes online by June 30, 2010 get the cash! Here's what you can do to help:1) Cast a Vote with Your Mouse (and do so often!)Click here to cast a vote for the South Platte project on the Pepsi Refresh site. You can cast 1 vote per day. The project with the most votes will receive a Pepsi Refresh grant worth $250K! Voting ends June 30, 2010.
2) Spread the WordForward this message to your friends and family and encourage them to cast their vote for the South Platte project. Click here to share this announcement on Facebook!
3) Learn MoreWatch DTU's video about the South Platte project by clicking here or visit the DTU website to read more about the project.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Camping & Quinn's first trip out

Over the holiday weekend we had our annual neighborhood camping trip. The last few years it has snowed, rained, and hailed on us. This year was different, it was absolutely beautiful. We camped in the Arapaho National Forest up near Hot Sulphur Springs on the mountain side with Beaver Creek flowing nearby. The site was down from the main forest road down a little embankment on the side the mtn. Great site, we were able to fit 5 families on the site with no problem. After the first night we took the kids over to Williams Fork Reservoir for some fishing. It is here Quinn put on the waders and waded out into the water and made some cast with the fly rod. He was casting a big ole bugger in the wind. He didn't hook up, but it was nice to get him out for his first time. He continued on for an hour, with a few tangles here and there, but had a good time. The jetstream then came blowing down on us and we had to breakdown pretty fast, because these winds were just wrecking havoc on the boy's fly cast. We headed back to the camp site for the rest of the day.

Next morning, we headed back down to the Reservoir for some more fishing before the four winds came a blowing again. We mangaged to work on his cast for about 2 hours before the high winds made an appearance again. Oh well, at least we got out for awhile and got him making some cast. We will have to try again in the coming weeks.

Just a heads up last week I received some new fly tying materials from my good friend Kevin, that came from... yeah thats right the Czech Republic. At first glance some very neat stuff and neat colors as well. Stay tuned for some pics and hopefully some new creations from the new stuff. Till next time, Cheers.