Time: 1:30PM – 5:00PM
Location: Upstream from Lodgepole then upstream from boat launch
Fish Landed: 9 brown trout
Jane and I planned a camping trip to the Taylor River area for the first weekend in August. I expected to make the four hour drive on Thursday morning and snag a campsite at one of the many campgrounds along the Taylor before the weekend crowds arrived. Jane would leave work early on Friday and join me Friday evening. It never worked out that way. Jane needed to stay in Denver in case something came up on the new home purchase as we were trying to close on Monday.
I got off to an early start with the car packed and on the road by 8AM. The first campground is Lottis Creek, and I made a loop through the first area, and noticed more than half of the sites were open and available. I really preferred the Lodgepole Campground, so I decided to cruise down the road another three miles to see if anything was available there. I noticed one nice campsite among the lodgepole pines with an open placard, so decided to snag this one. I unloaded the containers and cooler and put a tablecloth on the picnic table. I started assembling the tent and was staking out the rain fly when the campground host arrived. She chatted with me a bit about the heavy rain received recently, but when I asked her if I paid her, she looked puzzled. She assumed I’d reserved the site and she was putting out reserved placards. Bottom line was I needed to move because the site had been reserved.
I was pretty furious and started pulling out the stakes from the tent and loading the containers back in the car. The campground host was apologetic and eventually offered me some free firewood. I decided to return to Lottis Creek and snag one of the sites I’d seen there. I put up my tent for the second time and ate my lunch. I’d lost around an hour of fishing time due to the campsite snafu. Finally I drove down the highway and stopped at a pullout approximately .5 miles upstream from the parking lot across from Lodgepole.
I tied on a Chernobyl ant and trailed a beadhead hares ear. This produced on the St. Vrain, so why not here? The river was still on the high side and didn’t offer any decent places to cross and fish the north bank, so I made do with backhand casts on the bank next to the road. I worked my way upstream quite a ways and land five small brown trout on the BHHE. It was a pretty warm day with bright blue skies. I was doing a lot of casting for a few small fish, so decided to move downstream and try another location.
As I drove along the river, I came to a boat launch parking area just beyond a private stretch of river. I decided to give this a chance as I could go upstream from the launch and avoid rafts. I caught two more small browns using the same flies, but it was quite slow. At around five o’clock, I called it a day and decided to drive to Almont and visit the fly shop there and buy some floatant. When I entered the young salesman showed me the floatant options, and then I began peppering him with questions about the river. While doing this, two more young gentlemen arrived that worked for the store, and they chimed in. They said the fishing was very slow from 3-6, and you had to go deep with small nymphs. They suggested trying the evening using a golden stonefly imitation on top and a caddis on the bottom and holding the fly line off the water and give the flies a dancing action.
I asked about some of the smaller tributaries, and they suggested Spring Creek and the Upper Taylor as the best alternatives to the big river. The white board showed BWO’s, and they told me there were decent BWO hatches on very cloudy overcast days.
Thursday evening after dinner and clean up, I drove to a stretch of open water just below the Lottis Creek campground where there are many deep pockets around large boulders. I tied on a yellow Letort hopper to imitate the golden stonefly and added an olive body deer hair caddis. I began casting the double and keeping my line off the water as suggested. I began around 8PM and ended at 8:45 when it was so dark I couldn’t see my fly. Amazingly it worked. I landed two twelve inch browns and had three or four other hits that I didn’t land. Eventually at the end of the evening I checked my caddis fly, and the hook point was bent excessively back toward the shank which may explain the failure to land quite a few trout.