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Discussion Starter #1
Spent Saturday morning at the Hog Pen on the Taylor River just below the dam. Nothing will get your heart pounding harder than a 28" ten pound bow coming 2 feet out of the water, shaking like crazy and then, KA-BOOM back into the water. This was happening about twice an hour yesterday and I even was close enough to get splashed!

Got to the campground on Friday night and started to rig up when I realized that I had left my reel back home on another flyrod in my garage. I was able to run into Gunnison before the Walmart closed at 9PM and buy a Scientific Angler combo set for $59.93 :-\ At least I got to fish the next day.

The problem was the low end reel cost me 2 out of the 3 fish that I didn't land. I had to palm the reel and got taken downstream quickly by the bruisers. One cut my leader on a rock, the other wanted to run but I was palming instead of letting it work against the drag. Both of those lost looked to be in the 20"+ range. Bummer of a lesson learned. The real downer is that I was off Friday and had all day to pack!

Here's the 17" brown trout that I did manage to land (took a mysis shrimp pattern of course!):



NOW HERE's A PROBLEM:

In the afternoon I went over to the East River below Roaring Judy hatchery and the kokanee were in there thick! I caught (hooked) a few on a n egg pattern butt then they began to rise like crazy! Big, splashy, 2 and 3 try rises. I tried every dry fly I had and couldn't get a look. Midges and an occasional caddis were coming off but that's not what they were going for. It appeared that they were chasing a brown/tan mayfly that was depositing its eggs and flying slightly upstream as it did so. I tried dapping my fly (tan RS-2, size 18) but they wouldn't take. Has anyone had any experience or success with catching rising kokanee during the spawn??

Incidentally they were very thick around Roaring Judy but had to be returned immediately. I also fished the East River below Almont and you can keep the kokanee there (they were also rising there!)
 

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good job man thats a nice brown, if you want kokes up there use red and pink flys, i also like to use pink tasmanians, me and my brother caught well over 100 in the hatchery pond before they closed it in auguast, were the kokanee starting to turn red yet ? , thats awesome you saw them rising, they were jumping almost every minute when i was there last month
 

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Great looking fish man, the heart gets pumping when those big ones latch on... I lost a few when I was fishing the taylor too.
 
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Great Report.

I have managed to catch them on the surface with a technique i learned while stealheading in BC. Use very large hackled and winged Dry flies that can hold their shape when being pulled across the water. Cast straight across the river and mend downstream and and then let the line belly and start a "skitter across the surface, try to time it to when the fly is swinging around on the end of the swing it is entering the area of the rising Kokes. Hope you get a "Swirl" if you do you MUST then lower the rod and wait for the strike. They should hit right away and then set hard and hold on!

The best fly I have used is called a Bubblehead.
 
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nice brown colorado ...how long does it take to get to the taylor river from denver
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kokaneeking: They were blood red!

Cochise: You are right about the skittering technique. I tried it with my biggest dry fly (non-hopper) which was a size 12 Royal Wulff. I was too far away to skitter it properly. I probably could have moved in closer and used more of a short line skittering technique. Next time...next time.

Fishinguitars: I went up and over Cottonwood Pass via Buena Vista from Colorado Springs and it took 3:15 to get to the hog pen just below the dam. So let's say it was about 1:15 from BV over Cottonwood.

Does anybody know of any dispersed camping areas in that valley? I hated paying $10 to camp in Spring Creek. BTW, they were some very nice fish in Spring Creek in the campground. 12-14" trout in the deeper pools. I didn't fish for them nor could I tell what they were since it was early morning when I spotted them and the sun wasn't up high enough to put light on them. Spring Creek is worth fishing though it's hard to pull away from the other fishing options.....what a great area!
 

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nice to hear they have turned colors, im going to go look at the ponds and fish the river on the 1st of next month, ill be trying to snag at elevenmile also, i talked to terry robinson the boss of the roaring judy hatchery and he told me they are going to start milking them on the either the 4th or 11 i cant wait to take some pics of them in the ponds
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's a lon gdrive out there but worth it. Not too many people either - maybe gas prices are keeping 'em home?

I've got to consider another trip out there this year.
 

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yes it is a far drive but well worth it, i enjoy catching salmon and snagging when its legal, i think they are a real hard fight on the fly rod i lost about 5 tippets , i also had a cheap walmart flyreel on my flyrod and that dident help, no drag, but on my spinning rod i never had to set the drag and i was using 10 pound p line fluroclear, by far my favorite line, or berkley sensation is ok, did you see those big rainbows when you were fishing below taylor ? , i used to stop on the bridge and watch those monster fish below there, when you talked about almont, are you sure you can keep the salmon, i thought they were all catch and release unless they are in the taylor
 
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koke king I think you are right, I believe it is all catch and release from blue Mesa to the Hatchery. I know it is legal and I'm not putting anybody down but the DOW should close the river period, when the salmon are running. Most of those fish that are caught and released will never be spawned, the stress of being caught is a death sentence to most of them. It is not a popular idea but if these kokes are in such short supply as the DOW wants use to believe they would close the river.
 

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i agree on closing the river, i like to catch them but releaseing them quickly is a most, without that run there would not be any kokeanee supply for that area and most of the other koke lakes in colorado
 

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i agree also the river below the hachery all the way to the lake should be closed atleast till they have all the spawn they need for the year there are plenty other areas to fish that arnt used to colect spawn
 
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