This past July I had the opportunity to fish the Taylor River when my son and I went camping a few miles east of Taylor Reservoir. We had been fishing some beaver ponds located next to our campsite for the better part of the morning, and his interest in fishing was waning, so I made an executive decision to drive the 15 miles over to the tailwaters of the Taylor for an hour of Adult fishing.
Well, mid-summer on this river is a classic example of Combat Fishing, and this day lived up to that billing, esepcially being that it was a Saturday.
After walking up and down the access road for the better part of ten minutes, I finally managed to find a spot on a bend in the river. Granted, it wasn't the best spot - I was faced with a horrific angle with an even more atrocious current that would make my drift a real challenge. But, there was a nice place for my son to safely play at the water's edge and I needed to fish. So I did.
Now, here on the Taylor, the popular idea is to use a Mysis pattern, which is all well and good. It's the primary source of protein for these lunkers, and partially why they are so big. So that's why I went with a #20 Pheasant Tail. And, after a few casts (and weight changes) to guage the current, it paid off. In spades. With a nice 23 inch HEALTHY brown that put up one heck of a fight. It also took me halfway down the river, moving many an aggitated fisherman/woman out of my way in the process. All the while my son was yelling "My dad caught a fish! My dad caught a fish!".
Now, understand this - I came in, wearing shorts and sandals, unshaven and probably smelling less than clean after a day and half of camping. Within five minutes I land a really nice fish which forces all of them to pull their lines in and move out of the way for me as I work my way down the river (under their hateful stares) with a BIG, FEISTY BROWN on the end of my line. And all the while there is a five-year-old rubbing it in their faces. Yeah, I was feeling no love in the room at that moment.
So, after letting my finned friend go, I took my place back in the spot that nobody else wanted and, after twenty minutes or so, I hooked another one. A big one. According to the mark on my net, he came in just a little over 26 inches. A younger fellow offered to net him for me, but I declined (that's a smooth way of checking out what fly the other person is using). The only picture I've got is from my son, who actually snapped the picture of me netting this monster (it's actually not a bad picture when you consider it was taken by a 5 year old).
At this point, several guys on the other side of the river asked me what I was using and I jokingly replied "lots of skill." And, noticing the looks on their faces, I relented and told them that I was using a Pheasant Tail. Sure enough, within a few minutes, one of the guys landed a nice fish on a Flash Back. Go figure.
I went back and fished some more, managing to catch one other nice brown before my son lost one of his new Sketchers down the river, and I decided to wrap it up. All in all, it was not a bad two hours of fishing, and I knew I had to get back to this place again before winter. And I did.