We headed up highway 285 around 10 AM, with plans to hit up the Arkansas above Buena Vista for a few hours before heading over Cottonwood Pass to set up camp, and fish the Taylor. I had never fished the Arkansas, and was super excited to see what this Gold Medal Water was all about. We fished above Buena Vista near the Railroad Bridge access. Between the large amount of whitewater enthusiasts braving the rapids, we were able to get some of the rivers famous Brown trout to take our flies.
After stopping in Buena Vista to load up on camping food, we made the incredible drive over Cottonwood Pass into the Taylor Park Reservoir Valley. I have lived in Colorado my entire life, but there are still some areas in this state that will always take my breath away no matter how many times you see them. Being the 2nd highest pass in the state at 12,126 feet, this amazing 30 mile drive takes you up on the Chaffee County side to the summit, and then down the Gunnison County side into Taylor Park Reservoir. There are views of a number of the states famous 14er's, and provides absolutely breathtaking views on the entire trip.
After cleaning up the mess, we loaded up the truck to go hog hunting on the Taylor. If you've never night fished on the Taylor, this is something that you have to do. It is absolutely nutty, with literally thousands of fish coming out to feed with reckless abandon all night. For some reason they do not spook at all, which allows you to get right on top of them with your headlamp. All it takes is a good drift, and you watch the mouth open to take your bug. Mikey took top honors for the night, landing a massive 20"+ fish to end the night.
Such a great weekend with my buddy, enjoying the beautiful Colorado outdoors. With summer quickly passing, these weekends need to cherished because I have no idea when the next one will be.