Trip To Colorado

Rob Zelk

I swing, therefore i am.
Well, I just got home from my tirp to CO. What a trip! I'm so tired from all that driving.

My mom and I started off from Western Washington about a week and a half ago. We traveled and stayed our first night in Boisie. Then Made our way to Vernal CO. I don't reccomend it :) Anyway we ended up in Steamboat Springs Colorado were I chased local trout and girls for a few days. More trout were landed than girls. Actually no girls were landed at all. But I broke a few off at the hook set while most were spooked before a carefull presentation could be attempted. :) Anyway, I ended up just fishing the Yampa and Elk.

We had arrived durring a heat wave and the rivers were low, so I stuck to fishing in the morning and evenings to give the fish a break. I ended up hooking 3 fish in the Yampa estimated around the 24" mark, all three straightened the hook of my size 22 emergers. I got one beauty to hand, but while trying to photo the fish he squirmed, I let go, I grabbed the leader(don't do that Rob!) and straightened the hook by my own hand. Throughout my stay I landed a 13 inch brown with brilliant red fins and and a hand full of rainbows that ranged in sizes from 13" to that one big guy which i got to hand which was all of 24" easy and beautifully marked. My mom managed 2 beautiful rainbows(her first two!) on size 22s with 4X, way to go mom! For those looking for a wilderness experience the Yampa is more like a Colorado freestone Rocky Ford Creek, but still pretty and a blast to fish if you're in the area. The Elk is more wildernessy though seemed barren of fish, but I didn't explore too much.

From there we made our way to Jackson Hole, where we spent two days. Jackson was hotter than Steamboat, and the rivers were just as low. The rivers of Yellowstone under 7,000ft were closed to fishing except from the early morning to 12 and from 6 on into the evening. The Fire Hole was closed to fishing due to temperatures exceeding 80 degrees, with an extimated fish kill of 50%. Sad times. I fished the Salt River though, and was greeted by a welcome rainstorm and a 16 inch cutty.

My good friend guides out of Driggs and I met up with him for a beer one night at the Knotty Pine, which is a local watering hole across the pass from Jackson. We were planning on floating the South Fork of the Snake, but at the last second, the truck were were going to haul the boat with broke down. :( Bummer. So instead of floating the Snake, he pointed me toward an alternative stream in the valley were I found a stunningly fat 22 inch brown eager to take on the surface! Icing on the cake!! Though it was the only fish caught of the stream, the fish was one of those that make cameras overheat (as Kelly Galloup Says) and leave you shaking after the fight.

With my fishing bugs finally worked out we could finally make our way home, back through Idaho Falls, Boisie(were is was 105 degrees), back up through good old Yakima and finally home(were it was 65 and raining hard!!). Home sweet home. What a trip... Its time to go steelheading!!!

Rob Z.


Stephen Mull
Rob that's awesome brotha. I'm glad you got into fish on the Salt. That's a great looking cutt. Did you ever investigate that area north of Jackson? Is that Brown from one of the creeks we talked about?

Nice report. Those are some sick fish :) Makes me think about going up to Steamboat again, but I'll wait until next year. Saw a report on the news that said that there wasn't much snowpack in the Yampa basin this year and the river is running about a fifth of it's normal volume. What a difference a good year of snow can make!

Dan Cuomo

Active Member

Great report. My son and I were in the Driggs, JH, area July 15-20. Lots of low water, high temps, and crowds - especially on the Snake since it was open and fishable - so we elected to look elsewhere. We too fished a local river between Driggs and Victor. Were we on the same one as you? No crowds and nice fish, though none like the monster you tied into. Most of ours were in the 10 - 14 in range. Thanks for the great pics. Makes me want to load up the car and go again!

Nice report, Rob. I lived in Victor, Idaho, in the 1970's back when the Knotty Pine was officially the "Knaughty Pine." I was disappointed when it changed hands and the new owners changed the spelling. I'm pleased to hear you caught a nice fish in the Teton Valley. I haven't fished the river for a few years, but last I heard (several years ago), the fishery had crashed and the state was considering closing it.


I'm late checking this out but it was a great report and thanks for the cool pics.

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