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Mini-Destination: A Story in Photos

Kaylee Pacheco shares her story. We welcome guest bloggers to submit their experiences!

My boyfriend, Ryan, and I always have made it a priority to make the mini destination trip to Three Rivers Resort hosted twice a year by Angler’s Covey. This would be my third time on this trip and Ryan’s fourth. The morning of April 30th we loaded our car and the Ultimate Rod Case and drove to Almont. We had a longer drive over Monarch Pass since Cottonwood Pass was closed, but we were eager to fish. We couldn’t get to the water soon enough.

New learnings

One of the best aspects of the trip, for me, is all of the learning that takes place. I was thankful that Evan Hammonds, our Guide from Willowfly Anglers, took time to teach us different ways to set up our rig and lots of knots. I am always eager to learn more and I felt like Evan was a willing teacher! We headed to the inlet above the Taylor Reservoir for the first half of the day.

After lunch, we headed to the C&R below the dam.            

Evan was thankfully very patient and wanted to make sure we were under the perfect conditions for the beautiful rainbow we spotted. We crossed the river in stealth mode and then watched the fish for about five more minutes.  Evan gave me precise instructions for our game plan. I tossed my flies in and focused on the fish –– then WHAM a fish from upstream attempted to eat my flies. That was very unexpected. Thankfully he shook himself off the hook and didn’t disturb the rainbow we were fishing to downstream. A few more casts to the rainbow and he finally ate the egg pattern! We were off chasing this fish down the river.

With Evan’s expertise we did get the 24” rainbow — my personal best — to the net!
At day’s end, Evan and I celebrated with a beer!

The float

Our second day with Evan we were on our very first float trip! I loved being able to just slip on my Chacos and hop on the boat. We floated down the Taylor and then to the Gunnison River.

Float-trip Selfie with Evan rowing and Ryan patiently waiting for me to snap the pic. 🙂

I was a bit nervous for this because I am not the best caster and was afraid I might hook Ryan or Evan. In fact, with one cast, I couldn’t tell if I hooked a fish or tree. Well, it was a BIG FISH. I knew this because Evan, as he rowed, shouted, “BIG FISH!” 

I was immediately filled with excitement. Evan was a multitasker and I am thankful for that. He was rowing the boat while instructing me on how to get this fish to the boat. Evan netted the fish and then was yelling, “grab the net, grab the net!” I couldn’t figure out why. I mean, he’s the guide, right? That was my bad.

I was over the moon when I saw the size of this fish. I didn’t expect to pull a fish that big out of the Gunnison River.

With all the commotion I forgot we were floating down the river, and he was making sure we didn’t crash! Since we were also on private property, we weren’t able to anchor there.


One of the things I enjoy the most about the mini-destination trips is the camaraderie. When we arrived at Taylor River, we immediately spotted Jon Eadson, Angler’s Covey Director of Services and Chris Hanson, a friend of the Shop. Then I saw Greg hooking into a nice brown! Greg has been on every Three Rivers Trip since this has started. Later, we all headed to dinner at the Almont Resort. I always enjoy catching up with them and hearing their fishing stories over a nice dinner.

From the cabin Ryan and I shared with Jeff and Greg, we had a nice view of the river off our back porch. After Jeff prepared coffee and our breakfast on Saturday, After our first day of fishing (and did I mention my personal best?) our next stop was dinner with the group at the Almont Resort. We met Elizabeth and Jan who came all the way from New Mexico for this trip. The other couple on the trip was Christian and Dominque. This was the first time I had seen four women on this trip! I loved hearing the fish adventures after everyone’s day.

Spring time in Colorado can be unpredictable. In a few hours, it went from sandal weather to snow.

Until next time …

Jeff and Greg decided they were going to head home Sunday night in fear the Monarch Pass might be closed in the morning. Ryan and I decided we better head home, too, just in case. I mean, we wouldn’t have minded taking one more vacation day and staying, but sadly, we headed home a day early. I was bummed we didn’t get to say goodbye to our new friends in the other cabin. I was thankful everyone made it home safe especially when Monarch Pass was closed Monday afternoon. Until next time … tight lines.

Thank you to Ryan Dudek for taking me on this trip and sharing your love of fly fishing with me. Thank you to Jon Eadson at Angler’s Covey for always planning the best trips. Thank you to Evan Hammans our guide from Willowfly Angler’s for a memorable weekend! Thank you to Three Rivers Resort & Outfitting for hosting us!

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  1. […] Read about Kaylee’s experience from the Spring of 2021 here. […]

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