Fall is an incredible time of year, especially in the Colorado high country with the glowing aspen groves, crisp air, and warm sun. When Nissan extended a recent product-testing invite to the Kayak Fish team for an adventure filled with mountain pass tours, 4×4 trails, and eager-to-eat rainbow trout, we couldn’t say no.
Meeting in Denver, the crew jumped behind the wheel of the new Nissan Titan XD 4ProX Cummins turbo-diesel truck. It didn’t take much coaxing to mash the gas pedal of this American-designed and -assembled truck. As we started the climb over Kenosha Pass, the bright sun, bluebird skies, and fall colors filled the windshield. We peeled off the paved Hwy 285 and wound up gravel roads toward Boreas Pass. The dust clouds ripped into the air as the convoy chewed up the gravel on the incline.
The conditions were quintessential Colorado: a classic fall day where the air is crisp, clean and with aspen leaves at peak fall colors. Near the pass summit, we spotted a mule deer sipping water out of a mountainside seep before pushing onto a 4×4 trail as the sun crept towards the western ridges of the famous Breckenridge Ski Resort. On he trail, I was shocked at the sharp granite slabs we crawled the trucks over in 4Low.
Time to Fish
We woke in Breckenridge the next morning to cold, rainy conditions. But we weren’t about to huddle around a wood stove with a hot mug. Our agenda was trout. We tried to remain hopeful the skies would clear. And sure enough, as we pulled up to the water’s edge, it was was glass — minus the sporadic ripples of trout actively feeding on the top water.
The next opportunity to get into another new cockpit was equally welcome — that is, a chance to try out the new Jackson Kayak Coosa FD. We quickly canvassed the small Colorado lake, which was so clear it would be a manatee’s heaven, with lush aquatic grass reaching up to the water surface in a number of places. The clarity allowed us to test speed and agility in open, clean sections, plus a chance to gauge the ease of cleaning out the Flex Drive pedal prop in the grassy sections. I brought a paddle along for those sections. Stay tuned for a deeper review of the Coosa FD.
Some might call me crazy for fly-fishing in a pedal-drive kayak (vs a more fitting JK offering like the Mayfly). Yes, my line did get caught up on the drive and pedals. However, with a little extra concentration toward line management, I kept clear for most of the fishing.
The early morning was productive for topwater dry-fly eats, my favorite. A variety of stimulators coerced the rainbow trout to work their way up from the depths. By 11 a.m., the trout feeding had switched to nymphs and we kept a close eye on the strike indicator. The aerial acrobatics of these thick trout were amazing: water flying, tails kicking and freckled chrome with a pink detail danced in the sky for us.
You can’t ask for much more than a great trip with newly forged friendships — tight lines are just icing on the cake.
GEAR THAT GOT IT DONE:
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The article was originally published on Kayak Fish
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