Taylor River Fly Fishing Report- Fall 2016

Fly Fishing Report

Wilder’s Master Guide Lu Warner gives his end of season Taylor River Fly Fishing Report. Detailed as always, follow this advice to land a trophy before the snow flies for good!

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportWell, hard to believe we are nearing the end of our fishing season here at Wilder and it is already time for my final Taylor River Fly Fishing Report of 2016. The summer has gone by quickly and we have had many owners and their guests enjoy the wonderful fisheries that we have here.

Currently, the Taylor River has dropped to its winter levels and flows at the dam are down to 100 CFS and 150 CFS. These levels should be maintained until Spring. Water temps are in the high 30’s to low 40’s and should remain there for another couple of weeks before the winter season that brings so many to the Crested Butte area sets in and ice begins to form on the sides of the river.

Taylor River Fishing ReportThis is a perfect time of year to sight larger fish and present a fly to them. The river is low and the water is absolutely transparent. Fish can be seen everywhere, generally holding on the bottom and they will not move far to eat your fly. In these conditions the fish are extra spooky so long leaders and soft presentations are key. In the afternoons you can expect strong BWO hatches on cloudy days and Midge activity regardless of weather. These BWO’s are getting very small right now and imitations need to be in the size 20-22 range to bring up the fish.

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportMany of the Browns are beginning to spawn so please be careful wading and avoid the redds as they can be damaged by walking through them. Redds can be identified as patches of clean gravel in fairly swift and shallow water, normally in the tail outs of the bigger pools. If you see fish spawning please do not fish for them. Leave them alone and let them do their thing so we will have plenty more fish in the future. One of the beauties of the river here is that it is a healthy wild fishery and we want to do our best to keep it that way. That being said, none of the Rainbows or Cutthroats (and not all of the Browns) are spawning, so there are plenty of fish to cast to.

Typically in this low, clear water, the fish will spook as soon as you step into a run. Before you make your first cast, it’s a good idea to start with a few soft casts from the bank before announcing your presence in the river. When the fish spook, they will move to the deepest water and congregate there in numbers. These fish won’t come up for a dry fly but can be caught using a dry/dropper rig with the dropper fished near the bottom. Small bead head Pheasant tails, Hare’s Ears, Egg patterns and Midges will work well when fished with light tippets of 5x and 6x. Fish these deep spots thoroughly and slowly as the trout are not that active right now and sometimes you have to hit one on the head to get him to eat. Make your dry fly as small as you can to still float with a dropper below. Large indicators can work in some areas but generally they will scare more fish than they fool.

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportExpect the mornings to start slow and the fish to get more active after noon and before 5 p.m. Keep your eyes open for spawning Salmon which congregate in the deeper pools. There are several around the camp area in the deeper pools. If you find a pod of Salmon, look behind them as many times large trout will lie below and eat their eggs. Egg patterns ranging from orange to chartreuse can be very effective in catching these fish.

After noon keep your eyes open for hatching BWO’s. On certain days we can have some of the best dry fly fishing of the year. Remember that these Mayflies favor cloudy conditions and have an aversion to bright sun, so those blustery, cloudy, even snowy afternoons will have the strongest hatches. Otherwise stick with a dry/dropper and change the dropper if you are not catching fish. Think small!

This is also a great time of year to throw large streamer patterns particularly on cloudy days when the big Browns may be active. I recommend Dalai Lamas in olive and white or Sculpzillas in almost any color. Swing your flies through the runs and vary your retrieves from super fast to slow to find a pattern that may catch you some big fish. During the next few weeks, look for the trout to start grouping up in the deep holes as they dig in for winter.

Taylor River Fly Fishing Report- The Dream Stream

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportThe Dream Stream right now is low and crystal clear as well, so use caution when you approach. These fish are not stupid and spook very easily! Be patient and you will see a number of large Rainbows and Browns suspended in the foam lines and eating on or just under the surface. They are quite active. Once you locate a fish, take your time and concentrate on one or two good casts to him and you may hook into a monster. Fish can be seen rising to Midges and BWO’s throughout the day and there are still plenty of Hoppers flying around on warm afternoons. Ideally one would be fishing with 6X tippets here now, but the odds are slim of landing that 6 lb. plus fish with such small tippet. Better to use a longer leader of up to 12’ tapered down to 5X for your smaller flies and 4X for a small Hopper. Even then it can be a challenge to land a hot fish. If you show a rising fish your dry a couple of times and he doesn’t eat it, rest him for a bit and try another fly. We have had very good luck with #20 BWO patterns over the last week but some BWO patterns seem more effective than others so experiment until you find the right one.

Taylor River Fly Fishing Report- The Ponds at Wilder

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportAll of our ponds are full of feisty Rainbows and Browns and after a summer of fine dining some of these fish exceed 8 lbs. Despite their size, you can find these lunkers sipping small Midges and Mayflies throughout the day. I always like to show them a small dry first and see how they react. Keep your tippets to 4X or larger and try to put your fly in front of several different fish before changing. If a small dry proves unsuccessful, try a larger Hopper type dry and see what happens. I have seen some of these large fish ignore a Hopper for several casts and then all of a sudden decide to eat it. So be patient! Otherwise I would suggest fishing a small bead head nymph or #6-8 Wooly Bugger attached directly to your leader. Slow crawl your fly and make sure to let it drop down between strips as this is generally when they’ll eat it. Strip, pause, strip, pause etc. Watch the end of your fly line between strips as many times when the fish take on a slack line the only way you will know is if your fly line starts moving one way or another. These fish are not easy to hook but persistence will pay off and if you stick to it you may land a trophy fish before the snow flies for good.

As mentioned this is my final Taylor River Fly Fishing Report of the season. In another couple of weeks, I’m off to open up our Valle Bonito Lodge in Southern Chile and join Antonia and Vicente for our Patagonia fishing season which runs from December through April. If any of you want to escape winter and get some fly fishing in while things are frozen up here, drop us an email at Luwarner@mac.com. Otherwise I wish you all a great winter and look forward to seeing you in the spring. Thanks for another wonderful season at Wilder on the Taylor!

Cheers,

Lu Warner
Master Fly Fishing Guide, Wilder on the Taylor

Taylor River Fishing Report – August 2016

Taylor River Fishing Report from Wilder on the Taylor – August 24 2016

taylor river fishing reportAs we enter the last week of August, fishing conditions are prime on the Taylor river at Wilder. With flows just below 300 CFS and water temps in the mid 40’s, the last blast of the summer monsoon is bringing large hatches of Blue Winged Olives in the afternoons and the dry fly fishing is excellent. As we enter September these BWO hatches combined with Midge, Caddis, Gray Drake and PMD events will continue and keep the surface activity rolling through October.

As usual on the Taylor, mornings can start slow on the river as the fish are cold and slow to activate knowing that the afternoons will bring a feast of mayflies. There have been a few trico spinner falls around 10 am that can bring up fish in glassy water. This event doesn’t last long and generally an hour is all you’ll have to put on your best trico imitation and try to fool these wily trout. 6x is a must and a 12 foot leader will assist in keeping your presentation light and drag free. Don’t overcast these fish or they will disappear on you. Try a couple of drifts and if they don’t react wait until they begin rising again and try a few drifts with a different fly.

There have also been some PMD spinner falls in mid morning and a size 16 Rusty Spinner can be a great pattern. Look for mayflies dancing up and down over the water doing their mating flight and again, look for smooth water to find fish sipping these dead mayflies.

Otherwise I have been liking a size 12 Para Adams with 3-4 feet of 6X and a size 20 Pheasant tail dropper. Until you see fish rising, this is a very effective way to begin the day.

As the water warms in the afternoon, bugs will begin to fly and you will find the best fishing between 12 and 5 pm. On sunny days, we have already had numerous flying ant hatches so pay attention as these bugs can be hard to see on the water. One clue is that you will see fish rising and nothing on the surface. Closer inspection will reveal thousands of tiny black ant bodies in the surface film. A size 20 Para ant will work well. If you find yourself with no small ants, take a black perma marker and blacken the body of a size 20 para Adams. Flying ants come out in the early fall on a sunny day after a hard rain, usually the day before. They wait until the dirt gets wet and softens before they fly and mate so the females can burrow in, lay their eggs and start a new colony.

taylor river fishing reportSometime in the early afternoon you will start to see fish rising more aggressively as the BWO’s begin to hatch. When you see this, make sure to lighten and lengthen your leader/tippet and be ready to try some different BWO patterns until you find the right one. Make your presentations soft.  This is key on the Taylor.

During this time period keep your eyes open for Gray Drakes and PMD’s. The Gray Drakes are big, size 12 or so and when they hatch larger fish will come to the surface. Watch closely what the fish are eating. The other day during a BWO hatch, I noticed that many fish were eating Caddis. A size 20 Elk Hair fooled 11 fish in front of camp in just a few minutes before writing this report. Whatever is going on out there, be observant and take the time to figure out what the fish are eating before casting your line.

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll see the female Brown trout begin to jump high in the air and slap the water to loosen up their eggs as they prepare to spawn in October. Not only is this a thrill to watch, it tells you exactly where the fish are. This time of year Streamers can be very effective in triggering a large Brown to strike. If things are slow on the river, don’t hesitate to tie on a big black Sculpzilla and swing it deep through the runs and tailouts. Use a minimum of 2x tippet and try to work your fly slowly through promising looking lies that include structure of some sort…rocks, trees, logs etc. Cloudy days and low light times will be best for Streamer fishing throughout the fall.

taylor river fishing reportLook for flows to drop in early September and be ready to spot some monsters as the water drops and the larger fish become more visible. If you do spot a monster, take your time and make a plan to get your fly into his face without spooking him. Oftentimes it is a process of trial and error to find the right fly. Make a couple of good drifts to the fish and if he doesn’t react change. Last week, we landed out biggest Cutthroat ever at the Wilder, a 25 inch male that was one of the most colorful fish I have ever seen. We spotted this fish and changed flies 5 times before he finally ate a #6 Olive Pat’s Rubber legs.

The Dream Stream has been on fire since the hay meadow was cut in July. Big fish are laying by the banks just waiting for a fat grasshopper to fall in. We have had some incredible days out here throwing a large Parachute hopper. Several rainbows well over 20 inches have been landed and a couple have topped the scales at over 6 lbs. Additionally we have caught numerous Browns, Cutthroat and Brook trout throughout the summer.

taylor river fishing reportIt seems like the fish are getting a bit leery of the large hopper patterns, so recently I have been throwing a #16 Madame X as a smaller hopper imitation and it has been working very well. Typically, the hoppers start to fly when things warm up a bit so don’t be surprised if fewer fish react in the morning than the afternoon. There have also been some strong BWO hatches on the stream. If you see fish rising and they ignore your hopper, change to a #16 or smaller Para Adams or BWO and try a few casts. If you don’t and the Hopper isn’t working, tie on a #16 Pheasant Tail dropper or San Juan worm and work through the deeper holes.

Always check your tackle before casting into the Dream Stream as there are some tackle busters in here. I suggest a minimum of 4x tippet even though it can be hard to push through the eye of a size 16 fly. If you hook a large fish in here it may take some antics to land it as these fish try to burrow under the rocks and can break your tippet pretty easily. Try to work the fish around the rocks keeping your rod high while engaged in battle with one of these monsters. Please release your fish carefully and don’t remove him from the water. Remember any fish you catch has been fighting for his life so take the time to revive him well before continuing on your way. While we all love pictures of our big fish, more important is to release the fish in good condition. Holding a fish up for a picture is fine if you do it quickly but please remember that the fish is suffering when out of the water and that they do not breathe air.

Approach the Stream carefully so you don’t spook all the fish before your first cast. Fish cannot hear you talk but they can feel every vibration of your feet hitting the ground so walk softly along the stream. Your best shot is the first cast so make it count and get ready.

The 6 ponds at Wilder are full of very large trout. Some Rainbows are close to 10 lbs and they pull hard. At this time of year, the fish are looking for Hoppers, Midges and small nymphs. I always like to start by throwing a big Hopper out there and see what happens. If the fish ignore it then it is time to either try a smaller dry or to slow crawl a small nymph through the weed beds. If both of these techniques fail, don’t hesitate to try a #6 or #8 Black or Olive Wooly bugger dragged slowly near the bottom.

taylor river fishing reportAs in the stream, make sure to check and re check your terminal tackle and use tippets of 4X or larger to handle these bruisers. When you hook one let him run..don’t try to stop him or you will hear the sickening snap of your tippet breaking.

Before you release your fish, please take some time to revive it and make sure it swims away right side up. Many times these fish will be stunned from capture and will go belly up. If that happens either re capture and revive the fish or give him a poke with your rod tip. Oftentimes this is all they need to wake back up and swim away in good shape.

As we come into Fall, I look forward to seeing the leaves turning, the big browns jumping and the BWO hatches getting thicker as the fish put on some pounds before the long winter that lies ahead.

Enjoy your time on the water in this beautiful place.

Cheers,

Lu Warner
Master Guide, Wilder on the Taylor

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Taylor River Fly Fishing Report: July 8, 2016

Taylor River Fly Fishing Report
It’s been a while since my last Taylor River fly fishing report and lots has changed on the river at Wilder. Currently the dry fly fishing is as good as it gets with BWO’s, Green Drakes, PMD’s, Stoneflies and clouds of Yellow Sallies and Caddis hatching throughout the day. River conditions are excellent and with the high Spring flows steadily dropping, more and more water is fishing well and fish are moving into the shallows and looking up. Water temperatures have been hovering right around 50 degrees which is perfect for the fish to be aggressive and the bugs to hatch.

Morning Fishing

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportIn the mornings there are clouds of Midges as well as Mayfly spinners and Caddis. In the right water fish can be found rising softly and a small dry fished very quietly can find some large fish. We have done well with a #22 Sierra Dot fished behind a #18 Yellow bodied Elk hair Caddis. These fish won’t be rising like crazy, every once in a while they’ll come up so be patient as you scan the water looking for a target.

Mid-Day Fishing

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportAround 11 a.m-noon, fish will start to rise more frequently as the bugs start to pop. You’ll also see egg laying Caddis dipping on the water and fish will be chasing them. Other fish will be sipping small Mayflies and a few are looking for a well presented giant Green Drake. Search in the foam lines and seams and try to figure out what the fish are eating.

One technique that works very well for the next couple of weeks is skating a Caddis. Dress a size 14 or 16 Elk hair Caddis well, put it on a long 5x leader and cast across and slightly downstream. Hold your rod high and try to dance the fly lightly off the surface of the water. If the fly drowns, pull it back upstream and let it drift down again….repeat. When you get the hang of it you’ll be surprised at how many fish you will move.

Early Afternoon Fishing

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportIn the early afternoon is when you may see lots of Mayflies. Cloudy days are best. Recently between 1 and 4 pm there have been strong BWO, PMD and Flav (small Green Drake) hatches. Typically if the fish are eating Caddis you will see splashy rises, whereas if they are eating Mayflies, they will sip. They hammer the Big Green Drakes so watch the rise forms and choose your fly accordingly. That being said, at this time of year at Wilder, almost any dry fly you throw out there has a chance of being eaten by a wild trout.

Evening Fishing

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportAfter 4-5pm, the Mayfly action dies out and you can pretty much fish Caddis imitations until dark. I like small Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Para Caddis and Para Adams. Around 7:30 p.m. waves of Caddis travel up the river and it is one of the best times to be out there.

As usual, a soft presentation and good drift with a 9 foot plus 4X-6X leader is more important than a long cast. The softer that your fly hits the water and the better the drift is, the higher your odds of hooking into a Taylor River trophy trout.

If you feel the urge to fish a Dry/Dropper I’d recommend a #8 Golden Stone or Madame X as a dry with a 4 foot 5X dropper to a #14 Drake Nymph. If the larger Drake Nymph doesn’t produce, downsize the dropper fly to a size 16-20 Pheasant tail or micro May pattern.

Look for consistent afternoon hatches to continue and fish to keep rising through the month of July.

Fishing the Dream Stream

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportThe Dream Stream has been fishing better than ever. Consistent hatches of Caddis BWO and Green Drake keep the fish very surface oriented and a number of dry flies, well presented can entice fish up the 8 pounds. The deeper pools typically hold the bigger Rainbows and small to medium sized Browns are everywhere in the riffles. Once in a while a fish will respond to a Hopper but it is still a little bit early in the summer for that. I am finding that Para Adams from size 12-18 and size 8 Green Drake patterns are irresistible to the fish when they aren’t spooked. When the fish do get spooked, that’s the time to either move on to other fish or tie on a small dropper such as a #18 bead head Pheasant tail. Make your first cast right down the center of the foam line and get ready because these fish can crush your fly the instant it touches the water. Do as much as possible to be sneaky and not let the fish know that you’re there. Move and cast quietly and you greatly will increase your odds of hooking a monster.

Fishing the Ponds at Wilder

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportAll Wilder ponds have fish that can break your tackle, so rig up well before hooking into a 10 pounder that will quickly find the weak point of your equipment and/or knots. This time of year they are eating Damselflies like crazy and you will see them eating the nymphs subsurface in the shallows as well as jumping up in the air to catch the adults. Not only is this entertaining to watch it can be some fun fishing. Tie on a Damsel on 2-3X, check your knot, re check your tippet/leader knots, sight the fish, make the cast and hang on. Of course it’s not always that easy but it certainly can be. If the dry doesn’t produce, either a Black or Olive Wooly Bugger size 10 or a Damsel nymph cast out and retrieved slowly can do the trick.

Taylor River Fly Fishing ReportThese are very big and very strong fish but do your best to land them quickly and take the time to revive them by working them back and forth in clean water and getting their gills moving. Try your best not to remove them from the water. Watch the fish as you release it and make sure it is right side up and stays that way. If the fish flips belly up, wade in, re-net it and revive it some more before letting it go.

This is the best time of year for the fly fisherman in Colorado so I hope you all get out there, enjoy the fishing and do your best to take care of the fish and the beautiful places that they live.

Keep your backcasts tight and high,

Lu Warner
Master Guide, Wilder on the Taylor

Spring 2016 Taylor River Fishing Report

The first Taylor River fishing report of the 2016 fishing season!

Greetings to all. I hope the winter wasn’t to long and everyone is ready to get out on the water. Antonia, Vicente and I just finished a fantastic season in Chile at our Valle Bonito Lodge and are excited to be back at the Wilder. From November through early April we entertained a variety of guests, enjoyed wonderful fishing and shared good times with our clients in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Please check out our website at http://www.vallebonitochile.com.  Come and visit us in the Patagonia of Chile.

Taylor River fishing report

Speaking of beautiful places, the Wilder is particularly beautiful right now. Green grass is popping up everywhere, herds of elk cruise through the ranch, geese are nesting in the hay meadow, birds are returning daily and the fishing can be excellent. The river trail has been opened up, camp is ready and the fish are waiting.

Both Antonia and I are excited to get things rolling for the summer Taylor River fishing season and do all that we can to make your experience at the Wilder a memorable one.

Funny how much difference a year can make. Last year we were worried about drought in April and then we got inundated with moisture in May, leading to one of the highest and most unpredictable run off years on record for the Taylor. This year we had a stronger winter snowpack and although May has not been without precipitation, river levels are not expected to get that high.

Taylor river fishing reportOn the Taylor at the Wilder, current flows are around 250 with the Spring runoff rise expected to kick in in the next couple of weeks. Max flows are predicted to be in the mid 400’s, a good level for the fish and the fisherman as well. Water temperatures are in the high 30’s and it seems as if the fish are just waking up after a long winter. Hatches are pretty sparse which is normal for this time of year, yet a few Caddis, Midge and BWO’s can be seen in the afternoons with a few fish rising.

Fishing on the Taylor River has been very good but it is not the type of fast mid summer action that we’ll have soon. Fish are mostly holding deep in the pools and reluctant to move very far to eat a fly. We have had the most success with a dry/dropper rig which would include a large Chubby Chernobyl or equivalent as a dry/indicator. 4-5 feet of 4x tippet to a large rubber legs or stonefly imitation and then another 16 inches or so of 5x tippet to a #20 mayfly nymph or midge. Most importantly in these conditions is to get your fly deep to where the fish are. A split shot or two can be added for the deeper holes. It is important to manage your slack and react quickly to any movement of the dry as the fish are not overly voracious yet. Takes are very slow and feel like you have hooked a stick or something stationary. Fish each hole thoroughly, making several casts in each drift. We caught fish the other day after several good casts went untouched. Finally, persistence paid off and soon we caught a bunch of fish in the same water where we had had no action before.

Taylor River fishing reportAnother technique worth trying now is to fish a streamer deep and slow in the deeper runs. Mix up your retrieves and experiment but I have found that the best streamer action this time of year comes from almost dead drifting the streamer and slowing it down as much as possible. Takes are soft so pay attention to your line and watch for any movement that might indicate a fish. I am liking Dalai Lamas in olive and white as well as Sculpzillas in natural as well as black. Cloudy days and slightly off color water always seem to be best for fishing a streamer.

Once you find a spot that produces a few fish, stay on it and even change up your flies because oftentimes you will find fish podded up in large numbers until the run off blows them out of their winter areas. When fishing here in the spring season, keep an eye on the weather, as during colder periods the river will drop and clear and during warmer periods it will rise and get a bit off color. Best fishing is always when the river is dropping.

It won’t be long before bugs start to fly and fish start to rise again in this fantastic fishery we have at the Wilder. Soon we’ll be seeing Giant Golden Stoneflies, a variety of smaller Stones, lots of Caddis, Yellow Sallees, more BWO’s, PMD’s, Green Drakes and a whole lot of fish rising to eat them.

The Dream Stream is looking super good right now. Climactic conditions allowed adequate flows to be maintained throughout the winter and fish survival rates were quite high. We are seeing more wild fish in the system every year. Brook trout, cutthroat, rainbows and browns can all be found here. It has been rewarding to watch the Stream evolve and witness some of the strong hatches that now happen quite frequently.

Even though we are in early runoff conditions, you can find big rainbows sipping small Blue Wings in the afternoons and a few greedy/dumb ones will even move for a Hopper. The best fishing right now however is sub surface with a dry/dropper set up. The dry can be a medium sized Madame X, say an 8 or a 10 and the dropper should be about 3 feet or less of 4x. I am liking the #16 BH Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ears as a dropper although if things get tough a San Juan worm can be effective. Even though it is early season, fish are naturally spooky so approach the holes with caution and make your first cast count.

In the next few weeks, look for afternoon hatches of BWO’s and fish a small to medium size dropper. In June we’ll start seeing Green Drakes and that can be some of the best surface fishing of the year.

taylor river fishing reportThe Ponds at the Wilder have some huge Rainbows. We caught one the other day that was easily 7 lbs and 26 inches. It was one of the strongest fish I have caught in a long time. People that say that still water fish don’t fight as hard as river fish ought to watch their line disappear well into the backing on one of these brutes. Right now big fish can be seen sipping almost any time of day for very small midges. Typically the midges are a size 22 which creates a dilemma, as a 22 fly requires a tippet of 5X (6X is better) which is marginal to hold one of these fish. In fact, you probably won’t. Mostly however fish are cruising sub surface and concentrating on the weed beds where they are finding a variety of groceries including damselfly and dragonfly nymphs, scuds, backswimmers and mayfly nymphs. For this type of fishing I like to fish a 9-12 leader with a 4X tippet and a small bead head nymph attached to the end. I cast out and retrieve very slowly using a hand crawl retrieve. Most importantly is that I am watching my fly line-leader junction for any movement. I find that these fish take your fly more when it is falling than rising. They eat on a slack line and there are only 2 ways to detect the strike, because you won’t feel it. One is to watch the fish. When he opens his mouth you will see white inside. When he closes it, the white will disappear and that is the time to strike. The second way is to watch your leader/line junction. Cast, slowly take the slack out, let the nymph fall and watch for any line movement. Repeat. Strike swiftly and get ready to let the fish run. It is easy to break these fish off on the strike so be careful.

Soon we’ll be seeing Damsel fly hatches which will bring large numbers of fish to the surface as they jump up and eat the Damsels in the air.

Both Antonia and I hope to see you out at the Wilder this summer for some fun fishing, fine dining and good vibes in this amazing place. Come on out and enjoy what we have to offer at the Wilder and you’ll be glad you did. Stay tuned for more Taylor River fishing reports, photos and river conditions and remember: it’s all about the backcast!!

Cheers

Lu

 

For more information on this Crested Butte land for sale, visit WilderColorado.com.

Taylor River Fly Fishing Report: June 29, 2015

After a late and very wet Spring, summer has finally kicked in in the Gunnison Valley and conditions are prime for excellent fly fishing. Our late spring moisture caused quite a stir and the dam on the Taylor River reached full release capacity in mid June when flows reached 2200 CFS. This is a lot of water to come down the Taylor and with it came trees, stumps, brush and a few Lake Trout from the reservoir. Every river needs a good flush once in a while and the Taylor received it’s flush this June.

CO Woman Fly FishingWhile conditions remained fishable during the high water period, fishing was limited to the banks and soft edges that turned out to be very productive for our anglers at the Wilder. Now with dropping waters and dwindling snowpack, conditions are changing daily and the fishing is getting really good. Amazing is coming soon. Current river levels are at 830 CFS on the Taylor, the water is clear and lots of different bugs are hatching. While the wading can still be a bit challenging, fishing can be great near the banks and on the gravel bars that are easily accessed.

Numerous Caddis and Stoneflies are hatching throughout the day and fish are looking up on the softer edges, seams and foam lines. Occasionally you will see a Giant Golden Stonefly take flight and the odd Green Drake. My suggestion is that until the Green Drakes start hatching well(which will be soon), the best bet is to fish a huge dry like a Chubby Chernobyl and experiment with a variety of Droppers underneath.We have had success with Pat’s Rubber Legs, Pheasant Tails, Caddis Pupae and Green Drake Nymphs. Each day brings us closer to Drake season so pay careful attention between noon and 2 p.m. as a good Drake hatch will bring up the larger fish in the river. Cloudy days will produce the biggest hatches.

As the water drops, fish will begin feeding more freely on the surface and over the next 3 weeks we should experience some of the best Dry Fly fishing in Colorado.
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The “Dream Stream” is fishing super well. All anglers are reporting good catches and the fish are responding to a variety of flies. Mid – day, there has been a strong Green Drake hatch and fish will move 20 feet for a properly presented Drake pattern. With the hay meadow receiving it’s first cutting of hay this week, we are also seeing large quantities of grasshoppers on the stream moving on to the next hole.

As usual when fishing the Stream, the fish respond well to a Dry until they are spooked. Then your best bet is to rig up a Dry/Dropper and fish the deepest parts of the current until ?present your fly about 10 feet away, give it one twitch and see what happens.

Women Fly Fishing CO

All Ponds are fishing well and are holding some monster trout. Although spooky, they are concentrated on eating Damselflies right now and the right pattern can prove irresistible to the fish. You will see large fish cruising the shorelines to intercept the Damselfly nymphs as they swim towards the banks to emerge. At times fish will leap high into the air to catch the adults as they fly over the water. Wait until the fish is looking away from you and banks and a size 8 Hopper can produce some crushing strikes for big Rainbows laying in wait for a juicy meal.

While Damsels constitute the majority of the Trout’s food in the ponds at this time, the fish are also responsive to Hoppers, Parachute Adams and a variety of droppers including Scuds, Damsel nymphs and Pheasant Tails. If the fish are to spooky in the middle of the day, wait until he sun gets low and try again.

The next 3 weeks will bring the best Dry fly fishing of the season to the Wilder. With wild flowers blooming everywhere and beautiful summer weather, now is the time to get out on the water and enjoy this amazing place and fishery.

If you have any questions or would like an up to the minute report, please feel free to call me at 970-946-4370.

Keep your backcasts high
Lu Warner
Master Guide Wilder on the Taylor