Taylor River Fly-Fishing Report – June 2, 2014
June 2, 2014: Taylor River Fly-Fishing Report – Springtime has finally come to the High Rockies and several warm days in a row have risen many Gunnison river flows to record highs. As of today, the Gunnison, East and Slate Rivers are pretty much un-fishable due to both the high flows and turbidity of the water. With lots of snow remaining in the headwaters of these rivers, it may not be until late June before conditions improve enough to provide good fishing.
We’re lucky to have two miles of the Taylor River on the Ranch as it’s flows are moderated by the Dam in Taylor Park. Even with the dam, flows are still high and we are seeing an average of about 1400 CFS move through the Wilder. The good news is that visibility is quite good and so is the fishing.
In high water, the key is to find places where the water, as well as your drift slows down. This is where you will find the fish. Once you find these places, the next thing is to adjust the weight of your rigging to match the speed and depth of the water. This time of year there is a smorgasbord of subsurface food in the river. Fish are feasting on a variety of nymphs and more important than your fly pattern is getting your fly down to the fish. While we have been seeing pretty strong BWO hatches in the afternoons, there are very few fish rising and most have their bellies right on the bottom.
I have been using a combination of large Stonefly nymph with a trailing BWO nymph with good success. Adding or subtracting split shot as needed. Screen samplings of the river show a large number of Stonefly, Green Drake and PMD nymphs but the most active and numerous of all are the Baetis (BWO). These fast moving, energetic size 22 Olive Mayflies provide a large percentage of the trout’s diet in this part of the Taylor as Nymphs, Emergers and Dries.
Bottom line is fishing remains consistent with nymph rigs and “honey holes” can be found that harbor a large number of fish. Patience is key as fish are holding deep and won’t move far to eat your fly. This is an opportune time to hook a big fish as fish are not super selective and might eat almost anything that comes by.
I look for flows to begin slowly dropping in the next few days and water clarity to improve as the side creeks feeding the Taylor melt out. Sometime in the next couple of weeks we’ll see more rising fish and the beginnings of what could be some epic hatches and Dry Fly fishing throughout the summer.
Flows in Rarick Creek are consistent and not too high. The water is slightly stained yet fish will move for Dry flies both large and small. These powerful Rainbows pull hard so be sure to loosen your drag a bit and let them run so they don’t break you off.
All of the ponds are fishing super well. Last week we had a 10 year old first timer land 4 Rainbows, all in the 20 inch range. When fishing the Ponds, look for a scum line and if you find one, there you will also find large fish sipping their way along. These sippers can be tricky and oftentimes one has to downsize the fly pattern to get a take. When all else fails, try a #18 Parachute BWO and hang on.
Remember that if you are fishing the Taylor in these high flows, use extreme caution wading and moving in the water. Much of the fishing that we are doing right now is from the bank and plenty of fish are within a short roll cast of your feet. This is a good opportunity to fish close in and concentrate on making perfect drifts and covering the water efficiently.
If you are planning a trip to the Wilder this season, feel free to give me a call at 970-946-4370 for an up to date Taylor River fly-fishing report and recommendations of flies and gear.