Taylor River Fly Fishing Report – June 25, 2014
June 25, 2014 – Summer has arrived to the mountains of Colorado! Bugs are flying and the the Taylor River at the Wilder is looking good right now for fishing with Dry flies. Flows have subsided and are stabilizing in the low 700 CFS range. The water is clear and water temperatures range from the low forties in the mornings to almost 50 degrees in the afternoons. With the release at Taylor Reservoir predicted to remain steady at 400 CFS through mid – August, I expect that the river will gradually drop into the low 600 range during the next few weeks and hold between 500 and 600 until mid August. Although flows are right at the 100 year average, this is much more water than we have had in a couple of years and bodes well for the fishery and the high numbers of wild fish that we have here at the Ranch. All signs are pointing to a great summer of fly fishing.
Multiple hatches are starting to happen and the fish are beginning to look up. Every day we are seeing Blue Winged Olives, varieties of Caddis, Yellow Sallies, Orange Stones, and Midges popping off from mid – morning through late evening. Some of the Caddis hatches are big and clouds of Caddis bouncing off the surface of the water have the fish ready to rise to a well presented Dry. While we haven’t seen large numbers of fish rising freely, skating a small Elk Hair Caddis has been very effective in bringing them up in the riffles.
The fishing begins rather slowly in the morning and recommendations are for a Dry/ Dropper or Nymph rig until about 12:30 pm when the Dry Fly action generally begins. Even though the River is clear, it is still running pretty fast so make sure that your morning set up is adequately weighted for the water that you are fishing. A simple tung or bead head nymph is oftentimes not enough to reach the fish when they are on the bottom and it is worth taking the time to add additional weight. We have caught fish on large 20 inchers, small Baetis, Pheasant Tail and Caddis larvae droppers.
Fish slowly during this time period because the fish won’t be that active until the bugs start flying around lunch time. When you start seeing bugs, pay attention because you might find a sipper in an eddy or a seam and have a chance to sight fish to a nice Rainbow. Peak action right now is from 2 pm until dark so be sure to be on the water during the late afternoons.
At this time of year I prefer a double dry rig. I like a #16 or #18 Yellow Sallee Dry with a smaller Elk Hair caddis behind it about 16 inches. First, I’ll fish a run with an upstream cast and dead drift and if not successful will try skating the Dries across and below me. If you see fish rising, watch the rise from carefully. A fast splashy rise will likely mean that the fish is eating Caddis and a slow sip may mean that the fish is concentrated on BWO”S and a caddis won’t work.
For right now, the hot dry flies are Parachute Adams(#10-#20) BWO Parachute(#18 and #20), Elk Hair Caddis, Gray and Yellow bodies(#16-#20), Yellow Sallees(#18), Stimulator-Yellow and Orange bodies – (#12-#16). A few large Golden Stones are good to have as these big bugs will begin hatching any day now.
As usual, take precautions wading in the Taylor. Move slowly and choose your routes carefully. Many sand bars have recently opened up and good wading lines are present if you take the time to look for them. There is plenty of fishing without wading too deeply so concentrate on areas that you can fish comfortably. A collapsible wading staff is a good thing to have on your wading belt.
Both Rarick Creek and the Ponds are full of hungry fish that can’t resist a well placed Dry. Walk carefully and see if you can spot a large cruising Rainbow or Brown and make the cast before he spots you. As in most of fly fishing, your best chance is with your first cast, so take your time, move quietly into the right position and concentrate on a gentle presentation with your fly.
If you are seeing fish that aren’t responding to your Dry, tie on a Dropper. Keep the Dropper line short, maybe 18 inches and try the same fish again. Good flies for the Ponds and Creek right now are Hoppers, Ants, Parachute Adams and Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear and San Juan worm droppers.
If you are planning a trip to the Wilder feel free to give me a call at 970-946-4370 for up to date fishing reports.
Wilder on the Taylor