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.
While 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.
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.
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
Master Guide Wilder on the Taylor