The fishing on the Taylor has been spectacular lately. The river is still running very high, at around 1100 CFS, but anglers willing to get in are being rewarded with great quality and quantities of fish. Dry fly action should be right around the corner, but for now, we’re sticking with streamers and nymphs. Stoneflies, worms, and eggs are effective lead flies. Rainbow warriors, caddis larva, and pheasant tails (#16-#20) have been successful tailing flies. Most of the fish are staying close to the bottom, so make sure to add enough weight to get your flies down.
The Taylor is looking much like the same as last week, with high flows and fast water. We are currently over 800 CFS and flows should continue to rise for about another week and a half. Nymphs and streamers have been the way to go. Make sure you add enough weight to get down through the fast water, and a little flash/color to get through the off-colored water. Stoneflies and caddis larva imitations have been working well. Dry fly fishing hasn’t been very effective yet, but we are seeing some caddis and mayfly hatches in the afternoons.
Spring runoff is in full effect on the Taylor with flows over 650 CFS right now! The high flows and rocky bottom can make spring a tough time to wade here, so make sure you are staying safe. Fishing with friends, using a wade staff, staying close to the bank, and wearing proper wading boots will help you stay dry this time of year. While the wading might be tough, the fishing has been great! With the high flows, we’ve been able to get away with some larger flies and heavier tippet. Getting your flies down deep is key right now, as the trout are staying deep to avoid the faster water. Stonefly nymphs are great lead flies right now. #10-14 Iron Sallies, BH Princes, and 20 Inchers should catch fish. Worms can also be very effective during runoff. Caddis larva imitations, Pheasant Tails, and Hare’s Ears have been productive trailing flies. This is a great time to throw streamers as well. Stripping a heavier streamer, like a bead or conehead bugger or slumpbuster, through deep runs and tailouts can entice strikes from some big fish. We’re also starting to see some afternoon caddis hatches and some rising fish, so make sure to keep some Elk Hair Caddis flies on hand. Sight fishing will be tough in these water conditions, so look for transitional water (fast/slow, shallow/deep) and slower, deeper pools.
We’re looking at another great week of fishing on the Taylor River. The river is currently at 371 CFS, and will continue to rise for about another month. We’re starting to see some small BWO and midge hatches in the afternoons, but rising fish have been few and far between. Nymphing will still lead to the most success, but it’s not a bad idea to keep some small BWO dry flies on hand. When nymphing, make sure you have enough weight to get your flies down close to the bottom. If you’re fishing a double nymph rig, larger, heavier flies like a 20 incher, a beaded worm, or a Pat’s Rubber Legs have been good attractor flies. Trail those with a small baetis or midge pattern like a Pheasant Tail or a Black Beauty. We have also had some success dead drifting streamers through the deeper pools. Even with the fish spreading out, we’re still having the most luck in slower, deeper pools as well as around the larger boulders.
The Taylor is finally ready to fish, and the fishing is good! The flows are rising, and we’re currently at 179 CFS. The next couple of weeks may be the easiest to wade until August, with runoff and flows expected to increase through July. Fish are slowly starting to spread out, but fishing in the slower and deeper pools has still been the most productive. Big lead flies, like a Pat’s Rubber Legs or a San Juan Worm, followed by a small midge or baetis pattern, like a Zebra midge, Black Beauty, or WD40 have led to the most success here. The fish are staying close to the bottom, so add some weight to get your flies down. The fish have been a little more active in the afternoon and evenings, as it is still very cold in the mornings here.
Our stretch of the Taylor River is finally starting to open up, and while we’re still a few weeks away from ice free banks, there is plenty of accessible water throughout the canyon if you’re willing to work for it. The current river flows are around 135 CFS, but that will increase quickly over the next month and throughout the summer due to our above average snowpack from this winter. Look for fish in the deeper and slower pools and keep things small. Long, light leaders and small midge and baetis patterns should give you the most success right now. Eggs and worms are good lead flies on a double nymph rig. Fishing is going to be best during the afternoon as the water temps rise and the fish become more active. The fish at Harmels are looking big and healthy and will be hungry this spring after our long winter. Plan your day of guided fly fishing on the Taylor River today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your trip!