River Reports

Taylor River

Having three distinct sections, the upper Taylor, the C&R Taylor and the lower Taylor. The Taylor is a fabulously diverse river. Loaded with beautiful Rainbows and  Cutthroat.

Flow 130cfs

Temperature 24.1°F

Wind 4 mph

Hi / Low 54/15

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Current Conditions

March 27, 2021

Flows are low, fishing below the dam is the best fishing as of right now. Be stealthy and use small midges. Mysis Shrimp patterns are always a good option when fishing right below the dam, using smaller Egg patterns can also be effective during this time of year. Making Sure you are fishing the right depth when throwing midges can be key to getting fish to the net. 

Demon Midge #20, D-Midge #20, Two Bit Midge #20, Slim Shady #22, Mysis Shrimp #18, GloBug #18

River Information

The catch-and-release section of the Taylor River below Taylor Reservoir, known locally as the C&R, is some of the most exciting and productive fly fishing real estate in all of Colorado.  This Mysis shrimp-fed tailrace is home to big browns, rainbows, cutbows, and cutthroat trout, including some of the largest rainbow trout in the western United States, with 30 inch ‘bows weighing nearly 20 pounds being within the legitimate realm of piscine possibilities.  Both the current state record Snake River cutthroat and rainbow trout were caught by fly fishermen at the C&R.  The C&R is a year-round fishery, and while nymphing with tiny midge or mayfly patterns is generally the name of the game, there are times where even the largest trout rise for dries at the C&R, most notably during the green drake hatch, which occurs during late July into August.

     The lower Taylor River is also a superb fishery that churns through an exceedingly rugged and handsome canyon for 20 miles as it sprints toward Almont.  About half of the lower river is public.  The lower Taylor has plenty of big fish, with 20 inch trout not at all uncommon, and the entire river downstream of Taylor Reservoir is designated as Gold Medal Water by Colorado Parks & Wildlife.  The lower river is known for its exceptional summertime dry fly action, but its legendary pocket water also provides great nymphing opportunities throughout the year.  The Taylor River is a piscatorial paradise for anglers who enjoy sight-fishing to big trout.

Seasonal Conditions

Spring

Spring

Springtime is likely the single most exciting time to fish both the C&R and the lower Taylor. Crowds are comparatively light, trout are hungry and gullible, and big rainbow trout become more aggressive as they prepare for their reproductive romp later in the spring. With low water levels sight-fishing can be excellent, and on an overcast day you might encounter a BWO hatch and rising fish.

Highlights

  • Bwo Comparadun #14-20
  • Barr's Emerger #20-22
  • Neon Nightmare #20-22
  • Top Secret #20-22
  • Span Juan Worm #16
  • RS2 #18-22
Summer

Summer

While the entire Taylor River sees a ton of felt in the summertime, it is a spectacular dry fly river and the fish are spread out throughout the river, providing anglers with a lot of water to work. Look for willing feeders in slow choppy riffles, lazy runs, slow seams near whitewater, and slothful bank water. Caddis hatch all summer long on the lower Taylor and evening egg-laying flights can often be an Animal Planet event.

Highlights

  • Foam Parachute Pink Cahill #16
  • Sparkle Flag PMD Q's #16
  • Juju baetis #18-22
  • Juan's Slim Shady Baetis #20-22
  • Tube Midge #20-22
  • Top Secret Midge #20-22
Autumn

Autumn

While there can be solid dry fly action into fall, nymphing is your best bet to capture fish. Trout are more wary and discerning after the barrage of summer anglers so more realistic patterns and a more studied presentation is often needed to dupe them. Water levels decrease out of Taylor Dam and if you can safely cross to the far bank you’ll be rewarded with less pressured fish.

Highlights

  • Black Beauty #20-24
  • Jujubaetis #18-22
  • Darth Baetis #18-22
  • Top Secret Midge #20-22
  • Mysis Shrimp #20-22
  • Chocalates Foam Emerger #18-22
Winter

Winter

The Taylor is an outstanding wintertime trout fishery. The C&R has open water during even the most frigid winters, although weather conditions can make it brutal on even the toughest anglers. The extreme upper sections of the lower river are generally ice-free as well, and much of the rest of the lower river stays fishable during mild winters. Nymphing with tiny midge and BWO nymphs will generally turn up a few fish.

Highlights

  • Black Beauty #20-24
  • Neon Nightmare #20-22
  • Mighty Midge #20-22
  • Top Secret Midge #20-22
  • Mysis Shrimp #20-22
  • Chocalates Foam Emerger #18-22