Fly fishing Taylor river Colorado
Taylor River Colorado
Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing On The Taylor River In
The hot spot on the Taylor River, shown in the photos,
is the small tailwater section of the stream. It has some
huge trout. The trout become big from feeding on
mysis shrimp that come through the dam from the
Taylor Reservoir above. Fly fishing the Taylor River is
always exciting because of the size of the trout you're
subject to catch.

The Taylor River flows from the base of the dam
through the Taylor Canyon. It joins the East River
some twenty miles downstream to form the Gunnison
River. Most of the anglers fish the "catch and release"
section just below the dam. The other part of the
tailwater has some public access as well as private
property. It has fast pocket water throughout its steep
gradient consisting of deep pools and fast runs. The
trout average from about ten to fourteen inches. Don't
forget the Kokanee Salmon run that occurs during late
August and September.

You can also fish the Taylor River above the
Reservoir. It is a small high elevation meadow stream.
This alpine stream is a delight to fish and full of small
trout. The fish are exactly opposite of those in the
tailwater section. They are not picky.

The lower section of the tailwater is very fast, pocket
water. Plunges are frequent due to the steep gradient
of the river in this part of the Taylor. This section is
only lightly fished which is surprising because it has
some nice trout.

Most anglers choose to fish the tailwater. The catch
and release area that is just under a half mile long.
This section can become crowded with anglers trying
to catch one of its huge trout.

Wading the catch and release section of the stream is
not recommended. The river is narrow and can be
reached with reasonable length cast just about
anywhere from along its banks. The stream has a very
uneven bottom with steep drop offs and deep holes. It
an be dangerous to wade in places. Access can be
found along highway #306 that follows most of the river.

Although you may enjoy fishing for the huge trout just
below the dam in the catch and release section, don't
forget the other nineteen miles of water. Trout are
plentiful throughout the streams length. You should
fish the river the same way as you would most any
other fast pocket water. Normally, upstream
presentations made using a lot of short cast works
best. Concentrate on placing your fly on the edges of
the current or the current seams and you should do
Taylor River
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The Taylor River tailwater can be fished
You can catch trout during the winter but the
roads to the stream can be treacherous.
Fly fishing the Taylor River during the Spring
is great except that flows can be heavy during
the runoff.
Fly Fishing Guide to the Taylor River:
The trout in the catch and release section of
the tailwater can be difficult to fool due to the
constant pressure. The reservoir was stocked
with mysis shrimp to feed the trout but they
manage to get through the bottom release
tube into the tailwater section. The trout in
the section just below the dam have grown to
enormous sizes feeding on the shrimp. These
trout are fished for almost every day of the
year. In fact they are so used to seeing
anglers they won't flee from their sight.

The trout just below the dam are usually
fished to using nymphs and imitations of the
mysis shrimp. Most of the trout are taken on a
reaction type strike whereas the fly is almost
placed in the trout's mouth. Although these
trout have been cast at hundreds of times,
they can occasionally be caught by someone
that is persistent.

There are basically two ways to fish for the
large trout in the catch and release section.
One is to blind fish using a strike indicator.
Most anglers fish an imitation of the mysis
shrimp below a small indicator. Concentrate
on the deeper holes below short runs and
riffles. Trout also hide beneath the undercut
banks in some places.
Guide, Continued:
The other method is to fish to individual
trout. You shouldn't have much trouble
finding plenty of large trout if you use your
polarized sunglasses and watch the water
carefully. When you spot a trout, try to get
a small nymph or mysis shrimp fly right in
front of the mouth of the fish. You have to
be careful not to line the trout.

Long, light leaders and tippets are
preferred even though the trout are large.
You must get the fly at the right level and
you must be able to detect the strike. Most
anglers actually see the fish's white mouth
open when it takes the fly. If you are using
an indicator, be aware that the takes are
usually light and difficult to detect. The
trout tend to just sip the small flies in. If
you are persistent and accurate enough,
you will stand a decent opportunity to
catch some large trout.

As you will notice when reading our
hatches section on this stream, there are
a few hatches that occur during the year.  
When there is a hatch taking place it pays
to match it because the trout usually focus
on the hatch and in some cases become
selective on the particular insect hatching.
Taylor River Hatches and Trout Flies:
Our information on aquatic insects is based
on our stream samples of larvae and
nymphs, not guess work. We base fly
suggestions on imitating the most plentiful
and most available insects and other foods at
the particular time you are fishing. Unlike the
generic fly shop trout flies, we have specific
imitations of all the insects in the Taylor River
and in all stages of life that are applicable to
fishing. If you want to fish better, more
realistic trout flies, have a much higher
degree of success, give us a call.  We not
only will help you with selections, you will
learn why, after trying Perfect Flies, 92% of
the thousands of our customers will use
nothing else.

There are not a lot of hatches on the Taylor
River Tailwater but the hatches that do occur
usually bring some great dry fly action.

The first aquatic insects to hatch are the
Blue-winged Olives which first appear in April
for about a month. These insects are
bi-brooded and hatch again from about the
second week of August until near the first of

The Western Green Drakes are considered
the most important mayflies to hatch by most
anglers. They start around the first of July
and can hatch on into the first week or two of

The Pale Morning Duns, or PMDs, start
hatching a week or two after the large Green
Drakes and also hatch on into the first or
second week of August. They can provide
some excellent dry fly action.

The Golden Stoneflies are considered an
important hatch. They start hatching about
the middle of May. The hatch can last
through the month of June, depending on the
Hatches, continued:
Various species of caddisflies are also
found on the Taylor River tailwater. The
most abundant species are Spotted
Sedges. They can hatch from the first of
June on into the month of August. The
Green Sedges are also plentiful. The
Rock Worm, or imitation of the Green
Sedge larva, produces the best results.
There are other species of caddisflies but
these are the most important
ones.Streamers are considered very
important flies to have on the Taylor
River. Imitations of sculpin and various
baitfish are used. Streamers tend to work
best when the water is slightly high and
has some color to it. The water is normally
crystal clear, but when it does become
stained, the streamer can be effective.

Don't forget the terrestrial insects. From
about the middle of June until near the
end of September, trout can be taken on
imitations of grasshoppers, ants and

The most popular flies used on the Taylor
River imitate the mysis shrimp. That is
what the trout feed on just below the dam
that makes them attain their huge size.

If you haven't done so already, we ask
you to give our "Perfect Flies" a try. They
are the most realistic imitations of aquatic
and terrestrial insects you can buy and
they are also the most effective flies for
catching selective trout. We hope you
give them a try.
Hatch Chart.
Green Drakes hatch during the summer
and provide great fishing but it tends to
be crowded.
Late August and September, Kokanee
Salmon move up into the river. This is a
great time to fish because the crowds are
mostly gone.
Taylor River Colorado
Taylor River colorado
Taylor River Colorado
Taylor River Colorado
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Thumbnails: Click to enlarge
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
Headlines: Stream levels are
normal, but the river remains
in good shape with good reports
from our customers. Midges and
Blue-winged olives are hatching
along with Mahogany Duns.  Be
sure to click the above link to the
Taylor River fishing report for the
We have Perfect Fly
website pages on
each of these other
fine trout streams.
They include
descriptions of the
streams, access,
location, species of
fish, a fly fishing
guide, a fly fishing
report, hatches and
recommended trout
flies, fly fishing gear
and equipment,
USGS stream data,
much, much more
Map of Taylor River
Tailwater and Freestone

Brown Trout
Rainbow Trout
Cutthroat Trout (Headwaters)
Kokanee Salmon


Central Colorado

Nearest Towns



Non-Resident License
State of Colorado

National Weather Service Link

Hatch Chart
Taylor River Hatch Chart

Fly Fishing Gear and Trout Flies

Stream Flows: