September in Colorado’s Gunnison Valley: The Taylor River

At Colorado Fly Fishing Reports, September is one of our favorite months to get out and fly fish.  The cool weather, great insect hatches and beautiful aspen leaves make September one spectacular month to fly fish the mountains of Colorado.  September means bugling bull elk and most importantly prolific hatches of blue winged olives.

rainbow trout

This weekend our travel plans take us to non-other than Colorado’s Gunnison Valley to fish one of the state’s most famous Colorado streams: the iconic Taylor River.  Top to bottom, the Taylor River has something for all anglers and fly fishing experience levels.  Just below the Taylor Reservoir resides the infamous “Hog Trough” also known as the “Catch and Release” section.  The Colorado Division of Wildlife introduced Mysis shrimp to the reservoir to feed populations of landlocked Kokanee Salmon.  Inadvertently, the Mysis shrimp made their way below the dam and into the “Hog Trough.”  Shrimp are extremely high in protein content and as a result the browns, rainbows and even the occasional brook trout have grown to gigantic proportions.  The fishing isn’t easy though as the water is gin clear and the fish receive a high amount of pressure during the summer.  Sight fishing without an indicator and fine 6x-7x tippet is the name of the game.  Productive fly patterns include: Mysis Shrimp (hook sizes 18-22), Zebra Midges (hook sizes 20-24), Barr’s Emergers (hook sizes 18-24) and WD-40s (hook sizes 20-24).

brown trout

If you are looking for a little more traditional western trout fishing experience then look no further than the Taylor through Taylor Canyon all the way down to the confluence with the Gunnison River in Almont, Colorado.  During the September blue winged olive hatches, fishing dry and dropper combos through the canyon’s pocket water can produce some very nice and wild brown and rainbow trout.  Our favorite fly patterns are the tried and true Parachute Adams in hook sizes 18-24.  For droppers our best results come from Barr’s Emergers and Pheasant Tails in hook sizes 18-24.

Night fishing is also a great way to hit this most productive Colorado tail water.  The fish are not as spooky under the darkness of night and can be easily targeted with a headlamp or spotlight.  The fish are not as tippet shy at night and can be pursued with heavier tippet than normal in the 3x to 4x range.

The Gunnison Valley is a wonderful place to fly fish Colorado with friends and family.  Before you go be sure and check out our latest Taylor River Fly Fishing Report.

Tight Lines,

Downtown Brown…Stay Fishy my Friends…