We spent last weekend in Crested Butte as a last minute getaway and in between family time I snuck in a couple hours on the Taylor River. The weather was perfect for Taylor River standards, for a place that can be brutally cold and windy, the sun was bright and the wind was variable. There were some anglers in the parking lot and others filtered in as the day prolonged but most of them stayed above the bridge sight fishing for the bright red sides. Personally I enjoy fishing the faster water below the bridge, this allows me to get away from the crowds and also allows me to fish a little heavier tippet. I started off with a small olive sculpzilla and moved it through the deep pockets hoping for a big brown to charge out and inhale the small green streamer but there was no response. There was a sporadic blue wing olive hatch with some midges mixed in so I snipped off the streamer rig and set up a bobber. Refusing to tie on 2 micro flies I opted for an Olive Pats Rubber Leg as my lead fly and trailed a gray RS2 off the back. To my surprise the first fish I landed was on the Pats. For a river that is known for fishing micro flies it was refreshing to land a nice Rainbow Trout on a big ugly Rubber Leg. I have found that constantly changing your flies plays a big role in success when fishing heavily pressured Tailwaters. As my fishing time came to an end I had changed flies several times and had success nearly every time I switched my flies. My top flies were; Olive Pats Rubber Leg, Olive Ju Ju Baetis, Peach Bead, Gray RS2 and Brown Pheasant Tail.
This is a great time of year to be on the Taylor River, the flows are hovering around 100 CFS which is a great wading level. The Brown Trout are starting their spawn so fishing eggs is an effective way to trick opportunistic Rainbows lined up behind spawning beds. An egg is also a good underwater indicator in clear water. If you head to the Taylor in the next week or two don’t be afraid to go big with some of your nymphs, you might be pleasantly surprised.