Tail Water Monsters

I'd heard a recent story about a very large trout caught by a youngster on the Gunnison River. While trying to nail down some information about it I ran into another story and a picture that has to be shared.

Almost everyone has heard about the monster trout below the dam on the Taylor River and the fishermen that spend countless hours trying to catch them. The catch-and-release section of the Taylor begins just past the base of the dam. This .4-mile section is filled with super-sized trout. I've been up there a couple of times, have seen a few of these fish and have even hooked a couple that I did not land.

The huge trout are a by-product of mysis shrimp in Taylor Reservoir. The shrimp were introduced to increase the growth rate of reservoir trout; however, the light-sensitive mysis immediately fled to the depths of the reservoir to avoid the bright Colorado sunshine. The deep-dwelling shrimp multiplied rapidly, and vast numbers of them are swept out of the dam's bottom-release tube into the river below. Passage through the tumultuous release tube left the high nutrient value shrimp dead or stunned, thus easy prey for trout.


Can you believe this fish?
One of the individuals who focus time on this area's fish is Todd Andersen. A year ago he caught a 20-pound, 8-ounce cuttbow from the Taylor that measured 32½ inches long with a girth of 22 inches. According to the story I read he was using a Mysis Shrimp pattern that he tied himself, with a Sage RPL Plus 5-weight rod, Ross Gunnison 5-weight reel, Cortland 5-weight Camo line and only a 5X fluorocarbon tippet.
The past three Colorado state record catch-and-release rainbows came from the Taylor tailwater. A 40 1/2-inch in fish with a 29-inch girth is the official C&R record for Colorado. Local experts believe there are even larger fish in the short, closed section immediately below the dam release.