Scott Taylor

The seasons are changing! Snow in the high country (7 inches at Wolf Creek Ski Area), yellow aspens, red and orange oak brush. This is a great time to be in Pagosa Springs. The day time highs have been in the mid 70's with temps around 38 a night, making for some great sleeping weather. That is good news for the trout. The water temperature has dropped considerably from the highs around 72 degrees only 3 4 weeks ago, to between 50 60 degrees (depending on elevation). This has made the trout much more active, and the recent rains and dusting of snow has increased flows to keep the streams healthy. The flows below the dam are still great at 800 cfs. October and November is the best time of the year to catch an awesome BWO hatch. Some of the "blanket hatches" (so many bugs you can't see your fly) are the best I have seen on any river I have fished. If you are in the area, and are interested in late season dry fly action, the Juan is the place. If you want smaller stream action, the high country is still fishing great. With some of the higher flows after some of the rains and snow, we are back to fishing with dropper rigs, this brings us to my high country tip for fall fishing.

Fishing dropper rigs on high country streams!

I often see anglers using their dropper rigs, without changing anything. They make their set up and leave it. They might change the dropper, but that's it. As a guide fishing on public waters, I often have to fish behind other fisherman, or let them fish through a hole. If I get to a nice hole more than 3 feet deep, I will change my point fly's location. I will move it up, and increase the dropper length. Sometimes, I will have a 4 foot dropper, with only a 9 foot overall length. Don't make the mistake of just adding a 4 foot piece of leader, and having an overall length of 13 14 feet. You do not want to sacrifice a sloppy cast. Doing this I often get into fish that other fisherman have just fished for, without any success. When I move to a new stretch, I will switch back to my standard set up. Point fly at 71/2 or 9 feet, and dropper 15" to 24"s behind that. So don't be lazy!

Scott Taylor


While you are in town make sure that you visit the following businesses!

Need Fly Fishing gear? See Pop's

Let it Fly

Located on Put hill, just West of Downtown Pagosa Springs.


Fish Species: Trout
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Tim F. with a bow on the lower Juan.
Tim F. with a bow on the lower Juan.

I got to make a few cast as well, and stuck this toad!
I got to make a few cast as well, and stuck this toad!

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Scott Taylor

About The Author: Captain Scott Taylor

Company: High Country Fishing Charters

Area Reporting: South West Colorado

Bio: Scott Taylor has been guiding fishermen since he was 20 yrs old. His experience led him to start his own guide service in Vail, CO for 12 years before becoming a Charter Captain on the Gulf Coast of Florida. With 6 years experience on the saltwater flats of Pine Island Sound, Scott specialized in sight fishing for Redfish, Snook and Tarpon! Now in the summer time Scott runs the only charter service out of Colorado on Navajo Lake - High Country Fishing Charters! In the winter Scott is the Training Coordinator and Ski Instructor at Wolf Creek Ski Area, just outside of Pagosa Springs. Scott is Full Cert. instructor with 16 years experience at the Vail Ski School. Scott has appeared 2 times on ESPN, and once on High Country Outdoors. For information on guided fishing trips, or for Private Ski Lessons at Wolf Creek with Scott, please send an Email. The main style of fishing offered on Navajo Lake is fly fishing and light tackle (spinning & bait casting) with artificial lures and fly's. On the quality waters of the San Juan River trips are fly fishing only, instruction being the specialty. Teaching how to cast, when to cast, how to work the fly or lure, and when and where to fish. I am a very patient instructor / guide, and enjoy teaching new anglers to fish with either spinning gear or a fly rod. For the more experienced angler, I also teach techniques to improve accuracy and increase casting distance.

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Scott Taylor