Tarryall Reservoir - Club Trip May 2024

May 18, 2024

Tarryall Reservoir

Trip Captain - Larry Lester


  This reservoir has been a favorite of mine for over twenty years.  Fat and sassy Rainbows in the 12-to-14-inch size with plenty of fight in them are the targeted fish, but Browns and Pike are always a possibility.  Rick Reynolds has netted a 23-inch Rainbow and other HPD club members and I have netted Browns over 12 inches.  A slow day on the water might be 5 to 10 Rainbows and a good day 20 plus.  The Pike are usually in the 10-to-12-inch size, but I have seen and heard of Pike over 30 inches being caught.  If you decide to target for the Pike use a steel leader.

You can wade the incoming water for about a mile upstream and there is a SWA (State Wildlife Area) section about two to three miles before reaching Tarryall where you have access to the stream.  Parking is right off the road and the walk in is about a quarter mile.  Below the dam the only public access is the first maybe 50 yards before the water flows beneath the bridge.



Directions -  

To reach the Reservoir take Highway 285 south and shortly after you come off of Kenosha Pass at the very small town of Jefferson take a left and Tarryall is about 16 miles to the East.  This is a popular place and parking can be limited so I will be planning to leave my house by 6:30.   If space is available, I will be parked in the first area you come to when arriving at Tarryall in a blue Highlander License plate PCD 1953.   Drive time from Denver is about 90 minutes depending on where you live.  

 Fishing from a belly boat, kayak, canoe or power boat (this is a wakeless area) is the ideal way to fish this reservoir, but there are two areas that in my opinion that can be easily waded with a very good chance of getting into fish.  Other areas where you can't wade can be fished with flies, but you have to compete for space with those throwing lures or bait.   

 Leeches, hare's ears, buggers, chironomids have been used with great success as well as damsel patterns.  This is not a real deep reservoir so we are talking 8 to 12 feet in the areas not far off shore.   Using a strike indicator can work well or slowly stripping in a bugger while moving about on the water can be deadly. A sinking line can be used further out.  By mid-August there will be a fair amount of plant growth limiting access to some spots, but using a floating line with no bead headed flies slowly pulled over the vegetation and you will have takers.  There are plenty of fish in this reservoir.


For a sketched map of Tarryall showing places to park and places to wade and more details regarding fly patterns please contact Larry at larry.lester@hotmail.com,

  Bring a lunch, sunscreen and always good to have a raincoat handy. The wind can always become a factor.  This is BLM land and with that said the Rangers require anyone on the water must have a life vest and a whistle with them.  If you are bringing family with, you may also want to check to see if the other adults in your party are required to have a fishing license even if they are not planning to fish.