This lake along the Columbia River just north of The Dalles is the place to go in this area if you’re looking for a limit of rainbow trout during the spring or fall.
Taylor Lake is easy to reach and also offers good warmwater fishing, with fairly abundant numbers of bass and panfish.
Trout attract the most attention here, particularly after the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife dumps a generous truckload of the silvery fish here.
These fish plantings often begin in March and occur several times during the spring, with good numbers of legal-sized rainbows and sometimes a small number of massive brood rainbow trout that can be tough to land on typical trout gear.
The agency sometimes stocked the lake in the summer, at least modestly, but the fall plantings here can be impressive. At our most recent check, a couple of stockings scheduled during September and October totaled 6,500 trout between them. That’s more than some larger lakes get all year.
Fishing could hold up reasonably well here into the fall and possibly offer some winter opportunity during breaks between the brutal Columbia River Gorge weather and ice.
Trout anglers will use lots of natural and prepared baits here. You also can cast lures and flies at these aggressive fish.
Bank access is good. A float tube or small human-powered water craft is a good bet to reach more fish.
Bass fishing can be good here, and relies mostly on the population of largemouth bass that appreciate the shallow and weedy shorelines. They can grow to nice size here.
Lures that imitate smaller fish, crayfish and other prey should get the job done, especially from mid-spring, throughout summer and into early fall, when these fish are most active in warmer water.
Taylor has a good population of sunfish, including the common bluegill and a nice number of the less-often found redear sunfish. Sunfish bite well on natural baits fished below a bobber, often close to shore or weeds, especially during the hotter months. They also can be fun to catch on flies and during spawning season will lash out at lures fished near their nests.
Other species of warmwater fish found in the Columbia River system may also appear in your catch now and then.
From Interstate 84, take Exit 82 on the north end of The Dalles and then follow River Road and River Trail Way to the lake.