Summer fishing stays great; options abound
July 14, 2016
There is no shortage of great fly-fishing options this week in the Vail area.
From alpine creeks to big rivers, our local trout are feeding well. River levels are dropping fast and float fishermen will have to concentrate on the Roaring Fork or Colorado, while wading anglers have much better access to the trout in the Eagle River. Dry fly fishing remains excellent. Morning fishing is a good choice to beat the heat and wind in the afternoon.
Flows and water temperatures are ideal and fishing conditions on the Colorado River couldn't be better with the current clear water and feeding trout. The fishing is very good between Pumphouse and Dotesero right now. The best fly-fishing options are happening from a drift boat or raft on a float trip, but wading opens are getting better with lower water. Nymphing and streamer fishing is very good early in the morning, with dry fly action heating up by mid-morning. Big hopper patterns are a great choice in the afternoon. Good hatches of Pale Morning Duns and some caddis are keeping the trout feeding throughout the day. Look for risers in eddies and along bubble lines. Watch out for the wind in the afternoon.
Flows are dropping fast with the warm, dry weather, but fishing conditions on the Eagle are ideal and both float and wade fishermen are enjoying the best fishing of the year. Float season is nearly over for the season on the Eagle. The Eagle is crystal clear and flows are dropping daily, which means float season will conclude soon without some rain. The trout are in incredible shape and fighting hard. The dry fly fishing is on fire with caddis, Pale Morning Duns and yellow sallies hatching. Wading conditions are also much better this week, as flows drop. Now is the time to fish the Eagle. The entire river is clear and fish are rising all day long. Mornings offer good caddis hatches and afternoons bring a solid Pale Morning Dun hatch.
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Roaring Fork River
The Fork is clear and flows are dropping fast into the sweet spot for float fishermen and more water is reachable by wading anglers. The fishing is consistently very good and hatches are still thick with Green Drakes on the upper river while Caddis, Pale Morning Duns and yellow sallies are present throughout the length of the river. With the very warm weather, afternoon fishing may slow down when it is hot and windy. This is the best time of year to experience the thick hatches and big rising trout of the Roaring Fork. By far, the best way to fish the Fork right now is to cover water from a drift boat or raft.
The fly-fishing on Gore Creek is excellent this week. The water is crystal clear and caddis are hatching. Look for trout willing to eat a dry dropper rig in bankside pockets. Dry dropper fishing and covering water will produce good numbers. Try the lower portion of Gore Creek for a shot at the Colorado trout Grand Slam. All four species of trout can be caught in a single day on Gore Creek. The lower part of Gore Creek is designated a gold medal fishery and is home to some larger trout than anglers commonly catch on a small stream.
High Country Fly-Fishing
Hit the High Country creeks and escape the crowds on the more popular lower- elevation fisheries. The High Country fly-fishing is getting better and better with each passing day as creek levels drop. Lake fishing is very good right now and hiking into creeks is also good option, since the warm weather has melted much of the remaining high-elevation snow. Attractor dry flies and beadhead droppers will fool nearly any High Country cutthroat or brookie. Try Cross Creek, the upper Piney or Deep Creek.
Contact Vail Valley Anglers for up-to-the-minute fishing reports or to book a guided fly-fishing trip.
Brody Henderson is a senior guide for Vail Valley Anglers and can be reached at 970-926-0900.