As temperatures cool, fishing remains strong |

As temperatures cool, fishing remains strong

Brody Henderson

The summer fishing season is winding down in Vail Valley, but the trout are still biting on local rivers and creeks.

With the end of the busy summer season, area fisheries are now seeing less pressure than in recent weeks. Anglers will find an easier time locating good fishing spots to wade into on the Eagle River and less boats using the more popular ramps on the Colorado River.

Late summer and early fall bring predictable fishing with low, clear water hatches of small mayflies and fat trout in great condition. Early mornings and evenings provide the best bite while hot, windy afternoons may be tough on the angler. Anytime cloudy. calm weather prevails, the trout will eat eagerly both below and on the water’s surface. Soon the first cold, frosty nights will really bring on a fall feeding frenzy.

Here are the latest fishing reports from Vail Valley Anglers:

Eagle River

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The fishing on the Eagle has been great as the cooler temperatures at night and in the morning have kept water temps lower than a typical August. The low flows are ideal for wade fishing. The fishing pressure on the Eagle has reduced significantly. For the most success, avoid fishing during the middle of the day as the water temps are the warmest and the fish are the least active that time of day.

Larger golden stones have been hatching at night, so larger golden stone nymphs are working efficiently as well as large attractor patterns on the surface. Throughout the day, the fish are keying in on smaller midges down deep below the surface. Smaller beadhead baetis patterns trailed by midges are the go-to this time of year. For dry-fly anglers, small terrestrials are beginning to become a factor on the Eagle. Ant patterns have been working well and also larger hoppers and golden stone dry flies.

Colorado River

The Colorado has been fishing very well as we move into the dog days of summer. Water temps have been cooler and the fish have been actively eating on and below the surface. Target the faster water and riffle areas as the fish are found in the most oxygenated areas this time of year. During the heat of the day when the hatches have slowed down, target deeper pools with smaller baetis patterns. Hopper dropper rigs have been working well, with large attractors on the surface and smaller nos. 16-20 bead-head patterns below the hoppers. Tricos have been coming off in the mornings followed by Red Quills throughout the day. PMDS and BWOs are hatching off and on. The streamer bite has been great on cloudy and rainy days.

Roaring Fork River

The Fork is fishing great this time of year as the flows are low and the water definition is excellent. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to get out there. Watch out for warm water in the middle of the day and make sure to take care of the fish as we are in the hottest time of year. Tricos and midges are pouring off the Fork in numbers throughout the day. They are followed by BWOs on cloudy days and PMDs on warmer days. Dry dropper rigs are working great this time of year. Now is a great time to explore the Fork whether floating or wading as the water is easy to read and the fish are hungry.


The dry-fly fishing on the creek has been great. Target the faster water with small dry flies imitatingcaddis, small terrestrials or Baetis. Look for deeper holes to nymph with small bead heads and midges. Smaller streamers and leeches are a great option, too, especially when the sun isn’t out. Try Cross Creek, Deep Creek, Brush Creek or the upper Piney.

Brody Henderson is a senior guide at Vail Valley Anglers in Edwards and can be reached at 970-926-0900.

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