Fishing good as fall nears
Fishing conditions have remained very stable during the past week.
Local trout streams continue to produce good fishing. The fishing will remain good and even get better as we transition from hot summer afternoons to cooler fall days. The first couple of frosts seem to always create a flurry of feeding activity. Soon, the leaves will begin changing and that is always a signal pointing anglers to get out there for some great fly-fishing on the Eagle and Colorado rivers.
Flows on the Upper Colorado near Pumphouse Recreation Area are higher than average and the water is now cooler, fairly clear and fishing is good. The trout are enjoying the conditions and feeding well. The river below State Bridge has been less crowded and the hopper bite has been on. The trout in this section are gravitating toward faster riffles. Sporadic hatches of tricos, red quills, and BWOs are keeping the trout feeding. Hoppers and ants are now a major food source. The most effective way to fish this part of the Colorado is from a drift boat or raft. Streamer fishing has been picking up, especially when cloudy conditions prevail. Covering water can be essential to a successful day.
The Lower Colorado River was muddied recently but should clear below Glenwood Springs and the fishing is good. This is an option that most float anglers overlook in the summertime, but this stretch is fishing well and holds some very large browns and rainbows. Tricos and midges are all on the menu in addition to grasshoppers and ants catching some bigger fish. Streamers are working during cloudy conditions as fish begin targeting big meals in preparation for the spawn and winter. Floating is by far the most effective way to fish this stretch.
Conditions are good for area wade anglers on the Eagle River from Minturn to Gypsum. The river below Wolcott may muddy up after heavy afternoon thunderstorms. There still are a few micro-caddis hatching in the morning along with tricos and some midges and BWOs are appearing as well. The fish continue taking dries regularly, although nymphing deeper runs with midge and small mayfly emergers is now the most productive method of fishing. The Eagle River’s trout have mostly migrated to deeper water where they will spend the next several months. The fishing during the next week should be good. Watch for things to become more technical with low water and trout that have seen quite a few flies so far this summer. Smaller flies will become standard as hatches wane and BWOs and midges become more important in late summer. The river in Eagle-Vail has been very good.
Gore Creek is low and clear and conditions are very good for wading. A stealthy approach is necessary as the trout are wary after summer of being targeted by fishermen. Nymphing slower runs has been very effective, and dry dropper rigs are working well near the banks and in slower pockets. There are still some caddis hatching. Midges and BWOs are also on the menu. The creek in East Vail has been fishing well as has the stretch below Lionshead. In this area, there is a good chance of landing the coveted Grand Slam of four species of trout. Gore Creek is ideal for the active angler who enjoys covering water and throwing attractor dry flies.
Get out there and enjoy the last days of summer and the fine angling Vail Valley has to offer. All too soon we’ll be missing this warm weather. For up to the minute advice on fishing and fly choices, stop by Vail Valley Anglers. Don’t forget to check out the huge Labor Day sale going on this weekend.
Brody Henderson is a senior guide with Vail Valley Anglers and can be reached at 970-926-0900.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.