It’s a fabulous Fourth for fly-fishing in the Vail Valley |

It’s a fabulous Fourth for fly-fishing in the Vail Valley

Brody Henderson

Every year in the Vail Valley, the week of the Fourth of July is an exciting time for local fly fishermen and this year is no exception.

All of our area rivers and creeks are dropping and running clear. Insect hatches are thick and keeping trout feeding throughout the day. The options for anglers are endless and the fly-fishing is great throughout central Colorado.

Small High Country creeks are now accessible for adventurous anglers seeking solitude and scenery while larger rivers are producing some of the best float fishing to be found anywhere in the West. Best of all, this is the time dry fly purists look forward to all year.

Colorado River

As flows continue to drop towards more ideal levels, conditions are improving on the Colorado River in a big way. The water is now down out of the willows for the most part, making fishing along the banks much easier. The fishing is very good between Pumphouse and Dotsero 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 the lower water. Nymphing or streamer fishing is the go-to method in the morning while the dry fly-fishing is picking up later in the day. Good hatches of PMDs, some early grasshoppers and some caddis are keeping the trout feeding throughout the day. Look for risers in eddies and along bubble lines.

Eagle River

Fishing conditions on the Eagle are improving daily and float season is here. The dry fly-fishing is on fire with caddis, PMDs 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. For anglers looking for some very big trout, head downstream towards Gypsum. This year’s crop of giant’s are eating very well down there. Just bring some bug spray for the mosquitoes.

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 improving daily and hatches are getting thicker with Green Drakes, Caddis, PMDs and yellow sallies all part of the menu. The dry fly fishing this week will be outstanding. With the very warm weather afternoon fishing may slow down but so far water temperatures are still ideal and the fish are eating all day long. Power hour just before dark has been incredible.

High Country Fly-Fishing

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. Fly choice is simple and a basic selection of bushy attractor dry flies and beadhead nymphs will get the job done. Best bets are the upper Piney, Homestake Creek and Cross Creek.

Enjoy the fireworks on and off the water this week. Keep in mind Vail Valley Anglers is offering a Free Introduction to Fly-fishing Class daily at our fly shop in the Riverwalk Center in Edwards. This is a great way to learn the basics of fly-fishing. To book a guided fly-fishing trip or for up to the minute river reports with information on hatches and hot fly patterns swing by the shop or give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk fishing. Happy Fourth from Vail Valley Anglers.

Brody Henderson is a senior guide at Vail Valley Angelrs. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.

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