Local waters run high as fishing season picks up
With the official arrival of summer this week local trout fisheries remain on the high side due to extremely warm weather that has melted the remaining snow pack at a faster than normal rate.
Although this had led to challenging fishing conditions, trout are transitioning into their more active summer feeding patterns as insect hatches intensify. During the next week, river levels are expected to drop as continued hot weather diminishes the snowpack. Look for the fishing to really pick up on the Eagle River and conditions to get better on the Colorado. We’re just days away from some of the best fishing of the entire year in Vail Valley.
The Eagle River is moving at higher than average flows this week but is running extremely clear. Floating is a possibility on the lower river between Eagle and Dotsero but the upper river is currently still above the level float fishermen prefer. Wading anglers should still use caution while fishing the Eagle’s deep, fast water. Look for slower water along seams and banks. Streamers and deep nymph rigs are the most effective techniques right now but dry dropper rigs are beginning to produce better with each passing day. We’re seeing a few caddis flies emerging and the big hatch should get underway any day.
Hot Flies: Pink Worms, Tan Pat’s Rubberlegs, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear, Peacock PMX, Tan Sculpzilla
The Colorado River is offering anglers some pretty good fishing currently. The water is still high but running clear from Pumphouse down to below State Bridge. Float fishermen are at a distinct advantage on this big river with the ability to cover more water looking for slower current and bubble lines. Streamers, dry flies and nymphs are all catching fish. Due to ideal water temperatures, insect hatches are very consistent on the Colorado River with good numbers of Pale Morning Dun Mayflies, Caddis and some smaller stoneflies. Expect an early start to the hopper season with the recent warm and dry weather.
Hot Flies: Barr’s PMD Emerger, Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Brown Pat’s Rubberleg, Yellow Chubby Chernobyl, Patriot, Bite-Me Buggers
Homestake Creek is fishing very well right now for anglers searching for smaller waters. The Frying Pan is also giving lots of trout but arrive early and expect company from other fishermen. Sylvan Lake is a great stillwater option with good hatches of Callibaetis mayflies and excellent dry fly fishing for cutthroats, brookies and rainbows.
Look for fishing conditions to improve dramatically over the next week. The Roaring Fork River should become a solid option with the possibility for a strong Green Drake hatch beginning as flows drop. As river levels recede, the upper Eagle will also add miles of fishable water for anglers from Minturn down to Wolcott.
For detailed fishing reports, hot flies or to book a guided fly fishing trip, swing by the Vail Valley Anglers Fly Shop in the Riverwalk Center in Edwards.
Brody Henderson is a senior guide with Vail Valley Anglers. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.
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