Seeking out the best fishing options in Eagle County
Fly-fishing conditions in Eagle County have improved rapidly during the last few days.
After enduring delayed and an extended high water runoff season, local and visiting anglers are chomping at the bit. Most area rivers finally peaked and have begun to drop and clear, and the fishing is about to break loose for the summer. While our fisheries are now in much better shape than just a week ago, both wade fishermen and floating anglers should still use caution and approach high water with respect.
The Eagle is probably one of the best options out there right for area fly-fishermen. The river is clear and dropping fast. Soon, the dependable summer caddis hatch will begin and dry fly fishing opportunities will sky rocket. Water levels are now conducive to floating the Eagle and wade fishermen should find success wherever they can access slower currents.
Hot Flies: Tan Stimulator, Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear and Vanilla Buggers.
The Colorado River is still high and flowing well above average. Float fishing is the best option here but boaters should use extreme caution while floating between Pumphouse and Rancho del Rio. Wade fisherman may struggle to find safe water to access. Most fish are being landed with large stonefly nymphs and streamers.
Hot Flies: Fly Formerly Known as Prince,Halfback Nymph, Tequeely Steamer.
Some of the best fly-fishing in the area is happening at higher elevations where high water is not as big of a problem. Homestake Creek has reliably been producing steady catches of 10-12-inch brown trout. Similar success has been found at Camp Hale and Black Lakes. For anglers with boats who want to avoid big whitewater, a trip to Sylvan Lake will be worth the effort.
Hot flies: Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail, Olive Buggers, Adams Parwulff.
Look for other fisheries to also improve greatly in the next week or so. As more high elevation snow melts, hiking into areas such as the upper Piney or Missouri Lakes will offer anglers a backcountry trout fishery in a beautiful mountain setting. The Roaring Fork River is dropping and the famous Green Drake Hatch should begin just when the river becomes fishable. Gore Creek will become a great choice for wade fishermen and upper Gore Creek near East Vail should already have trout willing to eat a fly.
Need fly-fishing gear advice? Looking to learn what flies are working, where to fish in the Vail area or experience a float fishing trip? Stop by the Vail Valley Anglers fly shop in Edwards or book a guided fly fishing trip with us online.
Brody Henderson is a senior guide at Vail Valley Anglers in Edwards. He 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.