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Vail Valley fishing report

Blake Knisely
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado –The weather here in Colorado’s Vail Valley during the past week has been unseasonably cool with temperatures dipping down into the low 30s some nights. I personally wouldn’t mind another two weeks of warm summer sunshine and weather, but the fish sure don’t seem to mind the cooler- than- aver-age weather and water temperatures. These cooler temperatures really can bring the bugs to life … and the fish are responding well to the cool-down. They love the bug activity that it’s producing and so do the anglers in the area. Fly selection this time of year is very crucial, as there are numerous mayflies on the water, along with the linger-ing caddis and even a few stoneflies. Our selections seem to get smaller and smaller in size with each passing week, and the cur-rent time is no exception to that rule. That’s not to say that larger bugs won’t work, but typically, smaller flies attached to smaller tippets are the most productive due to the gin-clear water clarity and low flows.

This is the time of year when the mayflies are in their prime, and the fish take full notice! Blue-winged olives and pale-morn-ing duns, both mayflies, become the main fare for these fish: the BWOs being more of an a.m. or early-afternoon snack, while we’ve been seeing phenomenal PMD hatches in the evenings on both the Col-orado River and the Eagle River. Another fly that these fish focus on is called trico: This is also another species of mayfly, usually black and tiny in size, that the fish drop everything for … and they do nothing but sip these bugs if you’re able to time it right. I can’t give away the precise timing for this, as one of my favorite hatches of the year may be spoiled by the crowds that the infor-mation may attract. However, if you’re able to sneak into the shop to take a look at my daily schedule, my “off” hours may give you a good indication. These hatches can sometimes last only minutes up to an hour or two. But if you’re able to time it right, it’s proven to provide a truly memorable minute/hour/day on the water where the fish do nothing but eat your tiny offering every time.

Whatever your approach, get out on the water and observe what’s going on around you. Look at the bugs in the air, and literally try to “match the hatch”: This is one of the most challenging pieces of the puzzle for fly fishermen to solve and really is the fun part … usually it’s more fun when you’re able to trick nature (the trout), but if you don’t suc-ceed, try, try again until you get it right!


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