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Vail Valley fishing report

Miles Comeau
Vail, CO Colorado
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It’s true, fall is here. And if you haven’t noticed it’s beautiful outside. There is an abundance of gold, orange, and crimson everywhere. The air is crisp and you can’t complain that it’s too hot, because it’s near perfect.

The brook trout are spawning and the browns are not far behind. Their colors are absolutely stunning this time of year. Brilliant glowing orange and hints of blue make them look almost exotic. Just to catch one in person is worth every effort.

On the upper Piney River, above the lake, the brook trout are abundant and not exactly picky on what to eat. They are easily spooked, but a moderate casting distance will solve that. Try fishing small stimulators for the dries and tiny pheasant tails and hairs ears for the droppers. Keep in mind the marshy willows along the upper Piney are stomping grounds to several large moose. Be mindful of their space or they could remind you.



The Eagle is fishing extremely well right now. Flows are at 114 cubic feet per square inch (CFS) with good clarity despite the occasional rain. There is some construction at the waste-water treatment plant that will muddy up the Eagle from there to about the Interstate 70 hole.

Keep your eye out for the autumn sedge caddis. These are large flies. A swisher PMX in about a size No. 6-4 or orange stimulator caddis in a 6-4 should imitate well. Fishing subsurface nymphs in chartreuse, orange and red have been very productive. Fish the fast riffles and quick pocket water for best results.



The Gore is fishing well for early fall. Flows are at 33 CFS and water clarity is lost quickly with any moderate amount of rain. As water temperatures drop, expect to see more baetis and tricos emerging. Spent tricos, micro mayflies, and of course emerging blue wing olives are great flies.

The upper Colorado is a great fishery and fishes very strongly for the next few months. Flows are at 1,120 CFS with good water clarity. One of the greatest features of this river is that the fish are not as leader-shy as most rivers in our area. If you feel like fishing whatever, dries, nymphs, streamers, there is a good chance it will catch fish. With water temperatures dropping keep your eyes peeled for fall caddis and baetis.

Gore Canyon is amazing this time of year for fall colors as well as quality fishing. The browns seem to become more aggressive as temperatures cool and day light dwindles. Casting a mouse pattern is extremely fun and brown trout love the mouse and take this fly with a lot of attitude.



On a side note, thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the Eagle River Cleanup. Without members of our community taking the time and putting forth the effort needed, this would not have been possible.

Mile Comeau is a guide for Alpine River Outfitters in Edwards. He can be contacted at (970) 926-0900.


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