Vail Valley fishing report
Vail, CO Colorado
This winter was a rough one in terms of our snowpack. After being spoiled rotten with above average snowfall the past few seasons, followed by the fact that we can remember every powder day this year and probably count them on one hand, many anglers have racked their skis, dusted off the rod and taken advantage of the more-than-exceptional fishing this spring.
And they can’t be blamed – it’s been that good.
As winter quickly dwindles away and warmer weather supersedes the cold, it’s time to gear up and get out. If you haven’t gone through your checklist or don’t have one, here is our top five for a successful day on the river.
• Layering: Colorado is notorious for changing weather. During spring runoff, it is possible to have 60-degree days followed by freak snowstorms. Anticipate cooler weather in the morning and nice weather throughout the day. But don’t think it can’t change in a moment’s notice. The weather forecast may be a prediction of future developments, but honestly, who can predict the future?
• Polarized glasses: It is true people have fished without glasses for centuries. And it is more the Indian than the arrow when it comes to catching fish. Polarized eyewear cuts the glare on top of water and allows you to see to your target. In addition, it protects your eyes from harmful UV rays that normal sunglasses can’t stop. Lastly, if you still haven’t borrowed a pair or at least bought a cheap pair of polarized sunglasses, anything is better than nothing. Sunglasses help keep things out of your eyes. Think about swinging a No. 4 streamer into your orbital.
• Sun block: By now, most everyone is aware of the harmful effects of the sun. If you are willing to protect your eyes from the sun, protect your skin. There is nothing worse than being more ruby red than the rainbow trout you are trying to catch. How are you going to focus on fishing when your skin feels like its boiling?
• Bugs: Know your bugs. Awareness of what is hatching, when they might hatch and what has hatched is key in catching fish. Always visit your local fly shop, ask a few questions about what’s been hot, and pick up some bugs before you head out on the water.
• Attitude: If you approach your day on the water as a day better spent fishing, (regardless of the catching) than working, watching T.V. or completing your honey-do’s, then it’ll be a great day no matter what. After all, most of us do this because it’s a great escape to leave your world behind and get lost in your attempt to understand the intricacies of a trout’s mind. Make the most of your day, live in the moment and watch time fly … don’t get caught up on catching (pun intended).
On our local waters, spring has made its arrival official. BWOs are abundant and golden stone nymphs are actively growing in size. Rainbow trout have almost finished spawning and brown trout fry are starting to hatch.
Water levels are rising every day and before we know it, we will be floating the Eagle once again. At the time of this writing, the Eagle River is flowing at 232 cubic feet per second (CFS), the Gore Creek is flowing at 43 CFS and the upper Colorado River is sitting below 600 CFS.