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Vail Valley fishing report

Daily Staff Report
Newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
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With 20-year-record-breaking flows, change can be expected for the Gore Creek, Roaring Fork, Eagle and most freestone rivers, or rivers that are at the mercy of natural runoff.

Headwaters streams and creeks can also change dramatically due to the unusually high flows.

As most conscious and responsible recreational users and boaters have noticed, there is a significant amount of debris in the water and passage under most bridges can be impossible if they have not been completely washed out.



As we continue to watch and wait for water levels to recede, taking to lakes and ponds is a much safer alternative. With more than one unfortunate death this year, it is wise to wait for safer conditions.

When water flows return to reasonably safe levels, there tends to be significantly noticeable changes to the rivers. New strainers and logjams could be in places we never thought possible. Islands may have completely washed away with the likelihood that new ones will have formed elsewhere. Changes in sections of rivers may have strayed from decades of their normal course and could present new challenges in navigating these waters.



On the brighter side, there will be other positive benefits to the astonishingly-high water. The high water is nature’s way of cleaning and scouring the river clean. Silt deposits will have been moved out leaving the river with greater cover for fish in addition to cleaning rocks of moss and making holding water deeper.

Trout on the other hand will be hungrier than ever. They have evolved to handle conditions likes this and because of the volume of water currently moving, trout will be eager and ready to eat after a strenuous and sustained workout.

When flows become fishable and the water warms a little, anglers can expect increasing hatches of nearly every local aquatic insect that our mountain streams have to offer. If you missed the Mother’s Day Caddis hatch, you can expect another round of heavy Caddis hatches when the water temp warms to more than 50 degrees.



Grasshoppers are another important food source that we will begin to see as the days get hotter. These terrestrial treats pack a lot of protein and trout can’t help themselves when they accidently fall onto the water. The grasshopper as well as other terrestrial insects are favorites to fish with, as they are often imitated by big foam bugs that are fished as dry flies. Hoppers, ants, flying ants, beetles, crickets and even mice will soon be the ticket for aggressive trout looking for a big meal.

In the mean time, this time of year can be seen as a chance to discover all of the other fish species that our beautiful state has to offer. And you can catch them on a fly rod. Ever catch a Northern Pike? Or an Artic Grayling? How about a carp? These are all examples of non-trout species that exist in our area’s still-waters and streams alike.

With a little bit of research and a willingness to explore new areas of Colorado, the possibilities of catching new, hard fighting, and often times rare fish has never been better. Get out and explore some new territory and cure your itch to be on the water. Call us here at the shop for some ideas on new spots to check out.


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