Vail Valley fishing report
Vail, CO Colorado
Any angler who has ever been in love knows that that fly fishing often comes in a close second if not a dead-even tie when it comes to significant others.
And in some cases, that love is benched for their first true love, fly fishing.
Jimmy Moore got it right when he said “Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.”
Sometimes, if not often, balancing the two presents trouble. I know this has been my experience, especially when green drakes are coming off the Frying Pan or salmon flies are hatching on the upper Colorado.
As Arnold Gingrich said “Flyfishing is the most fun you can have standing up.”
During the heat of the summer, rain is no excuse to sit at home. Fishing one day in the rain can sometimes be better than the entire month of July. Rain is probably the best excuse to call in sick and go fishing.
With rain comes cloud cover and like most fish trout tend to eat better on overcast days. And with the record high heat we have had this summer, rain is a sure guarantee that fishing will pick up.
In Wolcott this week water temps reached 73 degrees and that should explain all the people swimming at the climbing rock campground and the significant increase of inner tubers bouncing down the Eagle from the treatment plant in Edwards to Yacht Club in Wolcott.
If you’re reading this you should be hoping for more rain. It is desperately needed, not only for the fishing but the wildlife as well. Bears are leaving the high country and moving into neighborhoods in search for food due to the dry conditions and lack of natural food sources.
In my neighborhood, within the last three mornings I have seen trashcans overturned and garbage that has been strewn through parking lots as an effort by bears to find food.
Trout are struggling to stay alive in water that is greater than 70 degrees and all anglers should move to high lakes and streams where water temps are running low and fish can recover from being caught. Besides we only have a month or two left where fishing is good up high.
Literally take a hike and see something new. Fishing the high country will give you a chance to escape the crowds and catch lively cutthroats and brook trout that we don’t normally see in lower elevation streams.
If you can’t take the time to fish up high, please take the time to resuscitate your fish and make sure they can swim off to be caught another day. Playing fish in warm water is not the best idea.
Get the fish to the bank as quickly as possible and release them promptly. If water temperatures drop in the Eagle, fishing will not affect the survival of the trout. Take the time to consider the amazing natural resource we have in our backyard and help us to keep it healthy and pristine.
Look for fish in the deep holes and fast water. Water temps are cooler in both places and the quicker water is more oxygenated, which are two requirements for trout survival. Begin fishing in the early morning hours to avoid warm water temps.
Using long leaders with lots of split shot, 5X leaders, tiny mayflies, midges and emerger patterns in size 18-22 will be most productive. When water temps begin to stay consistently cool, the rivers will start to host hatches of larger insects with the exception of terrestrials, like ants and grasshoppers which are largely abundant.
Miles Comeau is a guide for Alpine Rover Outfitters. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.