Vail Valley fishing report
Vail, CO Colorado
If you’re an angler here in the Valley and you haven’t noticed yet, the rivers are finally clearing and, although the flows are still high, they can offer phenomenal early-season fishing.
The rivers in the area look to have finally reached their peak and are slowly receding each day. The water temperatures on the Eagle River are still a little cool (between 40-50 degrees) for the fish to be super active, but we’re still having great success floating and fishing the streamer.-
The air temperatures this past week have also stayed cool which has caused the Eagle to clear significantly.-We would hate to gamble with Mother Nature and claim that we’ve already seen the highest water of the season, but we could see another small influx in flow before it drops for good.-
With this increased clarity that we’re seeing and warmer water temperatures approaching, the fishing on the Eagle should be lights out in the coming weeks.-Wading access will continue to get a little better as the water level drops and draws away from the willows, but the best way to fish the Eagle this time of year is by boat. —
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The fact that the flows only allow the Eagle to be floated safely for a short window of time should give you that sense of urgency to get out there while you can and get after these fish while they’re hungry and more eager to eat.
Gore Creek stayed big enough for the whitewater lovers to have a hay-day during the Teva Mountain Games, but also looks to have peaked and is slowly dropping and gaining clarity each day.-The stretch through East Vail is fishing best with streamers at this point, but on the lower section of the river, focus on fishing the softer, slow water behind rocks and other structure in the river.–
Where you find this type of water, you’ll also find willing fish. We’re looking forward to the Gore dropping and returning to the classic gold-medal water that it is locally known for.
The Colorado River continues to fish well after the salmonfly hatch that was featured in last week’s fishing report. The salmonflies have moved upstream for the most part, however you still may be able to get in on the tail end of the action by throwing stoneflies at fish who haven’t yet gorged themselves on these massive bugs.-
We’ve still seen some good action on the dry fly all the way down to State Bridge, but we’ll now be focused more on the golden stonefly and it’s progression, along with the caddis, for the next few weeks.-
The flows are still high and are not for the faint of heart if wading. Like the Eagle, the Colorado is also best fished from a drift boat or raft, so find a friend with a boat or visit your favorite local outfitter and get in some spring floating before it officially becomes summer on June 21.-
Blake Knisely is a guide for Alpine River Outfitters. He can be reached at 970-926-0900.
Eagle/Gore river menu: Syn tuka 4-6 olive, black and white; sculpZillas 4-6 white and black; C.H. lemon prop 4-6; caddis pupa 14-16; crawling caddis, 14-16; la fontaine sparkle pupa, 14-16; copper johns (copper, green) 14-18
Colorado River Menu: Morris foam salmon and golden 4; pat’s rubber leg black and brown 8-10; B.H. caddis 16-18; tequelly 4-6; sculpzillas white and black 4-6; syn tuka black and yellow 4-6.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.