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Vail Valley fishing report

Miles Comeau
Vail, CO Colorado
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You have to love the Colorado weather.-

It’s a place we can ski in June, golf in January, and flyfish year-round. It’s a place where four awesome seasons keep us on our toes.-

It’s now July, and the waders are in the closet and replaced by Teva sandals and shorts.-The fish are eating dry flies and getting out after work is habit-forming. At the office, you find yourself thinking of that fish you missed last night, thinking of what you might do tonight to fool that fish again. Well we won’t keep you; here’s what we know: -• If you’re fishing the Gore, think PMD. Water clarity is great and flows are improving daily and seem almost perfect. As of Wednesday, the Gore Creek is at a steady 163 cubioc feet per second (CFS).

There is an abundance of food and the hatches have been thick making dry flyfishing tricky. Look for a few caddis hatches to come here and there. But take note of BWOs and PMDs as they seem to litter the surface.-

Most of the heavy hatches are taking place on the lower Gore and should be arriving on the upper portion any day now.

The thickest of hatches have been taking off about 11 a.m. and dying about 2 p.m. A second smaller hatch has been taking place in the evening near 6 and going until dark.-

Choice flies right now are emerging variations of BWOs and PMDs. Barr’s emerger PMD and BWO in sizes 18-20 are working well. The para-foam versions for dry are great too. The foam helps visibility in lowlight.

Look for fish in deep pockets or slow riffles. Once flows near 100 CFS, expect to find fish moving more.

• The Eagle River has been great for several weeks now. With flows less than 300 CFS, pocket water has been growing with each day. Look for rocks that create back eddies and seam lines where slow and fast currents meet. As water levels drop, expect more pockets and seams to emerge and others to disappear.

Dry fly patterns have changed to small caddis, PMDs and yellowsallies with big hoppers on the lower Eagle. As days keep getting warmer, expect to see more terrestrials such as ants, beetles and crickets.

Hatches are consistent with a few in the morning and the large hatches in the early to mid-afternoon followed by a dusk hatch.-

Hot flies for the Eagle include: Extended body PMDs and headlight yellow sallies in sizes 14-18, Turks tarantula and small foam hoppers sizes 6-10.

Wading is no longer a death wish, but anglers should use caution whenever wade fishing. The Eagle is comparable to walking over moss covered bowling balls.

• The Roaring Fork is on fire. With flows at 1,340 CFS, water levels are great. The green drakes are prominent from Glenwood Springs to Carbondale.

If there was ever a time to hit the Roaring Fork, it would be now. Green drakes drive many anglers insane – if not mad – and now is the time to capitalize on some of the best dry fly action around.

Caddis and yellow Sallies are a great food source with the occasional PMD. Keep your eye out for golden stone flies too.-

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


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