Its Cold!!!! Really Cold. Despite the icy conditions fishing has been incredible if you can hit the river at the right time. winter time midges have been prolific in the afternoon. Blue wings are also a great year round choice. Prepare to be de-icing your flies, leader, and rod guides, a small price to pay to catch some beautiful winter time eagle river trout.
It’s that time of year again to start being selective with holes. There’s ice on the river but anywhere you see open slow water, you will see noses; at least in the afternoons! Your best bet for hooking trout is to fish the nymph rig, though you don’t just have to follow a bobber all day (maybe just part of it.) Start your day around 11 with a solid nymph rig consisting of an attention getting lead fly – #12-16 prince nymph, pheasant tail, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Oregon Cheese egg. Follow that with one to two small midges or baetis. Anything in an #18-24 that expresses emergence – zebra midge, juju baetis, soft hackle emergers, chocolate, purple or olive thunder. As the day continues and you start to see more bugs and fish activity, switch to an attractor dry or pinch-on palsa indicator. Fish those same small bugs right under the surface or throw on a #6 split shot to have your bugs hovering. The fish in the column will certainly key in. If your bugs move at all…. it’s a fish!
The Eagle is finally getting some rain which is making our fish friends very happy. With that said the fishing has been great and nymphing will be the key at this point in the year. For your dry fly die hards, we still have trico hatches and other mayflies coming off at the moment so throwing a dry fly is still going to work for the short term. Get it in while you can because winter fishing is coming at us fast with snow on the forecast.
We are getting into fall fishing which is a great time to start throwing streamers. We are also seeing a lot of caddis and so when you see risers it can be very effective to target them with a dry. If they won’t take an elk hair caddis trail a BWO dry off the back and you should see some success. Water temperatures are starting to cool down as we are getting colder nights, but we should still be conscious of them towards the afternoon.
The fishing has been great this week! Unfortunately the water is still low and the temps are still reaching above 65 degrees. With that said we should all continue to keep an eye out on the temps and get out bright and early. Both inline nymphing and dry droppers have been very effective right now. Remember at the end of your drift to work a nice swing and you can pick up fish that are sitting in front of rocks. If you can keep a natural presentation in your drift chances are your going to hook up. Good luck! Baetis, Yellow Sallies and PMD’s are all in play right now.
The eagle river is dropping fast but the fishing is still spectacular. This is definitely a time of year where thermometers are a must as the water temps are rishing fast by mid day. If one expects to get a sold day of fishing, you will need to be on the water by 5:30 or 6 am. A good tactic would be to fish the lower eagle in the morning and as temperatures increase throughout the day work your way up stream towards the town of Avon and even into Minturn. The Upper Eagle as well as the smaller creeks have been producing very well on the dry fly. Yellow Sallies, PMD’s, Caddis and Baetis are all in play.
The Eagle has been on fire as of late. Flows at Avon are holding at 338 cfs and water clarity has been crystal clear. All in all a perfect recipe for bug activity in the mornings and evenings. Speaking of evenings, getting out late and fishing until will be your best bet with temps still rising in the mid day. Anglers will be well served focusing on the faster moving water and riffles. Bug activity has been consisting of yellow sally nymphs, all sizes and colors of caddis but black, grey and olive have been consistent producers. Pmd’s are starting to show and should kick into gear within the next week or two , be sure to have a soft hackle pheasant tail with you as its just a matter of time. That magic time of year on The Eagle is a little early this year and we are in full swing catching fish on every thing from dries, nymphs, streamers and swung wets.
The river is fishing well and sitting at 1160 cfs and we are past peak runoff, which is unseasonably early for runoff peak. With temps hovering around the low to mid 50’s, bug activity is mainly consisting of Caddis, Blue winged olive’s, and midges. Expect Yellow Sallies and PMD’s to show up in large numbers soon. Other flies that have been working include worm imitations, pats rubber legs among other stone fly patterns. Basic suggestive patterns such as pheasant tails, hares ears, copper johns, and prince nymphs have been holding their own in the rotation as well. When the caddis are coming off working some sort of emerger or pupae can also be very effective. All sections of the Eagle have been fishing well. Remember, run-off has not subsided yet, wade safely, use a wading staff and belt, and don’t go in over your belly button!
Fishing has remained consistently good above Alkali Creek and Mill Creek in Edwards. It’s a gamble downstream but streamers and worm patterns normally rewards the bold ones who venture to the dirty water. There are lot’s of bugs coming off now so the diet is starting to spread out. Sorry crew, no more midge/bwo combos and guaranteed success! Though those are still catching fish, mix it in with little black stoneflies, caddis larva and pupa. Pat’s Rubber Legs and 20 Inchers have made great lead flies, as have any version of larger (12-16) Euro nymphs. The spawn has started so please please please STAY OFF THE REDDS and watch where you walk!