Headwaters of the Eagle River rise in Eagle County near the continental divide in the southwestern part of the state then the water travels some 60 miles before it joins with the Colorado River at Dotsero. The appealing aspect of this river is that it has no dams throughout its entire length, making it one of only two free flowing rivers in Colorado. Native Americans named this river the Eagle River, saying that it had more tributaries than an eagle has feathers. Avid fly fisherman and women know that the size of the river and the size of the fish it contains increases with each new tributary.
I consider myself lucky to have such easy access to the Eagle River. In fact, every time I visit the Minturn Angler’s fly shop in Minturn I simply have to look out their back window to admire these waters running right through their backyard!
Upstream the Eagle offers typical small stream fly fishing opportunities as it flows through open meadows, beaver ponds and canyon stretches near Redcliff and Gilman. In the quieter waters, trout love going after attractor dries. In Minturn itself, I often use dry and dropper rigs in the summer for some of the best ever Eagle River fishing.
Talk to staff at Minturn Anglers in Minturn for directions to any of the many awesome fishing points downstream from Minturn, especially after Gore Creek joins up with the Eagle at Dowd’s Junction. Pocket water in this area is loaded with rainbow and browns in the 12 to 14 inch range and even larger. A spot behind Patty’s Restaurant in Vail is very productive, as is the rest stop behind the Riverwalk shopping center. The boat ramp in Edwards offers easy access to Eagle waters loaded with trout throughout the year.
For a more unique experience on the Eagle, I hooked up with one of the guides from Minturn Anglers to explore over 5 miles of private waters. Access to these waters by special arrangement means an exclusive and memorable fly fishing experience. I enjoyed every minute of my time on the Eagle!