Vail Valley Summer Fly Fishing Report
Are you heading to Vail this weekend to catch the Teva Mountain Games and to fish the Eagle while you are in the Valley? If so, you are in luck because both are expected to be out of this world this weekend!
Minturn Anglers guides have won Teva gold in fly fishing the last two years (Brandon Soucie 2010, our fly shop manager 2011) and are both back this year to make it three in a a row! The fishing this year will most likely take place on the Eagle River because it is absolutely on fire! Be sure to check out the write up in today’s Denver Post about the Teva Games 2 Fly Competition and/or visit the Teva Games Website.
Fly Fishing in the Vail Valley is something of an unkown to most in Denver as we often drive right past it heading to the Roaring Fork, Frying Pan or drive just as far to fish 11 Mile Canyon or the Dream Stream.
Make it Your 2012 Summer Goal to Broaden Your Fly Fishing Horizons! The Vail Valley offers some of the best fly fishing in the State and is usually pretty easy fishing for even the novice angler.
By now you have probably heard this is going to be a great fly fishing year. Here is why….
High water is a very good thing for any fishery. The last two years we have seen record runoffs in Colorado. High water keeps water cool throughout the summer, opens up new habitat, kicks a lot of food around and allows a greater number of fish to thrive. As a result of the last 2 years, we have been left with some very healthy fisheries on our Colorado freestone rivers.
While high water is great for the fishery, it is often not the easiest to fish. This year however, we barely have a runoff. This means clear fishable water during hatches that in the last 2 years the fish never noticed and lots of big healthy fish as result of the last couple years. We definitely don’t want to many of these low water years in a row, but make sure to take advantage of this one!
Caddis are popping on the lower river from Gypsum to Eagle and should be all the way to Edwards by the weekend. The 50 degree water mark is key. The Eagle has a caddis hatch which rivals any river and remains steady through the end of June. Good wade fishing access exists through Avon, Edwards, Below Wolcott and around Eagle. Public and private is pretty well marked on the Eagle but it is your responsibility to know the difference. A dry dropper or double dry set up is the way to go on the Eagle. Our favorite Dry Dropper rig is a #14 Pear and Elk Caddis with a Guide’s Choice Hare’s ear below it. If you are fishing double dries lead with a #14-16 Pearl and Elk Caddis and Trail it with a #16-18 X2 Caddis.
This is a Gold Medal fishery that runs through the middle of Vail and joins the Eagle at Dowds Junction downstream of Minturn. Epic BWO hatches have been seen this Spring and the Caddis hatch is also great on the Gore. This is a great place to sight fish dries to fish that can push 20 inches. Try the 173 Vail Exit and park at Donevan Park. Good access exists via a bike patch which parallels the river. The same Eagle river setup mentioned above will work well here as well.
The Colorado is also a short hop from the Vail area. From Vail head west on 1-70 to Wolcott and take the Wolcott exit and head North on 131 to State Bridge. The Salmon fly hatch was great this year and fish are still looking for the big bug. The Colorado is currently flowing at 350 CFS which is unheard of this time of year. For the wade fisherman, this means easy access to a variety of different spots which are harder to reach. Be sure to come armed with some big salmon flies, pat’s rubberlegs, prince nymphs, and a vareity of stimulators in size 12-18. Hopper’s are also starting to bring fish up!