Vail Valley Anglers Fishing Report
Vail Valley Anglers offers fly fishing trips year round. Yes, you can fly fish in the winter and the fishing is excellent. We have some exciting winter locations to wade and float fish within a short drive from Vail and Beaver Creek. We will provide you with all the necessary equipment and get you out on the water for one of the most memorable and scenic experiences you will have while visiting the Vail Valley. At Vail Valley Anglers, we welcome beginners and experts alike. We have a friendly, knowledgeable staff and invite you to experience one of fly fishing's best kept secrets..winter fly fishing.
You don't have to wait until summer to experience the best fly fishing Colorado has to offer. Half day wade trips are our most popular trip and allow anglers to concentrate their fishing during the warmest part of the day. Try our winter season float trip and experience one of the best kept secrets in Colorado!
The upper Colorado from Pumphouse down to Dotsero is pretty much done for a couple of months. Cold, wintry weather has locked up this section of the Colorado with ice. Fishing where there is open water is poor. Look downstream to Glenwood Springs for much better fishing.
The Lower Colorado River below Glenwood Springs is clear and fishing very well. This is an option that most float anglers overlook during the colder months but this stretch is fishing well and holds some very large browns and rainbows. Winter may be the best time to float between Glenwood and Rifle for a shot at a giant brown trout in the thirty inch range! BWOs and midges are on the menu and princes, girdle bugs, worms and eggs are working very well. Streamers fished slowly are the best bet during cloudy conditions as fish look for big meals to recover from, and prepare for the spawn and winter. Floating is by far the most effective way to fish this stretch.
Dries: Renegade #18, Griffith's Gnat #18, Para-BWO #16-22, Adams Parawulff #18Adams #18-22
Nymphs:Pat's Rubber Leg Stonefly brown and black #6-10, Red Copper John #12-18, Quasimodo Pheasant tail #14-18, Formerly Prince #12-18, Twenty Incher #6-14, Beadhead Flashback Hare's Ear #12-18, Barr Emerger BWO, WD-50 Olive, Eggs, Worms, Biot Soft Hackle #18-22 black, gray, olive
Streamers: Rust Slumpbuster, Tequeely, Buggers, Clousers, Sex Dungeon
Winter conditions prevail right now on the Eagle with the recent cold but fish are still being caught where open water prevails. Gypsum and Avon are two of the best spots to try where deep holes are open and midges are hatching. Deep nymphing is the name of the game. Look for slow riffles that dump off of a drop off into a deep hole. Trail an egg or golden stonefly with a small midge emerger. Concentrate on fishing between 11am and 3pm during the warmest part of the day when trout are most active. Much of the river is iced up so stay safe and avoid ice shelves and use common sense when walking near or in the river. Check with the shop for the latest conditions.
Nymphs:Egg patterns, Flashback PT #14-18, Olive Biot Soft Hackle #18-22, Micromayfly, Disco Midge #18,Miracle Nymph #20, Black Midge Emerger #18-22, Barr Emerger BWO #16-20, Eggs, Worms
Dries: Hi-Vis Griffith Gnat, Renegade
Streamers: Brown Slump Buster, Olive buggers, Vanilla Bugger, Scupzilla Black/Olive, Autumn Splendor # 6
Gore Creek is low and clear and conditions are fair for fishing below Lionshead. Upstream towards East Vail and downstream near the confluence with the Eagle River, Gore Creek is iced up and will remain so for a couple months. Near Donovan Park, the stream will stay relatively ice free. Winter fishing in this stretch can be great with no one around while thousands of skiiers are just above you on Vail, Mountain. Concentrate of fishing deep water in the afternoon with tiny midge and egg patterns for a shot at the winter Grand Slam while skiiers ride just up the hill. Call the shop for current conditions.
Dries: Renegades,BWO Parawulff ,Parachute Adams
Nymphs: Egg Patterns, Red Copper John, Disco Midge #16-22, Rainbow Warrior #16-20, Flashback Hare's Ear #12-18, Twenty Incher #12-16, Beadhead Black Beauty #18,
Streamers: Black and Olive Conehead buggers #6-10
Roaring Fork River
Fly fishing is fair to good on the Fork and wading is productive throughout the length of the Fork and despite lower flows, float fishing is still a good bet from Carbondale to Glenwood Springs. A winter pattern with cold nights and the cloudy snowy days has set in and conditions are becoming a little tougher but still good on the Fork. There is some ice and slush, especially on colder mornings but the Roaring Fork is truly one of Colorado's best winter fly fishing destinations. Nymphing with small midge imitations as well as stoneflies and eggs have all been effective on warmer afternoons. Sparse midge hatches are still happening. The best stretch of river for floating is between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs while wade anglers are doing very well near Basalt downstream from the confluence with the Frying Pan. Winter conditions are now the norm for a couple months which means nymphing deep, slower holes and fishing later in the day when temperatures warm. The good news is that catching some really big rainbows is a common occurrence on the Fork during winter.
Dries: Adams Parawulff #18, BWO Parachute, Parachute Adams #14-20, Hi-Vis Griffiths Gnat #18-22
Nymphs: Eggs, Worms, Twenty Incher #8-14 ,Pats Rubber Leg #6-10,Flashback PT #14-22, Barr Emerger #16-20, Sparkle RS-2 in black, grey or olive, Formerly Prince #12-18, Red copper John #14-18, Rainbow Warrior #14-20, Black Beauty #16-22, Disco Midge #18-20, Miracle Nymph #18, WD-40 in Red or Olive #20
Streamers: Slumpbusters in darker colors,Sculpzillas, Autumn Splendor, Olive Conehead buggers