Wading Into the Future: COVID-19 Operations

Updated 1/19/2021

During these uncertain times, we are unsure what the future may hold. We do know the rivers are still there waiting to be explored. Here at Vail Valley Anglers, we are changing the way we operate to best fit your needs during these times.

Hours of Operation:


9am – 6pm MST


Curbside Pickup

Curbside Pick is available for local customers by submitting an order online or by phone. We can be contacted at 970.926.0900 or info@vailvalleyanglers.com if you have additional questions regarding Curbside Pickup.

To Participate in Curbside Pickup:

  1. Please order online at vailvalleyanglers.com or give us a call at 970.926.0900, in advance. When ordering online, please choose In-Store Pickup at checkout.  
  2. You will be contacted by one of our employees, letting you know when your pickup time is.
  3. Your order will be placed in the designated area, for you to grab safely. Please avoid grabbing your order while other customers may be in the same area. Your order will be labeled with your name.
  4. Do not forget to mend, hooksets are free and it is not the flies.
  5. Rinse & Repeat.

If you would like to cast a rod or have additional requests relating to a purchase, please reach out to us and we will try to accommodate you as best we can. This includes potential curbside pickups outside of our Hours of Operation, please contact us at 970.926.0900 or info@vailvalleyanglers.com.

In-store Shopping

We are offering in-store shopping with a face-covering required for all customers. We still encourage Curbside Pickup as an option. Please feel free to contact us if you have additional questions.

Guided Trip Operations

At this time we are offering guided trips. We are operating  trips under the following State and County Guidelines:

Reservation Booking and Confirmation Process 

  • Customers should be alerted to the protocols that will be in place during their fishing outing. This should be communicated through an outfitter’s website and in the reservation confirmation. 
  • Communications should inform them to bring and wear a facial covering, of current social distancing protocols, and that they are not to appear for their trip if they have exposure to or signs of COVID-19. 

Customer Check-In Process 

  • Most fishing trips should meet at the river or a retail store that should already meet necessary guidelines for customers to be in store.
  • When practical, customer check-in should occur outside.
  • Customers should be encouraged to purchase fishing license online in advance
  • Families, households and groups travelling together should be distanced from other families and groups during the check-in process. 
  • Social Distancing should be practiced by employees and customers. 
  • Signage reminding customers of wearing facial coverings and social distancing protocols should be posted for customers to see. 
  • Hand Sanitizer or hand washing should be available during the check-in process at every station. 

Transportation of Customers 

  • Customers should arrive in their own vehicles and drive separately from the guide to the fishing spot. 
  • When not possible for a customer to have their car shuttled, the guide should transport the customer back to their car without exceeding 50% of vehicle capacity. 

Vehicle Cleaning

  • o All surfaces and handles commonly touched by the driver and customers should be cleaned and disinfected. The surfaces should include vehicle seats, handles, knobs, steering wheel, seat belt buckles, keys and payment cards. 
  • o Vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected after each shift and between trips. 
  • o Customers and employees should be instructed to use hand sanitizer entering and exiting the vehicle. 
  • o For guidance use https://covid19.colorado.gov/cleaning-guidance


Rafting and Fishing Equipment Cleaning 

  • Customer rafting and fishing equipment should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. This should include PFD’s, fishing rods, rain jackets, waders, and boots. 
  • Raft surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected between trips. 
  • For guidance use https://covid19.colorado.gov/cleaning-guidance

River Travel and Wade Fishing

  • Rafts traveling the river are naturally distanced and will continue to be distanced. The customary practice of gathering all rafts in the same eddy during river travel should be avoided. 
  • Fishing rafts have 2 customers and one guide max on their rafts.  The rafts typically have a max recommended capacity of 6-9 people. Trips are always private and different groups are not mixed.
  • Guided wade fishing trips have a maximum client to guide ratio of 3 to 1. The nature of wade fishing spreads people out at distances of more than 15 feet. Trips are always private and different groups are not mixed.
  • Fishing customers and guides should wear sun buffs (e.g., https://buffusa.com/) or similar facial coverings during river travel. Facial coverings that might be washed away by a wave or might move and impair a rafter’s vision should be avoided. 
  • Guides should have hand sanitizer available for customers to use after getting in and out of raft.
  • At put-ins and take-outs and during safety presentations, raft occupants should distance from other rafting participants. Companies should communicate and when possible separate their rafters from each other using the available beach space to prevent comingling. 


  • All guests meet at river location or retail store.
  • Rain gear and buffs are available for purchase at retail store, while supplies last.
  • All fishing trips are private as in people hire their own guide. Different parties are never mixed
  • All participants are required to sign a liability release form.
  • All customers are encouraged to get fishing licenses online in advance.
  • Form and fishing licenses are set on a table, then checked by staff or their guide. Social distancing is maintained during check-in. Guides also have liability forms with them and will check licenses when meeting at the river.
  • The river is accessed by guests driving their own vehicle. The guide drives their own in front of guests.
  • Guest to guide ratio is 2:1 max on wade trips and 2:1 max on float trips
  • Waders and boots are provided. Guests put them on at or outside the shop before heading down to the river. Guides are encouraged to contact guests before the trip to get sizes for waders and boots, eliminating the chance for bottlenecks and gatherings at the store.
  • Fly rods are provided. Handles will be sanitized with disinfectant spray or wipe before handing to customer. Customers often bring their own rods
  • All instruction and demonstration can be done by guide while maintaining 6 feet of distance. Social distancing is naturally maintained throughout the wade trip.
  • If a guide needs to touch a guest rod for any reason (tangle, malfunction, etc), a spray bottle of disinfectant solution is carried by guide at all times, and rod will be sprayed before given back to guest. Hand sanitizer is also available for the guest
  • Upon return to the shop, boots, and waders go in the cleaning bin, and will be disinfected on the inside and out with spray, then dried before next use. 
  • All surfaces of raft and fishing frame will be cleaned and wiped down.

Disinfecting and Safety Protocols

To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, we are limiting our operations to Curbside Pickup. Our employees will be disinfecting their work stations, participating in appropriate 6ft spacing, and all other County, State & Federal health guidelines. We ask our customers to also respect the health of our employees by observing all health guidelines and requests from Vail Valley Anglers.

Employee Monitoring

Vail Valley Anglers will be monitoring the health and well-being of the employees on a daily basis. All employees present at the Fly Shop will be healthy and be following all required safety protocols per County, State & Federal Health guidelines.


At this time, Vail Valley Anglers is honoring their current return policy. However, we are placing items that have been returned into a quarantine area for at least 4 days.