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Eagle River Report

Our Latest Reports

Fall Fly Fishing Tactics

Fall Fly Fishing Tactics for Trout Go Big or go…. Small? The major menu items this time of year are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Now is a great time to throw big streamers and late season hopper patterns (especially after the farmers cut hay near the river bank). On the contrary, the insects crowding the water column in the Fall are midges, Blue Winged Olives and the last of the Trico mayflies. Choose tippet to match accordingly! Banker’s

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Spring April Report

With spring showing its unpredictable side and bringing a fresh coat of snow into the upper Vail Valley this past week, hatches have slowed down, the water has cleared up and the flows have dropped.On the Eagle River, mid-day water temps were down into the 40s the past few days and the water has been clear as much of the snowmelt was absorbed into the soil. Below Alkali and Milk Creeks, there’s a slight bit of stain but the river

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Great Fall Afternoons on Eagle River

With a nice day in the forecast, the wife and I decided to make the most of the day before Sunday night football (Go Ravens!) and hit the Eagle River. With 3rd Rifle Season beginning and an early Broncos game, we went out to the river from 12:30 to 4:00pm. Afternoons have been the best we’ve found and our friends at Minturn Anglers recommended it as well. With bigger fish in mind, we decided to fish further west and decided

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The Eagle Continues to Fish Well in the Ladders

Warmer days have made for comfortable fishing weather as well as steady Blue Winged Olive activity. The Ladders in Eagle have been my stomping grounds the last few days and the fishing continues to be as good as you can imagine for an Indian Summer. Though the water remains low and cool, the air temperatures make fishing more than pleasant and the fish seem to feel the same. It’s been all about the BWO these past few weeks with a

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October, 2019

The lower Eagle River in Gypsum, Colorado continues to fish well despite low water and dropping temperatures. Afternoon fishing from 2pm to dusk (the heat of the day) is highly recommended. Though you will see the occasional fish rising to midges and blue winged olives, your most successful technique for quantity is nymphing. Leading off with a jig fly to get your flies down quick is the way to go. The water is low and clear so it’s also more

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About the Beautiful Eagle River in Colorado

The Eagle River is a freestone stream located in the central Rocky Mountains. Though once a ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ secret, the Eagle has become a pinpoint on a lot of Colorado residents’ radars and for good reason; it’s an incredible fishery!

Of the many creeks, streams and rivers located around Vail, the Eagle is consistent, year-round and often very kind to the beginner/intermediate angler as well as the experienced.

The Eagle River spans 60 miles and fishes from top to bottom offering a variety of species and sizes ranging from 2″ to 26″.

Following I-70 for most of it’s length, the Eagle River is accessible and convenient. 

The Eagle River is the gem of the Vail Valley.


The Eagle River begins at historic Camp Hale, where the 10th Mountain Division began and trained for mountain warfare. Surrounded by aspens, mountains and other breathtaking landscapes, the Eagle River passes through the quaint town of Minturn where it then meets Gore Creek at the far end of Vail and Minturn. The Eagle begins to gain size and stature thanks to it’s many tributaries as the Eagle continues all the way to Dotsero where it meets the Colorado River. Along the way you’ve got fishing access through Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Wolcott, Eagle and Gypsum; each area having it’s own benefits and character. If you separate the Eagle River into three parts: the upper, middle and lower, the angler will get to experience the beauty and qualities of each stretch.
The Upper Eagle River (Camp Hale to Eagle-Vail) is known for it’s eager fish, scenery, and solitude. This area sees the least pressure and is known for quantity over quality. This area is great for your lightweight graphite or fiberglass/bamboo rods. Though the fish are not the biggest, they are more apt to take a fly on a poor drift or eat something out of curiosity. Though mostly browns, the rainbow population grows annually and the occasional cutthroat makes an appearance as well. The way upper reaches are ideal for those looking for a fix when run-off has made it’s presence in the Central Rocky Mountains.
The Middle Eagle River (Avon to Wolcott) is in the heart of town but still offers plenty of access, larger fish than you would expect and great Summer hatches of caddis and PMDs (Pale Morning Duns). This stretch has a large population of rainbows and browns thanks to it’s ample spawning grounds. Though more fishing pressure takes place in this stretch than others, fish can often throw caution to the wind when prolific bug hatches take place, especially June/July caddis. 4-5 weight rods, Solid drifts, smaller bugs and lighter tippet can sometimes save your day on the Eagle River between Avon and Wolcott. Avon and Edwards can be great dry fly or dry/dropper fishing as the water is on it’s way down while Edwards to Wolcott has some of the more marquee deep holes and runs that you can spend a full day nymphing to your heart’s content.
The Lower Eagle River (Eagle to Dotsero) has gained more and more popularity over the last few years and rightfully so; it has some real dandies living in it’s H20. Though more susceptible to nature’s wrath – higher water temps, clarity, mosquitos and high mountain desert weather, if you fish it when the conditions allow, you are normally rewarded with a fight and hopefully a netted fish that deserves to be held with two hands. Thanks to a warm water discharge in Gypsum, this area can stay open and fishable year-round. Some of the best days fishing are the worst days weatherwise, especially when the ski lifts are running. The lower stretches of the Eagle River takes on character from your fabled western trout streams and boasts deep holes and long runs that deserve ample time dedicated to them. This is the stretch to pull out the 6 weight single hand,  switch rod or streamer stick, especially in the Fall. This area is also floatable with lot’s of public areas to lay anchor and nymph or throw dry flies. The lower Eagle River is known more for it’s access and larger fish than it is for it’s scenery. The fish down here can be quite finicky so make sure to bring your full arsenal.
The Eagle in it’s entirety offers many different options based on experience and expectations. You can honestly choose where you want to fish based on what technique(s) you are looking to fish that day or what you want the background of your photos to look like. Though access can be limited in certain stretches, there is plenty of public water to be fish with a little help from Onx and Google Maps or by calling your local fly supplier. If you are looking for up-to-date bug selections, which areas are fishing best or just looking for overall suggestions, give us a call at Hill’s Discount Flies for the latest local intel!
To read more about specific fishing during Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer (CLICK HERE).