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 on Eagle. Within our first few casts, fish were making their presence known and our indicators were dropping constantly.
Surprisingly enough, rainbow trout dominated the bite at a tune of about 10:1. We found out the theme was slower “walking speed” water though we tried some of the faster runs and pockets though they were fruitless. Depth wasn’t even that much of a necessity as the fish are comfortable in their low Winter water and feeding confidently. If you can go out and find some slower speed water, fish it. Use the weight of your flies, adjust your indicator so you aren’t getting hung up constantly and fish everything you see that doesn’t have nervous water on the surface.
The lady and I led off with attention-grabbing bugs – Red Squirmy Worms, #12 Patt’s Stone in Olive and Peacock, and Oregon Cheese Egg patterns. Behind it we fished the Competition Baetis and B’s Midge as well as variations of them (we have a few new surprise flies to unveil soon!). All patterns caught fish though most ate the Competition Baetis and B’s Midge. We even made a few casts to rising fish towards the end of our day but unfortunately shelf ice wanted our dry flies more than the Eagle River trout. As the sun set, the risers diminished and we decided to call it a day. This time of year, if the sun is off the water, you need to find new water or call it a day.
If you are going to fish the Eagle River, stop by Minturn Anglers for an honest fishing report and grab some Element Flies midges and baetis. They are the bees’ knees!