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The Gore River

Coming from the East, you know you’re close to Vail when you crest Vail Pass on I-70. In your excitement to get on the river, you’ve probably overlooked the first tributary of Gore Creek in your commute. Black Gore Creek follows you down Interstate 70 where it meets Gore Creek in East Vail and gains size, though not much. Gore Creek is known as being a tight technical creek with awesome sight fishing through the Central Rockies marquee town, Vail.

Gore Creek boasts Gold Medal notoriety and large fish given it’s small stature. From the confluence of the Eagle at Dowd Junction and up, Gore Creek is a little over 18 miles and fishes well through it’s entirety. Look for fish in Vail proper at one of the many bridges in town and get to the bank and target them! Gore Creek is gin clear when run-off is not taking place and good drifts and light tippet can get you any of the major four species (brown, rainbow, brook and cutthroat) but hopefully all four species, known as the grand slam. Gore Creek is a river in recovery with the development of more housing in Vail and the lack of riverside root structure due to heavily manicured lawns and housing development. Luckily local non-profits and conservation groups have helped the beautiful tributary gain headway every year. As the macro-invertebrae population restores, the trout populations recover. These local groups diagnosed the issues early on and the local fishermen and environmentalists have taken action to help “Restore the Gore” and the ramifications can already be seen. As far as fishing is concerned, Gore Creek is a Summer dry fly fisherman’s paradise. Plan on covering a lot of ground and fishing in small parties as some places are only good for a few casts. Gore Creek is known for small pools and rock structure and not long gliding runs. This creek is best approached from a distance as fish can normally be spotted positioning themselves, eating nymphs or surfacing to dries. You can also fish Gore Creek in the winter too which can be best as the trout see little pressure with most people’s focused on the skiing. Being located in Vail, make sure you know where the public stretches are so you don’t end up fishing a place you are not allowed to be. Consult your local fly shop, Minturn Anglers as they have the best local intel in town and know Gore Creek better than most shops in the Valley. You can fish in Vail, West Vail at the confluence to the Eagle River and up above in East Vail. East Vail offers the most public access and the scenery is unrivaled. Big fish hold throughout but spotting them is easiest in Vail or West Vail. Big fish will travel up Gore Creek from the Eagle River during spawning months so it’s always worth making a stop at the confluence to see if you can intercept a hog or two before they start their pairing process. Please don’t target fish on spawning redds! For more information on Gore Creek, flies to use and the best access spots for the time you plan to fish it, don’t hesitate to reach out to us or to Minturn Anglers for the latest fishing report and the best flies in the Vail Valley!