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Vail Valley Anglers

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Reporter: Brett Elkman

Report Date:  January 8, 2017

Current Conditions

Sub zero temperatures have iced up the Gore a bit but its small size allows more water to flow though it so do some exporing to find the open holes. Stick to the water around Lionshead and west into West Vail. The fishing has been best in the afternoons, so maybe get on the mountain in the morning and hit the river in the afternoon. It is low and clear so the fish will be easy to find. The majority of the fish will be pooled up in the same holes. Sight casting and precise drifts will do the trick. Small and light indicators like the New Zealand Strike Indicator will offer a delicate presentation and detect the subtlest of hits. Hatches are common with Midges and BWO's being the focus. Small bugs size 18-24 will produce the best results.  Think Small and Shiny. You will need long leaders (9ft 6x)  and flourocarbon tippets in the 6x range to be succesful. Fish with 2 flies.  I suggest a small tungsten fly like the 2 bit hooker or the Midge Bomb  as your first fly not only because they work but offer a bit of weight without having to add additional weight and this will help your stealth program.  Behind that try a Lint Bug, PT Slim, Zebra midge or a Skinny Nelson PT all in sizes 18-24.  The Gore is challanging and even more so this time of year but it is a special creek and it usually rewards those that are patient.  Gore Creek is Vail Valley's finest small stream fishery and pressure is light right now.

Guide Tip:  Use the various pedestrian and road bridges to scout for active fish. Try losing the incidcator for a stealthier approach. 

Hatches: Midges, BWOs

Recommended Files

NYMPHS: Rainbow Warrior 18-22, Zebra Midge 18-22, Barr Emerger BWO 18-22, Juju Baetis 18-20, Don King Midge 18-22, Top Secret Midge 18-22, Biot BWO 22, Sparklewing RS2  18-22, Juju Baetis 18-22, Midge Biot BWO and Grey 18-22, Poison Tung 18-20, PT Slim 20-22, Skinny Nelson PT 16-20, Lint Bug 18-22

DRIES: Hackle Stacker BWO 18-20, Bat Wing Emerger 18-22, Foam Para Adams 16-18, Renegade 16-18, Sprout BWO 18-22

STREAMERS: Jig Thin Mint 16, Baby Gonga, Sparkle Minnow, Baby Sculpzilla Blk 




Gore Creek flows from high in the Gore Range to the east of Vail.  It originates at Gore Lake and flows to the confluence with the Eagle River at Dowd Junction just to the West of Vail.  This is a small freestone stream with excellent sight fishing. Fishing is best from the golf course in East Vail down to the Gold Medal stretch in West Vail and the confluence with the Eagle River.  However, fish can be caught along the entire length all the way up to the lake.  There are some beautiful fishing areas along the upper river as you approach the lake above the "Grave Site" turn off.  Gore Creek offers fly fishermen a legitimate shot at landing a Grand Slam of brookies, cutthroat, rainbows and brown trout and some surprisingly large fish reside in this fine trout stream.

Select the updated graph for a larger version. River Levels


Other Information
The fishing on Gore Creek is good every month of the year. Winter provides some of the best fishing of the year and a few powder runs on Vail Mountain followed by a couple hours of sight fishing is a popular activity. An angler on Gore Creek has the chance to land all four species of trout found in Colorado. We provide Guide Fishing Trips,even throughout the winter. Let us show you some tips to catching the trout that inhabit Gore Creek by hiring a guide for the day.