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Vail Valley Anglers
Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Destination Trout | Gray Reef

Following along the course of the North Platte River in Wyoming, the traveling angler encounters one impoundment after another. Storied stretches of water none-the-less, but dam created and damn good to fish. As tailwaters the North Platte takes on glorious names like the Miracle Mile, but it is the stretch of river near the little town of Alcova that attracts the tactical angler ready to combat the largest fish in the river dubbed the Gray Reef. To clear some confusion you will find this...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Tippet Rings | Why and How to use them

In the past few years of working in a fly shop, it seems more and more customers are looking for tippet rings. So what exactly is a tippet ring and why should you use them? A tippet ring is a very tiny circular ring that can save you time and money out on the water. The tippet ring can be incorporated into a fly fishing rig various different ways depending on the depth, type of fishing, species you are targeting, and personal preference. The options are endless. Here in Colorado, I us...

Salt Water Fly Fishing

Destination Trout | A first-timer in Belize

A Fish Out of Water — When trout bums hit the salt In December of2016I had the opportunity to spend a week at El Pescador Lodge on beautiful Ambergris Caye, just off the coast of northern Belize. My dad (who had just celebrated his 60thbirthday) and I chased bonefish, tarpon, snook, and permit throughout the flats, lagoons, and mangrove islands surrounding the Caye. As a lifelong trout fisherman (and a fairly competent one, I like to think), it was an awesome challenge to try a type...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Public Lands | Continuing the Legacy of Theodore Roosevelt

The Public Legacy A legacy of conservation left behind by a President who cared about our lands, water and the wildlife and fish that inhabit them. Today, President’s Day, we want to pay tribute and thanks to a man who dedicated much of his time in office (and life) to our lands, water and the fish and wildlife that inhabit them. Theodore Roosevelt, fondly considered the conservation president, holds a special place in my heart, and the hearts of many, for creating some of our m...

Fly Fishing Travel

Destination Trout | Guadalupe River

The Guadalupe River is the tailwater below Canyon Lake Dam in the Texas hill country, the southernmost trout fishery in the United States. When you think of Texas chances are your first thought is not rainbows in cold, clear water. Even being from San Antonio, Texas (only 45 minutes away from the river), it was never on the forefront of my mind. About 2 years ago I fished the Guadalupe for the first time. I immediately began realizing what I had overlooked for so long. Having the Colorado Ro...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

How to Customize your Fly Fishing Gear

Customizing your fly fishing gear for function and appearance

In the world of fly fishing it is easy to fall into line with your gear, only to look like the next wader-clad angler to stumble down the bank into the river. Some anglers strive for a cookie cutter approach to their gear often aiming to mimic their buddy or the latest decked out angler from the cover of a magazine. But it is the fly fisher who looks to stand out with a one of a kind appearance or to customize their gear for a sp...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

6 Essential Patterns for Winter Fly Fishing

Winter fly fishing, a concept that is foreign to most people. The mountains are full of snow, freshly groomed runs greet the eager ski and snowboard crowd and the hot chocolate is flowing. Who has time to fish? The truth is, winter fly fishing offers some excellent opportunities to catch fish and for those that are willing, the opportunity to have the river all to yourself.

The trout don’t stop eating just because it's 20 degrees outside, but to get them to eat becomes a bit more ...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

What are the Best Gloves for Winter Fly Fishing?

What are the best gloves for winter fishing? Any angler that braves the cold to enjoy winter fly fishing knows that often times the hands are the first body parts to freeze. Here in the Vail Valley, we are accustom to below-freezing temperatures and constant snowfall, well into April. Many fishing product companies like Simms, Patagonia, Glacier Glove, and Buff make different models of fishing gloves. So which gloves are the best fit for you? The two biggest things to consider when purch...

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Fly Fishing News Vail Colorado

Video: Waterworks Lamson Exclusive Interview

“You heard it here first…” – Ryan Harrison, founding partner of Waterworks Lamson

2017 is already shaping up to be an incredible year of innovation for the fly fishing industry and Waterworks Lamson is no exception. This exclusive interview includes mountain bike technology, innovation, and what makes this company get up in the morning.

Not to mention the much anticipated Saltwater Reel and the first Waterworks Lamson…fly rod?! We aren’t kidding, t...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

3 New Year's Resolutions for Fly Fishermen

The New Year is here and for many, that means it is time for new year’s resolutions, and as fly fishermen, we are not exempt from this ritual. Here are a few fly fishing specific new year’s resolutions that will help you get the most out of 2017.
Lose Weight
Conventional fly fishing wisdom states that when the fishing gets tough, you should add weight and get your flies down to the very bottom of the river. This is because when fish stop feeding, they hide out on th...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Destination Trout | Fryingpan River

A world-class destination:

Located in the mountains of Colorado Ski Country exists an extraordinary fishery, the Fryingpan River. Within a scenic 45 minute drive from Aspen and well under two hours’ drive from Vail is this world-class, fishing destination that should be on any serious angler’s list of travel locations to fish. The Fryingpan River holds high regard amongst Vail Valley Anglers’ guides who routinely test their skills against the educated lunkers found in the ...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Fly Rescue 101 | How to Rescue your Flies from a Snag

Poof! Your bobber is under. What do you do? SET IT! Immediately your line goes tight to a lifeless snag. The moment when you realize you have “caught” bottom is a sad one. Having no life at the other end of your fly fishing line can be disheartening. But this is when you must become a problem solver. Isn’t that what fly fishing is?

Here are a couple tips that will help you rescue your fliesfrom a snag:

WADING

The roll cast Technique
The water in the river acts...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Get the Scoop: Angler's Gift Guide

Puzzled about gift giving this season? Tired of gifts relegated to the bottom of the drawer only to be seen when laundry has been put off and the clean clothes choices are lean? Let’s make this year’s gift one that is remembered with fondness regularly throughout the year or even longer. Vail Valley Anglers has a unique collection of high-end fly-fishing gear. All items are sure to become cherished accessories in any angler’s collection.

The easiest way to get the ideas ro...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Making the Most of Warm November Fly Fishing

November and 60-degree temperatures don’t fare well for the ski runs, but rivers flowing through Colorado ski country around Vail, Beaver Creek, and Aspen are in great shape. Cool evenings, bright moonlit nights and Indian summer daytime temperatures have all combined to create some stellar fly fishing opportunities for anglers.

“NoSnowForYou” special: While normal November temperatures in Colorado ski country have not settled in and visitors and locals alike await ski sea...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Mousing; fly fishing with a mouse fly

"Mousing,"--the mere term in fly shops and guide circles brings smug grins to outdoor faces. It is not for the foolhardy, however. Tossing large rodent patterns is an angler’s love affair conducted under headlamps on moonless nights. It requires hefty fly rods in the 7-weight category and reels with space-age drag materials. But, fly fishing with mouse patterns routinely turns the heads of giants that rarely show themselves to anglers in daylight--Big fish that hide under the pro...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Top 5 Fall Flies for Colorado Fly Fishing

When the cottonwoods and willows have turned yellow along the Eagle and Colorado Rivers and anglers are greeted with frosty mornings, it’s a sure bet that the next, short few weeks of fall will provide some of the best fly fishing of the year in Colorado. Hatches of Blue-winged Olive mayflies and tiny midges are enough to keep fish feeding throughout the day. Big, fat rainbows are looking to pack on some additional weight before winter and brown trout lose their normal standoffish attitude...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Autumn Angling in Colorado

As long summer days change slowly into dark cold nights, trout prepare for winter. Brook and Brown trout dress up in spawning colors and Rainbows follow the migration. The change in seasons brings a change in fly fishing tactics as well. Adjusting your tactics will allow you to continue catching trout on the surface and under the water right up until the edge of winter.

Daytime temperatures play a big role in a trout’s willingness to feed on the surface in the autumn. If summertime te...

Fly Fishing Education

Personal Fly Fishing Ethics

Developing your own code of personal fly fishing ethics is something most anglers eventually do on their own. There are many different fly fishing methods and techniques that have proven to be successful for a wide range of fish species. I often tell my fly fishing clients that if it swims you can catch it on a fly rod. However, some methods of fly fishing and even flies themselves are very controversial and even unacceptable for some anglers while for others it doesn’t really matter how t...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Five Fly Fishing Guide Tips

Day in and day out fly fishing guides see it all. Some days it seems an angler can do no wrong and trout will eat just about anything while other days just getting a single bite is a struggle. No matter the day or the conditions, guides must fish through the worst weather and the best hatches with anglers with absolutely no experience and those who have been fly fishing their whole lives. In a single fly fishing season, professional guides are witness to thousands of casts both good and bad, a m...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Fall Fly Fishing Gear for Foul Weather

Here in Central Colorado the weather is still hot but it is time for anglers to start thinking about fall fly fishing and the colder, wetter weather, chilly water, and shorter days that are just around the corner. The fly fishing definitely improves each year as late summer transitions to early autumn and September brings the first frosty nights and the aspens and cottonwoods begin to show some color. Fall brings some of the best fishing of the year to float fishermen on the Colorado River and w...