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Vail Valley Anglers
Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

6 Fly Fishing Gift Items Under $100

The holidays are here! The magic, the sleigh bells, the hand warmers in your waders, AND gift giving. Help us make the whole process easy for you. Read about our 6 favorite gifts under $100 along with personalized descriptions about why we would want these products in our stockings or under our tree. Don't forget to check out our other blogs in this series, coming soon.



Simms Coldweather Flannel: $99.95



This flannel combines the warmth of a fleece jacket...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

5 Fly Fishing Gift Items under $50

Orvis Tacky Deluxe Box: $35



The ultimate fly box. Orvis and Tacky created this box that holds a ton of flies, is low-profile, lightweight, and very durable. Tacky boxes provide a silicon inside unmatched from any other box providing a clean organization even for the clumsy fly box dropping anglers like myself.




Rio Headgate Powerflex Tippet Holder with 2X-6X: $39.95



A collaboration between Fishpond and Rio Products gives you a ful...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Prepping your Fly Fishing Gear for Winter

Guest contribution by Ray Kyle, Vail Valley Anglers Shop Supervisor and Fly Tying Instructor. You can find him published in the Vail Daily newspaper weekly through the summer and monthly through the winter.

For us, there is no end to the fishing season here in Colorado. Others pack away their gear and pull out their ski or snowboards to enjoy the great snow on our local mountains. We believe you can do both. Most fly fishing gear should last years, if not decades with proper storage an...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Loop Q Fly Rod Review

Finding a fly rod with enough versatility to justify a new purchase is often difficult to attain given the vast array of rods available. The Loop Q series of fly rods possess the all-around qualities most anglers desire in their equipment, casting power, fish fighting finesse and a pleasant price point. Deciphering the admirable attributes out of most rods can be taxing and hard to accomplish. Most fly shops carry a minimal amount of fly rods on their shelves making it difficult to “tes...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Fly Line Technology | Slickness

Guest contribution by John Van Vleet, Marketing Manager at Scientific Anglers.

Did you miss Part 1: Fly Line Technology | Texturing? Read it here.

You might have heard, or read, about slickness additives in fly lines before. They’ve been around for quite some time, and always garner a mention on a fly-line package bullet point, but not all slickness additives are the same. Not even close. And now, with the introduction of Scientific Angler’s AST Plus, the differe...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Fly Line Technology | Texturing

Guest contribution by John Van Vleet, Marketing Manager at Scientific Anglers.

Over the past decade, no technological advancement has affected fly lines nearly as much as the introduction of texturing, pioneered by Scientific Anglers in 2007. From a performance and durability standpoint, textured fly lines shoot farther, float higher, and last longer than any smooth fly line ever produced. This isn’t just marketing speak; the results have been proven time and time again both in the la...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

8 Reasons to try Trout Spey

Guest contribution by Vail Valley Anglers Guide and Product BuyerAndy Leister, find out more about Andy here. You may have heard that term or others like “Trout Skagit” or “Micro Spey” thrown around fly shops, online blogs, or bars frequented by gear junkies. Too often, gear junkies unfortunately are guilty of putting this style of fishing on a pedestal and turning it into a language more similar to Chinese Calculus rather than one of fly fishing. Well folks, I agr...

Fly Fishing Travel

Destination Trout | New Zealand

Guest contribution by Vail Valley Anglers Ambassador, Kinsey Durham. Check out more of Kinsey's adventures here!

As you would expect - fly fishing in the South Island of New Zealand was an incredible adventure. Even though the fishing was very technical and I haven't been fly fishing for that long, it was still worth the trek to the other side of the world. I definitely recommend everyone who loves fly fishing and traveling to visit this truly magical place. My friend, Emil...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Low Water + Big Foam Flies

Early Autumn, September to be exact, a time of year when the low flows of late summer begin to turn the warm water temperatures towards a cooling trend creating a unique opportunity to pull the biggest trout in the river to the surface to eat. The low water of late summer equated to high river temperatures for trout to endure, however with the onset of cool nights as we transition to fall, the river temperature begins to fall into a more desirable range. The drop in water temperature causes a...

Fly Fishing News Vail Colorado

Flyathlon | Run + Fish + Beer

Guest contribution by Katie Mazzia, Vail Valley Anglers ambassador, trail runner, fly fisher and mom of Jack Arnot.Employed at Vail Health as a registered dietitian nutritionist and diabetes educator. The Rocky Mountain Flyathlon (RMF) has been touted as "Colorado's Coolest New Triathlon” by 5280 Magazine. A Flyathlon is an event that combines fly fishing, trail running, drinking craft beer and fundraising for water and native fish conservation….with some of the ...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

How to choose a Fly Rod, Part 2 | Specialty Rods

The world of fly fishing opened up and you fell in love. Now where will your fly fishing adventures take you? As the vast array of opportunities opens up for your fly angling it becomes apparent that there are a lot more variations in the fly fishing arena to choose from. Specialized rods from simple Tenkara rods and gentle fiberglass to sophisticated two-handed rods, switch rods and more, but which one are you going to try first? Two Handed Rods Depending on what fish you target with...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Explore the Small Water this Summer

Getting time out on the water amidst our bustling, busy lives can be somewhat of a struggle for some. Whether you’re a full time college student who wishes he was a full time fly tyer and fisherman like me, or have a career out there in the real world; we all have that fly fishing bug. A yearning to spend more time than we already do out on the water. When you finally catch a break and get a chunk of time to yourself to pull on your waders, tie on that fly you have been obsessing over a...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Catch the Easy Fish | Approaching Fishing Holes with Purpose

There’s probably no such thing as a truly ‘easy’ fish, but some fish make themselves easier to catch than others. Some fish hold in obvious spots, while others hold in water that the angler may not think to fish at first glance. Many years ago now, I took a float trip on the Deschutes River in Oregon near the town of Madras. This river is unusual in that while boats containing fishermen are allowed, fishing from the boat is prohibited. The mode of operation would be to f...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Introduction to Euro Nymphing

Guest Contributor: Jack Arnot

European or “Euro” Nymphing is a versatile and extremely effective style of fishing that allows you to fish efficiently. You can achieve the depth required at a faster rate and stay incredibly connected to your flies throughout a drift. Euro Nymphing may sound like a “mystery” because it wasn't originated here in the United States, but in fact has been the main style of fishing in European countries for a very long period of tim...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

How to choose a Fly rod Part 1 | The Basics

Are you thinking about buying a new fly rod? Or perhaps just entering the world of fly fishing? Shopping around can lead to a huge variety of fly rods made in different sizes, lengths and rod materials. So why are there so many choices for a fly angler to decipher? The basic rods any fly angler should know about are dry fly, nymph, streamer and saltwater rods. Rod actions A primer on rod actions helps anglers to dive into the variety of choices available for different types of fly fis...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

High Water Bugs | How big is too big?

The major flex of run off has shown its strength and is now beginning to relinquish the high water patterns our rivers have been experiencing. As the volume in our rivers begins to diminish float fishing becomes a special way to fish. The water is at an enjoyable level to float and the fish are ready to put on the feedbag. Increasing the size of your fly is a good option for the changing water conditions. But how big is too big? What is happening in the river? The rivers although pas...

Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Product Review | Echo Fly Rods

The ECHO rod company has surged ahead with an arsenal of fly rods to cover any fly fishing situation. Sweet little creek rods, heavy backboned beach rods and extended length two handed chuckers, ECHO has designed a fly rod for your casting style and preferred approach. Easy on the pocketbook and stacked full of quality components ECHO fly rods are guaranteed to make you smile. Just to touch on a few of the opportunities ECHO supplies for fly fishing (see Vail Valley Anglers website for th...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Tailwater Tour | How to Escape Runoff

Sitting inside tying big foam bugs during runoff is great and all, but at some point you have to get on the water to satisfy that itch! Break out the size 22’s and 6x, but be prepared for some serious studs. The Vail Valley area is in a perfect central location to get to some of the state’s best tailwaters. To the south/west you’ve got the Frying Pan and Taylor, and to the north/east you have your choice between the Blue and Williams Fork. There are a few others, but tho...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Trout in Tight Quarters | Finding Fish in New Places

I first came across the term “shoebox lie” in the weekly outdoors column of my hometown newspaper. The authors talked about picking trout out of small lies along the banks and behind small rocks. All anglers know that trout need a break from the current. But let’s think about that more literally: they can’t have their body being pushed by heavy current, because they would have to expend too much energy to fight it. So, if a trout’s body only takes up a blob in th...

Salt Water Fly Fishing

Lessons from the Everglades

The pursuit of fish defines fishing. Planning a trip for over a year only to arrive and have the complete opposite of your expectation can be a difficult pill to swallow. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to earn the ability to chase fish, is what it is. Fishing is unpredictable and can easily be thwarted by many factors. Knowing how to handle less than idea conditions or company will make a learning experience out of any trip. It will happen to every angler at some point. No matter h...