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Vail Valley Anglers
Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Arkansas River | May Caddis Hatch

The Arkansas River is one of the most popular destination waters to fly fish in Colorado. With a Gold Medal designation there are a lot of reasons why this river receives the attention it does. The Arkansas is a river that is friendly to float fishing and to wade fishing, so any angler can find some section of the “Ark” to explore. Predominately a wild brown trout fishery healthy Hofer strain rainbows are encountered too in this river only with less frequency. If there was a prime...

Fly Fishing News Vail Colorado

Mothers on the Fly | Natalie Bennion

Natalie Bennion (@a_ladys_angle) is first a wife and mother of two - but what caught our attention about Natalie and her online presence was her fishy-ness, her photography and her positivity. In a recent interview she was kind enough to share with us a glimpse into her busy life and boy, was it a breath of fresh air. This mother's day we celebrate the female outdoorswomen who are paving the way, figuring it out, and making it happen. Thank you moms!

What is your biggest pet p...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

A Crash Course in Stillwater Tactics

Like most fly fishermen, most of my experience is in fishing rivers. However, all the FFTUSA events I have competed in have included at least one stillwater session. For this reason, I have had to put a lot of work in to improve my lake game. Here are my thoughts on how to start solving the stillwater puzzle. Equipment The single most important piece of equipment when fishing stillwaters is a sinking fly line. This is why so many anglers grouse about fishing lakes, saying that they do...

Salt Water Fly Fishing

Saltwater Fly Fishing | A Focus on Snook

When fly anglers take the plunge to enter the world of saltwater fly fishing, the style of adventure an angler wants to experience develops into personal goals to achieve - whether it is a wading angler chasing bonefish and permit on tropical flats or a fly fisher targeting tarpon from the bow of a skiff. The goal is the same to conquer new species and environments, to push our fly fishing experience into new realms. When it comes to South Florida and fly fishing in saltwater, Snook top the l...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

What to Expect from your Local Fly Shop

Walking into a fly shop for the first time (or even as a seasoned angler) can be a daunting experience. Walk into the right fly shop and it’s seamless and easy. Walk into the wrong fly shop and it may turn you off of fly fishing all together. With the sport growing and endless options, where is a good place to start? Here are some things to consider when you walk into a fly shop. Greeting: A warm welcome will go a long way and often set the tone for what kind of shop you are dealing...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Pre-Runoff Fly Fishing | What to Expect

Spring has finally arrived in the Vail Valley as locals and tourists alike begin to focus on water in a more liquid form than the frozen, skiable type. Here at Vail Valley Anglers our wade guides have been busy with half/day trips focused around the midday or warm afternoon hours. And the float guides have pulled boats out from under the security of tarps and winter equipment all to take advantage of the excellent pre-runoff fishing conditions.
The Water: During the springtime our...

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:


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...