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Vail Valley Anglers
Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Fly Fishing Depends on Public Land Access

In the past year the importance of public lands access has become a hot topic across the western United States, especially for fly fishermen. As a citizen of the United States, these are your waters and your lands. In a state such as Colorado, the majority of fly fishing for trout occurs on publicly owned and accessible waters, including millions of acres that are home to high country creeks and lakes on National Forest lands and larger rivers flowing through Bureau of Land Management parcels. N...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Colorado River Gold Medal Fly Fishing

The mighty Colorado River, the most iconic watershed of the American West, begins life as a small creek in Rocky Mountain National Park in the central region of the Centennial State. As it flows through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, the river gains volume as numerous tributaries augment its flows. As it turns south and west, outside the town of Kremmling, the Blue River joins the Colorado and just downstream at the base of the steep, craggy cliffs harboring bighorn sheep and Class IV whitewa...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Float Fishing Boat Ramp Etiquette

The summer float fishing season is about to get underway here at Vail Valley Anglers in Colorado. We are expecting a great summer of fly fishing on our local rivers with a good snowpack and plenty of water. In just a couple of weeks when spring runoff subsides, boat ramps on the Colorado, Eagle and Roaring Fork Rivers will get a lot busier and fly fishermen will have to do their part to make our rivers a pleasant place to catch trout.

Float fishermen have to share the river not only with ea...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Fly Fishing Colorado's Top Ten Summer Hatches

Summer is just around the corner and Colorado anglers need to be prepared with the right patterns for fly fishing Colorado’s Top Ten Summer Hatches. These insects hatch about the same time each summer and provide the majority of the food for trout in all area trout fisheries. While anglers fly fishing in and around Vail, Colorado would do well to have fly boxes stocked with general searching and attractor patterns like Prince Nymphs and Royal Wulffs, to be consistently successful it is imp...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

2016 Colorado Fly Fishing Forecast

With winter in the books here in Colorado, it’s time to start thinking about the 2016 fly fishing season. We’ve already had great late winter and early spring fly fishing on the rivers around Vail, Colorado and we are looking forward to the rest of the year. Signs are pointing towards awesome fly fishing conditions for the next several months.

A good year of fly fishing in Colorado is very weather and snow pack dependent. Currently, our snowpack in the Colorado River drainage is...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Four Unpressured Colorado Fly Fishing Rivers

Anglers looking to escape the crowds who are searching for unpressured fly fishing destination in Colorado should try a few of these streams. A river has been selected for each season of the year so you will always have a new fly fishing destination to check out here in Colorado.

1)Upper Arkansas River ­ Leadville, Colorado
The Arkansas River flows more than 100 miles through the state of Colorado so it's no fishing secret but the thirty miles of river just below Leadville flowing...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Monthly Guide to Colorado Fly Fishing


As winter sets in and this year’s fishing comes to an end, it is time to start planning your Colorado fly fishing trips for every month of the new year. Colorado offers excellent fly fishing for trout every month of the year and the guides at Vail Valley Anglers are on the water every day. Let’s take a look at when and where to fish around Vail, Colorado and what guided fly fishing trips to book throughout the year.

January
Regarded as a tough time for fly fishing by some, ...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

How to Fish Warm Water

Colorado’s rainy season is coming to an end and water temperatures in many of our favorite rivers are rising higher and higher each day. So far this week, I have recorded water temperatures on the lower sections of the Eagle and Colorado Rivers in the high sixties. When the water gets that warm, trout have a much harder surviving the stress of catch-and-release fishing due to the lack of dissolved oxygen in the water. It is up to us as anglers to adjust our catch-and-release fishing practi...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Fly Fishing Colorado's Pale Morning Dun Hatch

Fly fishing the Pale Morning Dun Hatch on Colorado’s trout streams is a dependable summer event that anglers can rely on for steady nymph and dry fly action. These small mayflies are currently hatching on rivers like the Eagle, Roaring Fork and Colorado. Expect this hatch to continue through July and in to August. The Pale Moring Dun mayfly tends to run between a size #16 to #18 but may shrink to a #20 later in the summer.

Many aquatic insects have regional differences in size and col...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Vail Valley Anglers Overnight Float Trip

Summer in Colorado’s high country is the perfect time for a camping trip, and there is no better way to spend the night outdoors than on one of Vail Valley Anglers’ Overnight Float Trips. Vail Valley Anglers’ Overnight Float Trips are designed to offer beginner and expert anglers alike the chance to experience Colorado fly fishing at its finest. We do these trips on a remote stretch of the upper Colorado River where the only thing that surpasses the scenery is the fishing itsel...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Best Salmonfly Patterns for the Colorado River

With the early arrival of spring to the Central Rocky Mountains, fly fishermen are anticipating an early salmonfly hatch on the upper Colorado River this year. If you are planning on fishing the upper Colorado's epic salmonfly hatch this year, it is a good idea to make sure that you are prepared with a good selection of both salmonfly nymphs and dries before you head to the water. Here is a short list of my favorite salmonfly patterns. These six bugs account for the majority of the flies ...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

The Best High Water Float Fishing Gear for Colorado

Float fishing in Colorado during the spring runoff season is an exciting and sometimes very effective way to get into fish. As our local rivers begin to speed up and come alive, so do the trout that live in them, and anglers with good float fishing skills can capitalize on the early season feeding frenzy that often occurs. Along with great fishing opportunities like the legendary salmonfly hatch on the upper Colorado, the runoff season brings some unique challenges. Fast, cold, muddy water ca...

Fly Fishing Travel

Fly Fishing The Colorado River at Lee's Ferry

The spring runoff season in the Rocky Mountains is a great time for a fly fishing road trip, and Lee's Ferry is one of my absolute favorite spring fly fishing destinations. The 13 mile stretch of the Colorado River known as Lee's Ferry lies just outside Page, Arizona at the top of the Grand Canyon and just below Lake Powell's Glen Canyon Dam. The nine hour drive from Eagle County takes you on a scenic tour of some incredible desert terrain and follows the Colorado River for much o...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Fly Fishing Colorado's Mother's Day Caddis Hatch

The Mother’s Day Caddis hatch is a fly fishing event not to be missed in Colorado. Anglers from all over the country and seasoned local fly fishermen wait all winter for the incredible dry fly action this hatch brings. We all hope that the right conditions develop for the perfect storm of clouds of caddis and rising trout. Some years early spring runoff and high, muddy water coincides with the Mother’s Day caddis hatch rendering rivers unfishable. But in years where streams flow clea...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Fly Fishing Colorado Early Spring Hatches

Early Spring fly fishing in Colorado is excellent and many anglers are already flocking to local rivers near Vail, Colorado searching for big brown and rainbow trout. Well known hatches of Blue-winged Olive mayflies and a variety of midges hatch each day on rivers like the Eagle and Roaring Fork Rivers. These small insects are the first steady food source for trout and smart anglers will have a good supply of flies imitating BWOs and midges in their fly boxes.

An even smarter angler will be...

Fly Fishing Tips and Tricks

Spring Fly Fishing Tips Part 2

Central Colorado's spring fly fishing season is the time when many anglers dust off their gear and head to the water for the first time since the year before. Spring brings increased fish and insect activity along with rapidly changing weather and river conditions that can make fishing difficult. With the right preparation and understanding of what is happening beneath the surface, however, fly fishermen can make the most of their first casts of the year. Where/How to Find Fish Sp...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Winter and Spring Float Fishing in Colorado

Float fishing trips are sometimes overlooked as an excellent option for guided fly fishing in Colorado during late winter and early spring. Vail Valley Anglers specializes in float fishing this time of year and with the exceptionally warm weather we have experienced over the last month, the fishing has picked up earlier than usual. We are seeing strong midge hatches and consistently feeding trout on the Lower Colorado River and on the Roaring Fork. Float fishermen are doing well nymphing through...

Fly Fishing Reports Colorado

Colorado Winter Fly Fishing Report

Normally the month of January is probably the toughest month for winter fly fishing but the latest 2015 report has proved to be a little different. This year warmer than average temperatures have led to ideal conditions for catching trout. This weather pattern is forecast to remain constant in western and central Colorado for at least the next week or more.

Despite the open water and feeding trout, angler pressure has remained very low. Portions of the Eagle River that are normally iced ove...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Colorado's Best Winter Fly Fishing Streams

Fly fishermen in Colorado are lucky enough to have some of the best winter fly fishing rivers in the country. At Vail Valley Anglers we are fortunate enough to live near and guide on many of these winter fly fishing gems. Winter vacationers here for Vail’s excellent powder skiing often take a day off to experience the fly fishing as well. In the past we’ve discussed winter fly fishing techniques so here we’ll list a few of our favorite destinations.

Colorado’s Best W...

Fly Fishing Colorado Rivers

Float Fishing the Lower Colorado River

The upper Colorado River is a well-known fly fishing destination but another consideration is float fishing the Lower Colorado River below Glenwood Springs . The fishing is excellent and access to the public boat ramps is easy. It has a different feel than upper river due its size and less remote setting but the trout populations are higher than one might suspect. Upon reaching Dotsero the river slows and meanders down to Glenwood Canyon. This water is not prime trout water and anglers should lo...