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Vail Valley Anglers
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...

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...

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...

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 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 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 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...

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

How to Choose the Right Fly Fishing Tippet

Choosing the right tippet is a crucial step in fly fishing for anglers targeting everything from trout to tarpon. Tippet is your final connection between you and the fish and with so many sizes and types of tippet available it can be easy to make a mistake. For instance heavy fluorocarbon tippet and small dry flies aren’t a good combination nor is light monofilament tippet the best choice for anglers casting bulky streamers to hefty trout. It’s always helpful to be prepared with a th...