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Vail Valley Anglers

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Reporter: Ray Kyle
Report Date: May 26, 2017

Current Conditions
Cold weather has put a temporary halt on the run off, however we are starting to see some warmer conditions coming back. The river is slowly on the rise again.  As for bugs, the salmonflies are out and being taken from the surface. We've been seeing them from Pumphouse all the way down to Two Bridges. If you don't see them flying fish nymphs under an indictor. Streamers for the dedicated will produce some big fish. Both wade and float fishing will get the job done. Float fishing presents a better oppourtunity to throw streamers and nymphs but with the days getting longer, dry fly fishing will get better and there has been a reliable blue wing olive and caddisfly hatch. Use the boat as portage and get out and nymph the good holes.  Streamer fish in between. A nice way to spend the day is to park at Pumphouse and hike into the canyon. Don't be afraid to change up your flies regularly throughout the day.  

Guide Tip: If you're not catching them on nymphs, throw streamers!

Hatches: Salmonflies, BWOs, and Caddis

Recommended Flies:

NYMPHS: Pat's Rubber Legs Blk/Brw 6-10, Frenchie 18-20, Rainbow Warrior Black/Pearl 18-22, Tung Rubber Leg Hares Ear 10-16, Iron Lotus 16-18, Barr Emerger 18-22, BWO Magic Fly 18-22, RS2 Black/Olive 18-22, Juju Baetis 18-22, Flash Worm 16, Squirmy Worm 14

DRIES: Terranasty Orange 4-6, Noble Chernoble 6-8, Cousin It 6, Swisher Foam PMX Orange 8-10, Elk Hair Caddis 16-18, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Clacka Caddis 14-16, Foam Caddis 16-18, PMX 14-18, Hackle Stacker 18-22, Extended Body BWO 18-22, Adams Parwulff or BWO Parawullf #18, Sprout BWO 18-22 

STREAMERS: Home Invaders, Leadeye Bugger Black, Autumn Splendor, Cheech Leech, Barely Legal, Gonga, Baby Gonga, Sex Dungeon 




The Colorado River originates in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We generally fish the sections from Gore Canyon to the town of Rifle bridge.  The Colorado is generally a wider and slower river with some faster canyon stretches and  excellent hatches and beautiful scenery along the river corridor.  The sections below Glenwood Springs are the first to be available in the early season for float fishing.  As the spring gives way to summer the focus shifts from Glenwood Springs and Dotsero, upstream to State Bridge and just below Gore Canyon and the Pumphouse boat launch.  The Colorado offers more remote stretches of water and  a slower pace to the day with an opportunity to view wildlife and unique geology along the way.

Select the updated graph for a larger version. River Levels


Other Information
The fishing on the Colorado is good every month of the year. We provide Guided Fishing Trips Daily, even throughout the winter. Let us show you some tips to catching fish by hiring a guide for the day.