Eagle River

Weekly Overview:

October 22, 2020: 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate

  • Conditions on the Eagle are in line with previous weeks. Flows remain on the low end, but trout continue to feed consistently throughout the day. Storm activity starting Sunday (10/25) will throw the fundamentals for a loop. Be prepared for sub freezing temps in the morning and sluggish trout to start. Regardless, the small and simple nymph rig will garner the best results. When nymphing, we like to lead with a smaller attractor pattern like a Rainbow Warrior or red Copper John followed by one or more smaller midge or baetis patterns in the imitative variety. Early in the day fish the deepest water column and focus on pupa/larva patterns and as the day progresses, lighten the load and target the middle to upper columns with an emerger. A storm is brewing which will bring cooler temps and potentially some precipitation. As such, give the water some time to warm up on Sunday and Monday.  Streamers will be effective leading up to and during the storm so come prepared to sling some meat. Baby Gongas, Sparkle Minnows and Sculpzillas have all produced great results.  

  • Ideal Days to Fish: Friday, Saturday & Sunday

  • Suggested Flies:

    • Sub-surface: RS2 (#20-22), Barr's Emerger (#20-22), JuJu Baetis (#20-22), Chocolate Thunder (#20-22), Mercury Pheasant Tail (#20-22), Black Beauty (#22-26), Zebra Midge (#20-24), Blood Midge (#20-22), Disco Midge (#18), Guides Choice Hares Ear (#16-18), red Copper John (#18-20), Frenchie (#18-20), Rainbow Warrior (#18-20), Pine Squirrel Leech (#10), San Juan Worm (#10-12), Beadhead Iron Sally (#12-16), Caddis Candy (#16-18), .

    • Surface: Parachute Adams (#22-24), Griffiths Gnat (#22-24), Yellow Sally (#12-14), PMD Thorax Dun (#20-22), Parachute PMD (#20-22), Resting Caddis (#16-18), X2 Caddis (#16-18), Elk Hair Caddis (#16-18), Chubby Chernobyl (#10-12), Amy's Ant (#10-12), Hippie Stomper (#10-12)

      • ​Need flies for your trip? FlyCast has collaborated with our friends at Anglers All ​to package a dozen flies that are hot on the Colorado River right now - Click here for hand selected flies

Detailed River Info:

Background:

The Eagle River is a tributary of the Colorado River and spans over 60 miles through west central Colorado. This beautiful freestone river originates at the Continental Divide near the Mount of the Holy Cross and Camp Hale landmarks. Beginning at the Divide, it travels north until it reaches the Vail Valley to which it turns west where it merges with Gore Creek before ultimately spilling into the Colorado River near Dotsero. Here you’ll find beautiful landscapes ranging from a meandering valley setting to intense rapids cutting through jagged mountainous terrain. In this river, you’ll find plenty of cutthroat, brook, brown and rainbow trout in the 10” to 15” range. However, there are a few native lunkers holding in the upper and lower sections. 

Angling:

The Eagle offers a variety of fishing styles and is generally friendly to anglers of all skill sets. The upper Eagle, near the headwaters, is known best for its pocket water and swift current. This is one of the more technical sections, but with a little persistence and patience you could find yourself on the fighting end of a trophy brown. Additionally, this stretch offers some incredible dry fly fishing in the late summer and fall. The lower Eagle is more forgiving. However, it sees a lot more angler traffic. Here you will find bigger uniform water with fewer features. A heavy nymph rig has proven to be the most effective in this stretch. However, streamers are always a great option, especially if you’re looking to target bigger fish.

  

River Access:

There are a number of great access points along the Eagle as it flows parallel to I-70 for much of its journey to the Colorado River. If you are looking to fish the headwaters, take Highway 24 from Dowd’s Junction (I-70 and Highway 24) toward Leadville until you reach Camp Hale. Here you’ll find a number of campgrounds and forest service land. However, keep an eye out for private property. Fishing through Vail Valley provides many access points stretching from the Minturn exit to Dotsero. If you follow Highway 6, you’ll find plenty of public access points along the Eagle. Look for BLM sites and DOW leases. 

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