Eagle River

Eagle River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 9/30, 10/4 & 10/5

Weekly Report

Report DateSept. 28, 2023

Flows on the Eagle continue to trend lower, but have largely held within the ideal flow range for this time of year. That being said, flows are on the lower end and trout are fairly skittish and selective. Water clarity is good and while there is still plenty of water to spread out, trout are beginning to stack up in the soft water most the day. As the summer comes to an end, it is time to start rethinking our approach. Terrestrials are sparse making hopper droppers less productive. This is not to say you won’t see results, however, as this kind of setup is very stealthy and will often entice those opportunistic trout. Nymphing with bigger lead flies in the searcher/attractor variety to one or more smaller midge, baetis or caddis imitations has been the most effective as of late. Hatch activity has been consistent with midge, trico, BWO and caddis all making regular appearances so you’ll want to come prepared to fish some dry flies (single, double or dry dropper). Otherwise, streamers have been and will continue to be an effective route.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

Detailed River Info


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. 


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.