Eagle River

Eagle River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 4/9, 4/11 & 4/12

Weekly Report

Report DateApril 8, 2021
While the Eagle has been fishing well for the last few weeks, increased flows and pre-run-off conditions have led to further improvements. In the last week, flows on the Eagle have increased substantially. As a result, water clarity has worsened, but it is still very fishable. In fact, stained/semi-transparent water can be an advantage. Trout are less spooky as they feel a sense of comfort from aerial predators and they have less time to evaluate the artificial flies you’re presenting to them. Now is the time to upsize your flies if you haven’t already. Stoneflies, leeches, worms and caddis larva are all great options when it comes to your lead fly when nymphing. Nymphing continues to be the most effective mode of fishing, but streamers are dry flies are picking up as well. The next few days (4/8 through 4/11) will be hit or miss given frequent fluctuations in air pressure. However, conditions will begin to normalize early next week. Air pressure will hold on the lower end most of the weekend, but meaningful overnight swings will make for a slow start to the day. With this in mind, we expect productivity to be at its best at midday. Regardless, you’re going to want to focus on the slow and deep pools and runs as this is where trout will hold most of the day. Starting on Mon (4/12), trout will resume feeding at normal rates and spread out across the water.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region
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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.