After increasing at the end of last week, flows on the Eagle have trended down, but remain at productive levels. Trout here are feeding actively throughout the day and are not terribly selective when it comes to your flies. That being said, the mornings have been particularly slow as fall progresses and air/water temps continue to decline. Additionally, a cold front will move in starting on Thurs (10/14) and will bring a good chance of rain/snow in the afternoon. However, it should clear up on Friday. Regardless, nymphing will be the most effective mode of fishing. Small to average sized searchers/attractors like a Pat’s, Flashback PT, Hare’s Ear, Pig Sticker or Perdigon seem to be doing the most damage right now. However, don’t neglect the smaller and imitative midge and baetis patterns like a Black Beauty, Chocolate Foam Back Emerger, Zebra Midge, RS2 or Darth Baetis. Regardless. Hatch activity has been decent as well with midge and BWOs appearing throughout the day. Parachute Adams, Parachute BWOs, BWO Comparaduns, Griffith’s Gnats, Cluster Midges and Matt’s Midges are all great options right now. Streamers have been effective as well with the browns gear up to spawn.
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 Basin, right now - Click here for hand selected flies
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.
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.