Eagle River

Eagle River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish NA

Weekly Report

Report DateAug. 4, 2022

Sustained low flows and warm weather have led to increasingly dangerous water temps and unsafe fishing conditions for trout. As such, the CPW is asking that anglers refrain from fishing ALL DAY between the Eagle County Fairgrounds and the Colorado River confluence at Dotsero. If compliance is not met, the CPW has the ability to implement mandatory closures. With this in mind, please refrain from fishing this stretch of water and seek out higher elevations. If you are dead set on fishing the Eagle, do so further upstream, ideally above Minturn where water temps are less of a concern. On the Upper Eagle, a hopper dropper, dry dropper or dry fly rig will be your best bet. Trout here are feeding opportunistically along the banks and through the faster riffles and seams. Start with an Amy's Ant to one or more smaller midge, baetis or caddis imitations and do your best to keep a low profile when casting and moving about the water. Otherwise, hatch activity has been strong with PMDs, sallies, drakes and caddis so come prepared to rig up some dry flies.

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.