Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about Vail, Colorado fly fishing helpful.
Almost everybody who visits the Vail Valley in summer asks about fly fishing. It is definitely one of the MUST-DO activities while you are in Colorado. Colorado boasts 300 days of sunshine annually, so spend the day enjoying the spectacular river scenery while catching wild mountain trout. It just doesn’t get any better than this.
Perfect for novice and experienced anglers. This type of fishing puts you right in the action, with waders to keep you dry as you walk and fish along the banks of the river finding the spots where fish are hiding and feeding. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of the river up close and personal and allows for more hands-on instruction.
Ideal for both the expert angler and the beginner alike. By fishing from a boat you can cover more river miles than wade fishing and can get to more remote areas that you can only get to by boat.This is a perfect way for couples, families and small groups to share in the fun of a fishing adventure while enjoying a day on the river.
For both wade and float trips you can choose a full day which usually includes lunch or a morning half day or an afternoon half day.
Here in the Vail Valley, we love our fishing so you will find unique fishing offerings or find it paired with many other activities to create a full day (or night) of adventure. For instance, local outfitters offer:
Colorado is home to 322 miles of Gold Medal Water that include 11 different rivers and 3 lakes. Vail, Colorado is very close and within easy driving distance to many of these Gold Medal Waters.
Gold Medal Waters is a designation that means a section of stream can produce 60 pounds of trout per acre and must be able to produce a minimum of 12 “quality trout” (14+ inches) per acre. Here are some of the best waters in the area:
The Gore Creek offers a Gold Medal, 4-mile stretch of river that starts where Red Sandstone Creek meets the Gore, just west of Vail itself, and continues all the way to the Eagle River. Hwy 6 follows the creek and offers easy access to fishermen.
The Blue River in neighboring Summit county, offers 34-miles of Gold Medal Waters from north of the Dam at Dillon Reservoir to its confluence with the Colorado River. Hwy 9 follows the Blue River for most of the 34 mile stretch and offers lots of access points.
The Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs also boasts 22-miles of amazing Gold Medal Waters beginning at the confluence of the Roaring Fork River with the Fryingpan River and continues downstream to the confluence with the Colorado River.
The Colorado River offers 20-miles of Gold Medal waters starting from just west of Hot Sulphur Springs)to the confluence with the Williams Fork River just east of Kremmling, CO. This area is catch and release only and contains brown and rainbow trout.
Steamboat Reservoir, it’s 1,053 surface acres, also boasts a Gold Medal designation. It offers trout of various kinds including the Snake River cutthroat trout. It is located 26 miles north of Steamboat Springs.
New to fly fishing before? Don’t let that stop you. It is easy to learn the basics but it will take you a lifetime to master it. Many local outfitters offer FREE casting clinics, during the summer months, so you can try your hand and get the feel of it. If you like it, and you will, you can take more, in-depth fly fishing classes. These step-by-step classes cover everything from casting, tying knots, choosing the right flies and a variety of fly fishing methods.
Most outfitters supply waders, rods, reels, beverages and flies used during the trip, as well as a lunch on full-day trips. However, you are required to get your own Colorado fishing license.
These local outfitters have been in business for years and really know their stuff. You will find more information about the trips described above at these outfitter’s websites as well as informative blogs, upcoming events, merchandise and more.
I found this interesting fishing map app and detailed instructions on how to best use it on Fly Fishing Outfitters’ website. This is a great way to have detailed, digital maps of Colorado rivers in the palm of your hand. Just click on the pic to the right to go to the Apps’ website.
What do you think of Vail Fly Fishing? Please let us know if we have missed any local fishing outfitters or if you feel we have omitted any important information regarding fly fishing in the Vail Valley. Please share some of your Vail fly fishing stories we would love to hear them.