24 Jun 2020
With over 6000 miles of fishable waters and 2000 lakes, it’s no wonder that Colorado fishing is “off the hook”. Affectionately dubbed “trout heaven here on earth”, regardless of how much you catch, the Rocky Mountain scenery nearly guarantees a great day on the water!
Whether you’re a fly fisher or a rod-and-reeler, there are ample ways to drop a line in Colorado.
Gold Medal Gore Creek
In Vail, Gore Creek provides ample public access fishing waters chock full of brookies, cutthroat, rainbows and brown trout. It’s a favorite fishing spot in the area because of its clear waters and Gold Medal stretches. No need for embellishing, you’ll be surprised by how big some of these trout actually are.
Gore Creek flows from the Gore Range to East Vail. Fishing is best from the golf course in East Vail down through the Gold Medal stretch in West Vail to the confluence with the Eagle River. You’ll be catching fish along the entire length, all the way up to the lake with beautiful areas at the upper stretch just as you’re approaching the lake at the “Grave Site” turnoff.
What’s not widely known is that Vail is home to a Gold Medal stretch of fishing that begins just west of Vail at the Red Sandstone Creek confluence into Gore Creek. The Gold Medal waters end where the Gore meets up with the Eagle River in Leadville, Colorado.
The Gold Medal designation by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife is the highest ranking for wild trout in Colorado. Only a tiny fraction of Colorado’s 9000 miles of waters carry the “Gold Medal” distinction. Gold Medal waters can produce up to 60 pounds of trout per acre, and the trout are typically over 14 inches long.
As expected, Gold Medal fishing waters come with special regulations to limit harvest numbers and ensure quality fly fishing well into the future, so make sure you’re aware of the local regulations, permitting requirements, and which stretches require private land permission before you cast a line.
Casting upstream, light lines, good technique, patience, and sunscreen are key ingredients to enjoying a great day of fishing on these Gold Medal Gore Creek waters.
Eagle River also has some great fishing with three distinct sections that differ from each other. It offers up a nice array of wild brown and rainbow trout. If you’re looking for a side of gorgeous scenery for your day of the river, spend the day on the upper Eagle.
If you’re casting dry flies, try the popular middle section that runs from Avon (near Beaver Creek) to the town of Eagle. Public access isn’t prevalent, but it is well marked in this stretch.
The Lower Eagle runs into the Colorado River at Dotsero. Warmer temperatures and fewer fish mean that this stretch is not a good choice for summer, but skilled anglers can have nice days in the fall.
In spring and early summer, fly fishermen along the Eagle are treated to the ultimate dream with Caddis hatches that bring so many trout to the surface. Float season is short and runs from April - July, but waders enjoy the Eagle year-round. The best public access is below Wolcott and above Edwards.
Because you don’t want to spend your whole vacation wading through licensing, permission and restriction logistics, hire one of Vail and Beaver Creek’s best fishing guides to have you wading through schools of trophy trout, instead. Here are our favorite fishing outfitters in the Vail Valley.
If you’re looking for trophy trout, expert guides, stunning scenery, and solitude, book a day on private or public waters with Vail Valley Anglers. They fish all of the rivers in the area, offer a variety of wade and float trips, a top-notch fly fishing school, and their friendly guides have the insider knowledge of the best spots to cast your line.
For something different, try an e-bike and fishing day package or a night float trip with nocturnal predators. Vail Valley Anglers are conveniently located on the banks of the Eagle River in nearby Edwards, Colorado.
These outfitters have been the experts in the area for over 35 years. They proudly proclaim they spend more time in waders than in regular clothing. They offer float and wade trips for novices to experts. Kids over 8 can even join in on the fun. Their knowledge of Gore Creek, Eagle, the Colorado, the Roaring Fork, and many surrounding high country streams and lakes is unmatched in the valley. With over 200 years of combined experience, their guides offer unparalleled access and next-level instruction.
For something different try a horseback riding and fly fishing adventure with Gore Creek Fly Fisherman’s exclusive partnership with Beaver Creek Stables. They also have Women’s Sunday Specialty clinics, weekly casting clinics, and customized Breakthrough Sessions for those wanting to elevate their angling to pro status.
In Avon, near Beaver Creek
Ready to hang that Gone Fishing sign on your door? Then it’s time for another great catch! If you want the best in vacation home rentals and condominiums, then don’t trust your Vail or Beaver Creek summer vacation to anyone else. We have spoiled our guests for over 21 years with our exceptional service and our hand-picked collection of homes and condominiums. Your perfect Vail Valley vacation is just a Moving Mountains luxury vacation homeaway.