Eagle River

Eagle River

Difficulty Intermediate
Ideal Days To Fish 3/8 & 3/9

Weekly Report

Report DateMarch 4, 2021
Fishing on the Eagle continues to improve with mild weather and increasingly more open water. There remains a fair amount of ice along the banks, but a number of sections are starting to open up. Despite snow and winter weather on Thurs (3/4), you can expect some warm afternoons in the coming days. Nymphing with small and imitative midge larva/pupa patterns has produced the best results. However, trout are feeding more opportunistically so don’t hesitate to throw a variety of flies their way. Classic searchers like a Copper John, Flashback PT, Brassie or Guide’s Choice Hare’s Ear are all fair game. Otherwise, Zebra Midges (red, black, brown and green), Flashback Barr’s Emergers, Top Secrets (mercury & traditional), Mercury Black Beauties and Jujubaetis have all produced great results. Focus on the slow and soft water most of the day, but expect trout to move into the riffles and seams in the afternoon. With this in mind, come prepared to adjust your depth frequently. Hatch activity continues to improve. However, surface action has been minimal. That said, if you see trout actively rising, don't hesitate to rig up some dries.

Recommended Flies

River Flow

Flow Region

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.