Note: This report is a part of the FlyCast Lite reporting program and is updated seasonally or in the event of substantial changes that alter fly fishing tactics. FlyCast Lite reports are intended to give anglers a high level overview on seasonal conditions and general fishing tactics.
Sitting at 18 cfs, Gore Creek flows are low and roughly half of the historical average for this time of year. Low flows and gin clear water means spooky and selective trout, so don’t underestimate the value of stealthy fishing, soft presentations and clean drifts. Moving into fall, flows shouldn’t fluctuate by much more than 5 cfs, so stealthy and precise will be the name of the game moving forward. Active hatches right now include midges, BWOs and caddis. Terrestrials are also active but will start to dwindle over the coming weeks as overnight air temps drop below freezing. If you’re fishing during an active hatch, tie on a single dry fly and target rising trout. Griffiths Gnats, Parachute Adams, Hi-Vis BWOs and Elk Hair Caddis are staple dry fly patterns right now. Otherwise, a dry dropper with a terrestrial or caddis pattern is ideal. Dry droppers are a fantastic alternative to nymphing that offers delicate presentations in soft water and allow you to survey shallower water while appealing to top water and sub-surface feeders. Sub-surface, small is the key and a combination of flashy and imitative will do the trick. Rainbow Warriors, Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Mercury Black Beauties, Mercury Midges, Sparkle Wing RS2s, Barr’s Emergers, Blue Poison Tungs, JuJu Baetis and Darth Baetis are all great examples. Focus on pronounced pools, runs, riffles and pockets. If you’re not seeing results, consider adding a small split shot above your first dropper.
For many years, Gore Creek was a hidden gem in the ski town of Vail, CO. However, after receiving Gold Medal status, anglers began showing this small creek more love. The Gold Medal stretch starts at the Red Sandstone Creek confluence on the west end of town and runs west to the Eagle River confluence. Gore Creek originates in the Gore Range and flows west through the town of Vail and feeds into the Eagle River a few miles west of town. While the most popular stretch runs from the Golf Course in East Vail through the Gold Medal stretch west of Vail proper, the upper stretch provides anglers the opportunity to catch brook and cutthroat trout. The primary stretch contains small – medium sized rainbow and brown trout. Anglers willing to explore both stretches will have the unique opportunity to achieve a Grand Slam, catching brook, cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout in a single day. Aside from the heart of winter and peak runoff, Gore Creek fishes well most of the year. Our favorite seasons to fish this creek are summer (post runoff), fall and early winter.
Gore Creek is a small mountain creek with a mixture of fast riffles, pockets, deep pools and runs. Deep pools and runs typically hold the majority of the trout but during the summer and fall months, picking apart the riffles and pockets can be highly rewarding. In true freestone fashion, these trout aren’t overly selective, so you don’t need to overthink your fly selection. Aside from the cooler spring months, dry droppers and dry fly setups are the way to go. Elk Hair Caddis, Amy’s Ants and Hippie Stompers are fantastic dry fly options for a dry dropper setup. If you’re fishing during the winter/early spring or targeting a particularly deep pool, a double nymph setup is ideal. If you go this route, keep it light with a yarn indicator to avoid spooking trout. 5x fluorocarbon tippet is also beneficial when water clarity is high. While the Gore experiences a number of hatches throughout the year, our favorite is the caddis hatch during the summer and early fall.
The best way to explore and access the creek is via the Frontage Road on the south side of I-70. While there is plenty of public river for anglers to fish, parking can be a challenge. Traveling along the South Frontage Road, you’ll notice the occasional pull off but other than that, your best bet is to find a public park (there are a few through town) or a public parking lot. Another great way to explore the river is by walking along the bike path that parallels the creek. Refer to the map below for a few of the prominent access points.