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.
Gore Creek is fishing well with sustained higher flows and mild weather. This is a great time of year to get out and fish as trout spent the last few months sheltered below a thick layer of ice with minimal food sources. As such, trout are not terribly selective when it comes to your flies. We’re seeing a variety of bugs in and on the water, so come prepared to mix it up. While trout are holding in the pronounced sections most of the day, they are beginning to spread out into the slower riffles and seams. Nymphing continues to be the most effective mode of fishing, however, surface action is really picking up. When nymphing, keep it simple with searcher/attractor patterns as well as some stonefly nymphs, caddis larva and midge larva/pupa. Worms are always a good option when water clarity decreases, as well. Otherwise, dry droppers are an effective and stealthy option. When fishing dry droppers, lead with a small attractor dry fly like an Elk Hair Caddis, Micro Chubby Chernobyl, Amy's Ant or Hippie Stomper. Trail any of those flies with 12 to 18 inches of tippet (or 1.5X the depth of the water) followed by one or more smaller nymphs. As far as trailer nymphs go, Guide's Choice Hare's Ears, Flashback PTs, Rainbow Warriors and red Copper Johns are all productive. Otherwise, keep an eye out for surface action and actively rising trout. Midges are present in high numbers and the BWO hatch has been great as well. If you see actively rising trout, rig up a dry or dry dropper and focus on the soft water where trout are looking up.
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.