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 flows are low and at this point in the year, we don’t expect to see any major fluctuations. Currently sitting at 15 cfs, flows are on par with the historical average. There is considerable ice buildup upstream of Vail Village but if you focus on the stretch below Vail Village, you’ll find pockets of open water and feeding trout. Midges are active and will encourage trout to feed on and near the surface during the late afternoon. Our preferred setup during this hatch is a Griffiths Gnat or #24 Parachute Adams followed by a Chocolate Foam Back Emerger or Black Beauty. Water clarity is high, so downsize your tippet to 5x or 6x and ensure you’re leader is at least 9 ft long. When trout aren’t feeding near the surface, your best bet is to fish a dry double dropper and get your flies into the deepest water column. Your dry fly won’t get much attention but it will effectively hold multiple nymphs and split shot and act as an alternative nymph rig. Tie on a Hippie Stomper or Amy’s Ant and trail a searcher/attractor pattern with 16 – 20 inches of 5x tippet. Below your searcher pattern, trail a midge or baetis pattern. Red Zebra Midges, Black Beauties, Darth Baetis and Chocolate Foam Back Emergers do particularly well this time of year. Overnight temps are consistently dropping below freezing and will continue to do so through fall, so let the river sit until 12 pm and fish it hard through the afternoon.
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.