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How to Fish the Lower Eagle River in Colorado for Trout this Fall

Fishing in Colorado

Colorado offers outdoor enthusiasts a wide variety of amazing activities. From using the mountains in the winter for skiing or snowboarding or using the rivers for rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and fishing in the summer. Rivers across the state offer anglers a wide variety of fish to be caught and amazing environments to catch them. One river that attracts many fishermen is the Lower Eagle River.  Here are some tips on catching trout in these waters this fall.

Where is the Eagle River?

The Eagle River starts right outside Leadville at Tennessee Pass and travels for 77 miles until it meets the Colorado River in Dotsero. Within the first 30 miles the river drops 2,400 feet.  The river slows and widens as it flows Avon and Edwards. Once the River has turned into the Vail Valley, it is considered the “Lower Eagle”, and is a very popular area for fishing.

How to Fish the Lower Eagle

With the Lower Eagle River, anglers must be aware of the spots they are fishing in. Avon, Edwards, and Wolcott have many parts of the river that are private property. Between Wolcott and Dotsero there is plenty of public access points. The best access points begin at Dowd’s Junction where the Eagle River meets Gore Creek. Keep in mind that if you decide to fish during peak season you may find yourself competing for space as it can get crowded on the banks, but heading out in the fall especially during the week you may find some clear areas to enjoy. Tributaries of the Eagle are easily accessed via forest roads throughout the area off Highway 24. Be careful of private property near Minturn and Gilman though, as there are sections of the river that are posted.

Fly Fishing the Lower Eagle

From Minturn to its merging with the Colorado River, the areas to be fished offer plenty of Rainbows, Cutthroat, Browns, and Brook Trout. It is not uncommon to catch one of these fish over the 20-inch mark. With light snowfall this winter and a less than average snowmelt the conditions have been very good, and the water clarity is excellent for fishing.

Lower Eagle River Hatches

Hatches are frequent and numerous, and the river is host to numerous species of midges, tricos, stoneflies, caddis, mayflies, and baetis flies almost all year long! A wide range of nymphs, dries, and streamers flies will work will this fall. Terrestrials are also a good choice this time of the year. With water temperatures that get warm in the afternoon, its best to hit it early and try to be off the water by 1:00 PM.

Where to Stay

There are many areas that lodging options including Vail, Avon, and Eagle. For those looking to camp, the majority of the land in this region is a part of the White River National Forest, and there are a number of campgrounds available with access to Eagle River.

Plan to check out the Lower Eagle River for you next fishing trip and be prepared for some giant catches in one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado.  If you aren’t ready to take on these fish alone, call Fly Fishing Colorado.  Our new 2 Hour Walk & Wade trip on the Upper Colorado River is perfect for beginners and advanced fishermen.


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