With excellent sight fishing year-round, Gore Creek in Vail, Colorado is a freestone stream with a Gold Medal expanse where avid Gore Creek fly fishermen can catch various trout species and enjoy the gorgeous backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. The 18.5-mile stretch of Gore Creek flows through Vail, CO, extending from Gore Range at the south end and joining Eagle River in Leadville, just a couple miles west of Vail.
As one of the better-kept secrets in Vail, Colorado fly fishing, Gore Creek has plenty of access points, hatches, and opportunities for novices and pros alike to land legendary catches. If you’re looking for a great place to fish in Middle Colorado or if you’re planning your next trip to these Gold Medal waters, here is everything you need to know about Gore Creek fly fishing in Vail, Colorado so you can make the most out of your next adventure.
Best Places for Gore Creek Fly Fishing in Vail, Colorado
Gore Creek’s Gold Medal stretch runs parallel to the I-70, starting where the Gore meets Red Sandstone Creek and reaching to the convergence with Eagle River. Capable of yielding about 60 pounds of trout per acre, this expanse of Gore Creek is peppered with several pull-offs and parks, making it easy to find a great fishing spot, especially if you’re willing to walk a bit and get away from crowds and tour groups.
For many experienced anglers, the spot below Lionshead—at the Creek’s west end—is the best place to fish on the Gore. In fact, there are opportunities to catch Brookies, as well as Brown, Rainbow, and Cutthroat trout, 12 months a year along the entire stretch of Gore Creek, not just in its Gold Medal waters.
Access points abound for Gore Creek fly fishing. Following the I-70 through Vail, Gore Creek Colorado access points are easy to find for those making the trip for the first time. Some easy points of access include:
- I-70 exits 171, 173 & 176 in Vail, Colorado
- Gore Creek Campground
- Bighorn Park
Best Time for Gore Creek Fly Fishing
There’s no bad time for Gore Creek fly fishing, but many Gore Creek fly fishermen agree that the best catches tend to come in the wintertime. While fall and spring are also outstanding times for Gore Creek fly fishing, spring is not the preferred season, due to cold runoffs from the Rockies’ melting ice shelves.
Still, spring fishing at the Gore can be productive, especially if you:
- Nymph—it’s usually best to stay away from dry-dropper rigs during the springtime.
- Stick to spots that look like good fish habitats.
- Look for low, clear waters.
- Stay away from spawning Rainbow Trout by Lionshead.
Flies Recommended for Gore Creek Fly Fishing in Vail, Colorado
Year-round, hatches that are typical along the Gore Creek in Colorado include caddis flies, pale morning dun, and blue-winged olive. By season, recommended flies for Gore Creek fly fishing include (and may not be limited to):
- Spring: Baetis & Midges
- Summer: Mayflies, Terrestrials, Stoneflies, Caddis
- Fall: Baetis Caddis, Midges, small Streamers, some Terrestrials
- Winter: Baetis & Midges
The table below shows some more options that can put fish in your net at the Gore.
Sprout midge 20-22, Foam Para Adams 16-18, PMX 14-16, Parachute Adams 16-20, Pearl and Elk Caddis 16-18, Hackle Stacker BWO 18-22, Clacka Caddis 14-16, Parawulff 10-18, Patriot 14-16, Roy's Special Emerger 18-22
Heavy Metal Worm Pink, Sparkle Worm, Two-bit Hooker 18-20, Barr Emerger BWO 16-18, Hare's Ear 14-16, Poison Tung 18-20, Buckskin Caddis 16-18, Perdigon 14-16, DB Rib Worm Pink/Red, Lint Bug 18-22, Magic Fly 18-20, Skinny Nelson PT 16-18, Zebra Midges 18-22, Flashback PT 14-16, Soft hackle PT 14-18, Pats Bread Crust 16-18, Prince Nymph 16-20, RS2 18-22
Baby Gonga, Jig Thin Mint, Sparkle Minnow, Sculpzilla (Baby natural & olive)
Gear for Gore Creek Fly Fishing in Vail, Colorado
The right gear for Gore Creek fly fishing depends on what you’re looking to catch, the type of flies you are throwing, and your skill level. While you will definitely need your fishing license and waders, here’s some other gear that can help you enjoy a fun, successful fly fishing trip at the Gore Creek, Colorado:
- A reliable 4-weight fly rod
- Small tippets, 4x to 6x
- A dry-dropper rig (if you’re fishing the Gore in any season but spring)
- A map, a guidebook, or a professional guide if you are new to the area or new to fly fishing
Tips for Gore Creek Fly Fishing near Vail, Colorado
- Get a recent Gore Creek fly fishing report from a local fly shop to help you better understand current conditions.
- Scout out spots by bigger rocks and boulders, either right in front or behind them.
- Know the rules and stick to the limits—Gore Creek fly fishermen are limited to two trout measuring at least 16 inches (anything smaller must be thrown back).
- Stick to flies and artificial lures. Those are the only permissible bait to use on the Gore, according to Creek regulations.
- Don’t be afraid to try out new spots along the Gore, especially when fly fishing this Creek during different seasons.
Plan a Gore Creek Fly Fishing Trip
When you’re ready to experience the best fly fishing that Gore Creek Colorado has to offer, Riversmith has the high-quality, durable equipment you need to easily and safely transport your gear. With our rod tubes, rod racks, and more, you can easily pack up and take off for your next fly fishing adventure, whether it takes to you Gore Creek in Vail, Colorado or any other Gold Medal waters in Colorado.
At Riversmith, our anglers, engineers, and guides are always searching for ways to solve fishermen’s problems and make the adventure that much better. We love what we do, and we are known for designing premium fly-fishing products. If fly fishing is your passion, Riversmith is here for you.
Wherever your journey takes you, we’ll keep you geared for the catch.