How to Experience the Best Vail Fly Fishing

When most people think of fly fishing, they picture Montana and the movie filmed there that brought fly fishing to the masses – “A River Runs Through It.” So, it might be surprising to learn that Colorado has some of the best and most abundant fishing you’ll find anywhere, with 8,000 miles of rivers, including 322 miles of Gold Medal streams. Vail’s very own Gore Creek, which runs right behind Lodge at Lionshead, happens to be one of these Gold Medal streams. Oh, and Vail has some pretty incredible scenery, too.  

Whether you are a fly fishing enthusiast or brand new to the sport, Vail is the perfect destination to build or perfect your skills while enjoying the beautiful nature surrounding you. Read on to learn more about the best ways to experience fly fishing in Vail, CO. Then be sure to request a free copy of our Vacation Guide for more local insight regarding the best things to do in Vail!  

Three of the Best Ways to Experience Fly Fishing in Vail, CO

1. Go with a Guide: Float Trips

We always recommend hiring a guide because they have a wealth of experience and insight, and they can take you to some of the best local spots. They also have access to private water if that is something you want to try. A float trip is an excellent option for any skill level, especially the more expert angler. Fishing by boat offers access to water that is not available for wading and the ability to cover more miles during your trip through stunning scenery. 


You also may get the opportunity to stop and wade in certain sections, getting the best of both worlds. 

Half-day, 3/4 day, and full-day options are available, with half-day trips being around five hours total (including travel) and full-day trips being seven- or eight- hours total. We recommend Gore Creek Fly Fisherman for both float and wade trips. 

2. Go with a Guide: Wade Trips

Wade trips are a great way for anglers of all levels to fine-tune their skills and increase their fishing knowledge. You also get a chance to slow down, relax, and have a more intimate connection with the water, local landscape, and fish. Depending on your fitness level and desire for adventure, you could even hike to some fantastic secret spots in the surrounding wilderness. 


Like float trips, half-day, 3/4 day, and full-day options are available, with half-day trips being around five hours total (including travel) and full-day trips being seven- or eight- hours total. We recommend Gore Creek Fly Fisherman for both float and wade trips. 

3. Go Your Own Way

Locally, you can fish on Gore Creek and the Eagle River. For Gore Creek, access is easy via the public parks in Vail. If you are seeking large trout, head due west of Vail to the point where Red Sandstone Creek enters the Gore. That’s the Gold Medal territory. On Gore Creek, you are only allowed to use artificial lures and flies. The minimum size for trout is 16-inches, and the catch-and-keep limit is two (although taking zero is better for the stock levels). 


The nearby Eagle River is not too far away and worth the trip, often quieter than Gore Creek. 

You can purchase a fishing license online or at any local fly shop. Fly shops also offer casting clinics, gear, clothing, and advice on where to fish – if you are lucky. 

Useful Tips

  • All guided trips include waders, boots, rods, reels, beverages, and flies used during the trip. Lunch is included on full-day trips and is available for an additional cost on half-day trips.  
  • Trip pricing does not include fishing license or guide gratuity.  
  • Guided trips go out rain or shine, and afternoon showers are common throughout the summer months. Please come prepared with an extra pair of socks, sunglasses, a hat, and a light rain jacket. For sunny weather, remember to bring some sunscreen and your camera! 

Make the Most of Your Vacation When You Stay at Lodge at Lionshead

Are you ready to reel in your greatest catch yet? When you go fly fishing in Vail, you’ll leave with your own big fish stories to tell and memories that will last you a lifetime. Now, it’s time to figure out where you’ll be staying during your big fishing trip. At Lodge at Lionshead, we offer outstanding accommodations with quality amenities and incredible customer service.


Choose between our one, two, and three bedroom condos and studio lofts! Our staff is also more than happy to help you choose the best option in your price range. During your stay, you can arrange all your fishing trips, dinner reservations, and more through our concierge desk. Start planning your trip today!