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Fly Fishing Gore Creek – Colorado

Gore Creek is a wonderful little freestone stream which flows through the Vail valley in Colorado. Although this creek is small, there are actually some really nice trout here. It is also a healthy creek, with plenty of bug life. Throughout the summer and fall months, fly anglers can find more solitude here, as nearby Eagle and Colorado Rivers are much more crowded.

As far as small streams go, Gore Creek is one of the best picks in the whole state. Not only can you get solitude on a beautiful mountain creek, but you can hook some really nice trout, some 20 inches or bigger. For fly anglers looking to escape the crowds and hook some big fish, this is the spot.

This article will cover tips and tricks for fishing Gore Creek, as well as access points. If small creeks are your cup of tea, this one is worth taking a day to explore. Since it is right on the Interstate 70 West corridor, it is quite convenient for most anglers traveling through.

Gore Creek Fly Fishing Spots

There are enough access points to keep fly fishers occupied, but there is a lot of private water as well. Colorado is one of the strictest states when it comes to stream access, and property owners are not actually required to post signs.

Always know your public access points before you venture to the river, as this will avoid tickets and problems. You must remain on public at all times, there is no easement for crossing through private land.

 

My absolute favorite spot on Gore Creek is where it meets the Eagle River on Interstate 70. At this confluence, there are plenty of nice trout in both pieces of water. I like to start out by fishing the Eagle, and then work my way up into Gore Creek. Along the Gore Creek trail, you can work upstream for quite a ways.

Not only are there nice trout in Gore itself, but plenty of fish also come up from the Eagle River. There is plenty of good holding water in this section, and we have caught some great trout in here.

 

Working upstream, our next favorite spot is at Stephens Park. This public park also allows fishing access, and there are some really perfect runs. However, plenty of anglers know about this access, so be prepared to see some other folks. There is generally enough water for everyone, though.

 

Continuing upstream, Donovan Park is another easy access point. This park has quick access and plenty of parking. This is right near the base of Vail Mountain itself, so you’ll get some awesome views while you’re fishing through this section. There is really something special about fishing in one of the best ski resort towns in America.

Gore Creek Variable Conditions

Since this is a freestone creek, there is no dam that controls the flow. This means that during the spring runoff, Gore will be very muddy and way too fast to fish. This runoff continues to rise throughout the month of May. By mid to late June, the creek generally becomes fishable again, and this is some of the best fishing of the year.

The water continues to drop throughout the summer and into fall. As the water gets lower, the fishing gets more technical and the trout become more picky. It can even be fishable in the winter, depending on overnight temperatures.

Since this is a freestone creek, rains and other natural events can seriously affect the flows. This can often change very quickly, so be prepared for changing flows on Gore Creek. Flash floods happen quite often on this creek, and you don’t want to get caught out there when they happen.

Fly Fishing Tips

Since Gore is pretty narrow and relatively shallow, fishing it with a single dry fly is often the best approach. Most trout are eager to rise to a well presented dry in the summer and fall. I fish a lot of Caddis dries and small hoppers. PMX’s also work well in the warmer months.

For the deeper pools, switching to a dry dropper setup can be beneficial. This allows the trout to eat a bead head nymph if they are not willing to rise to a dry. Your standard Pheasant Tails, Hares Ears, and Copper Johns will work just fine most of the time.

Small streamers can also work well, such as Woolly Buggers, sculpin and leech patterns.

You can definitely nymph this creek, which is productive in the winter and through spring. Short nymph rigs with yarn or Palsa indicators is my go-to method. These micro rigs allow you to stay stealthy without spooking the trout. A small split shot, and Midge or BWO nymphs work well.

Gore is known for its sight fishing opportunities, since you can usually see fish if they are present. This allows fly anglers to dial in their technique and actually watch trout eat. When done properly, this can be a real good time, but it can also be challenging if the fish see you. If you can’t see any fish, then blind fishing is still a good method. Cast your flies and drift them through any likely holding water – there is likely a fish or two in every spot.

Keeping your tippet thin is also a good idea here. 5x and 6x will get you more bites than thicker tippets will. When the fish get really spooky, I often have to switch to 6x to get bites.