The Eagle River is a Caddis factory in the Vail Valley and this time of year these protein packed bugs emerge from the depths giving anglers some of the best fly fishing of the year. The early season fly fishing on the Eagle gives us July fishing conditions without the July crowds. There are days when you are the only boat on the water and the fishing is as good as it gets. This spring has been a finicky one to say the least. While we were seeing a strong caddis hatch earlier in the spring the recent monsoon rains followed by cooler temps have the river flows on a yo yo causing inconsistent hatch activity. These inconsistencies can significantly change how you fish a caddis pattern. One day you can be fishing dries to aggressive surface feeding trout while the next day you are dredging bottom with nymph patterns looking for the same fish. Thats is how it tends to go on the Eagle River and that is what makes it so fun to fish. Regardless of the funky weather and fluctuating river flows the caddis are here and fish are keyed in on them. The trick is to find out how to fish them and when.
Last week the river blew out (since then the river has gained back it’s clarity) so I sat down with a good friend of mine Bob Streb while he spun up some of his go to caddis nymphs for the Eagle River. Bob has been guiding the Eagle River for a long time and there are few out there that understand the Eagle River like he does. The Caddis creation Bob ties in this video is yet to have a name but as he says in the video “It Works.” This is not an instructional, how to tie video but maybe you can get some hints from it and employ them next time you find yourself fishing caddis patterns on the Eagle River.