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The Quality Water section of the San Juan River below Navajo Reservoir is arguably the best trout river in the world. The San Juan offers big fish…lots of them, and you can catch them 365 days a year! Need a guide?
|517 cfs||Steady||The flows have been steady but the water is warming slightly. However, due to lake turnover it remains off color. The benefit to this is heavier tippet and larger flies such as worms, eggs, leeches, and annelids.||Midges size 20-24: Midge Adult, Midge Dry, Midge Emerger, black and brown flash midge pupa, Rootbeer Midge. San Juan Worms 14-18, Red and Orange Annelids. BWOs 18-24: Thread Body Baetis, RS2, Juju Baetis, Barrs Emerger, Film Critic BWO. Simi Seal Leeches, Goat Leech, Egg patterns in Pink, Yellow, Cream, Peach. San Juan Worms: Red, Wine, Orange.|
One of the last free-flowing rivers in the state of Colorado, the Animas is a unique and rare treasure. With the newest and one of the best Gold Medal Water sections in Colorado, the Animas is a river that should be on your list of places to fish.
|314 cfs||Steady||Low elevation snow melt has the Animas dirty. Below lightner has been very off color, but large dark, and flashy nymphs and streamers will do the trick. Fish all the likely spots and watch for hatches of midges and Baetis.||Caddis Pupa: 14-20 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis, Splatte Roller. BWOs sizes 18-20: RS-2, Brown Baetis Nymph, Rainbow Warrior, Killer Mayfly, Shot Glass Baetis. Prince Nymphs, Copper John, Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince, and Pat’s Rubberlegs. Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, and Dirty Hippy.|
Flowing through Pagosa Springs on its way to Navajo Reservoir, the “upper” San Juan is a good freestone river with good caddis and stonefly hatches.
|197 cfs||Rising||The water will be off color with lower elevation snow melt. Darker nymphs and streamers will be the key to finding fish||Caddis Pupa: 14-20 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis. Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince, and Pat’s Rubberlegs. Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, and Dirty Hippy.|
Spilling out of the Weimunuche wilderness, this classic trout stream offer good dry fly opportunities and a surprising diversity of fishing opportunities and a surprising diversity of fish. Duranglers also has some outstanding guided private water on the Piedra!
|359||Rising||The lower Piedra will be off color with snowmelt while the upper will have tough access due to snow. However there is open water for the adventerous. Stonefly nymphs in deep holes and slots will find fish.||Stonefly nymphs in sizes 6-12: Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs, 20 Incher. Caddis Pupa: 14-20 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis. Attractor nympshs in sizes 12-20: Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns.|
This is the section below Vallecito Reservoir. Bordered by private property on both sides for its entire length below the reservoir, you can only fish it if you are lucky enough to own property on it or if you take a guide trip with Duranglers!
|317 below dam.||Steady||Flows have been raised and fishing has been good. Attractor nymphs with weight will be the key in the deeper holes. Look for hatches of midges and baetis to get fish moving.||Mayfly Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Juju Baetis, BWO Bat Wing Emerger, BWO Foam Emerger, RS-2. Prince, Copper John, Hare’s Ear Nymphs. Caddis Pupa: 12-14 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis. Stonefly nymphs such as Pat’s Rubberlegs, Prince Nymphs, and 20 incher.|
The Dolores River below McPhee Reservoir doesn’t get allocated enough water to blossum into the river it should be. Keep an eye on the little water it is getting and remember every drop counts!
|40.2 cfs||Recently Increased||Winter fishing techniques still apply, but flows have been bumped up 10 cfs. If you can access the lower river (the forest service gate is still locked), you may be able to find fish. Midges and Baetis will be the primary food source right now.||Duranglers Midge Adult, Bling Midge, Black Midge Pupa. Chocolate RS2, Phesant tails, Rainbow Warriors, Barrs BWO Vis-a-Dun, Bat Winged Emerger, BWO Hackle Stacker.|
This freestone river spills out of the high country and through a beautiful forested canyon. The limited access on the river should not be a deterent in exploring this great river.
|Ice||Ice||Access will be tough unless you can find open water…and there will be more open water with each day!||Rainbow Warriors, Pheasant Tails. Stonefly nymphs Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs. Caddis nymphs. Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs.|
The Rio Grande is a classic western river. It is a great dry fly river with one of the best Salmonfly hatches in Colorado. The flow is partially controlled by a dam, but the many tributaries add significant flow during spring and wet weather.
|4.5 at 30 mile/Ice At Wagon Wheel Gap||Ice||Winter has set in on the Rio, access is tough. If you can find open water to fish, do it. Otherwise, wait for spring.||Duranglers Midge Adult, Big Mac Pupa, Black Midge Pupa. Chocolate RS2, Phesant tails, Rainbow Warriors, Disco Midge, Zebra Midge. Stonefly Nymphs.|
The difficult fly fishing on the Florida River will not be attractive to every angler, and beginners should take some time to hone their skills on other rivers before going there. Those who are willing to put in the necessary effort to discover its scenic wonders as well as its secret trout holes will be amply rewarded with much more than wild trout.
|18.2 Above/12.6 Below||Low and steady||The lower river is at winter flows and will be mostly covered in snow. Same with the upper river, wait until spring.||Midges and BWOs. Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Psycho Prince. Stupid Fast Caddis. Buggers and streamers. Eggs and leeches.|
Fishing Durango Colorado is very numerous and diverse. There is of course the famous San Juan River below Navajo Dam along with the larger freestone rivers like the Animas, Piedra and Dolores. But there are also more small mountain streams than can be fished in a lifetime.
|Ice||Creek fishing season is over. See our Creek Guide for more info on finding great high country honey holes.||Attractor dries such as the Hippy Stomper, Royal Wulff, and Humpies. Dropper Nymphs: Prince Nymphs, Copper Johns, Pheasant tails, Hare’s Ears.|
San MiguelReal-time River Data
Flowing out of the “hip” town of Telluride, the San Miguel is a small river/ large stream that offers some great fishing and pretty good access.
|Ice||Ice||Access will be tough unless you can find open water, otherwise wait for spring.||Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs. Small buggers and streamers.|
Our local lakes and ponds hold an abundance of trout, pike, bass, and many other species of gamefish.
- Vallecito Reservoir (Pike, Trout, Smallmouth Bass)
- Lemon Reservoir (Trout, Kokanee Salmon)
- Navajo Reservoir (Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Carp, Trout, Catfish)
- Puett Reservor (Pike, Smallmouth Bass)
- McPhee Reservoir (Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Trout, Kokanee Salmon, Crappie, Walleye, Bluegill)
- Pastorius Reservoir (Bass, Trout, Panfish)
- Echo Lake (Bass, Crappie, Sunfish, Trout)
- Summit Reservoir (Largemouth and Smallmouth bass, Trout, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Crappie)
- Totten Reservor (Pike, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Bluegill, Crappie)
- Haviland Lake (Rainbow and Brook Trout)
- High country lakes (Trout)
|Ice…Except Navajo||Some low elevation lakes are icing off and fishing good for pike and trout.||
Gunnison (Black Canyon)Real-time River Data
The Black Canyon of the Gunnison River offers one of the greatest wilderness/fishing experiences in the lower 48. The river has a good population of rainbows and brown and some of the best hatches around. Every angler should put our three-day float on their “places to fish before I die” list!
|1200||Steady||Flows are up on the Gunny. Nymph and streamer rigs are the ticket, but watch for rising fish to midge and BWO hatches. The lower river can fish good this time of year with midges and deep nymph rigs. It may not be a bad idea to swing a streamer.||Rainbow Warriors, Barrs BWO Vis-a-Dun, RS-2s, Stonefly nymphs Rubber Leg Copper John, Prince Nymph, Sparkle Stone, 20 Incher, Pat’s Rubberlegs. Midges, Caddis pupa. Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, and Dirty Hippy.|
UncompaghreReal-time River Data
The newest tailwater fishery in the state. The Unc. (we like to call it) has two faces. The overly manicured part of the river is a little like fishing at Disneyland. The “wild” section is a real river.
|65||Steady||Small Mayfly and Midge nymphs will be the ticket in winter. Think small with tippet and flies. Look for afternoon midge hatches.||Eggs, leeches, and SJ worm patterns. Pheasant Tails, BWO Foam Emerger. Copper John, Flash Midge Pupa, Flashback WD-40. RS-2|