Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 3/16/2018

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San Juan River in New MexicoReal-time River Data

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?

Buck San Juan River

Corky San Juan

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug408
 347 cfs Steady The lake turn over is subsiding and the Juan is clearing up.  Spring is bringing clouds of midges and baetis…along with spring breakers looking to wet a line.  Fishing will be good, but don’t expect complete solitude.  Midges 22-28: Black midge pupa, Disco Midge, Tav’s Big Mac, Jujubee Midge.  Midge Dries: Duranglers Adult Midge, CDC Biot Midge, Midge Dry.

Simi Seal Leeches, Goat Leech, Chamois Leech, Bunny Leech. San Juan Worms: Red, Wine, Orange. Red and Orange Annelids, and Chamois leeches.  Thread Baetis, Split Flag Baetis, Barrs Vis-A-DunJujubaetis.

Animas RiverReal-time River Data

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. Animas River Rainbow Trout

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
117 cfs Steady The water on the Animas is low….real low.  However, spring is warming everything up and the are moving out of their winter holding water.  BWOs are popping and you can find fish suspended eating emergers and dries midday.  The streamer bite is also starting BWO Nymphs: Jujubaetis, RS-2, Killer Mayfly, Rainbow Warrior.

BWO Dries: Sparkle Dun, BWO Split Flag, BWO Foam Emerger.

Streamers: El Sculpito, Complex Twist BuggerZiwi, Lunch Money, Meat Whistle, Triple Double, Platte River Spider.

San Juan River in ColoradoReal-time River Data

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.


CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug85
 114 cfs Fluctuating Spring on the Upper Juan is here!  BWOs, Midges, Stonefly nymphs, and streamers are on the menu. Pat’s Rubberlegs, 20 Incher, Sparkle StoneBrown Baetis Nymph, RS-2, Killer Mayfly, Pheasant Tails.   Streamers such as the Dali Lama, Sheila Sculpin, Josh’s Ziwi.

Piedra RiverReal-time River Data

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!

DJ-Fishing Piedra

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
108 Fluctuating Water will be very cold, but fishing should be picking up.  Deep running Nymph rights with a mayfly and stonefly should be your go-to, but watch for hatching midges, BWOs, and winter stones. A Pat’s rubberlegs followed by a Pheasant Tail have done wonders on this water.  We don’t always throw nymph rigs, but when we do, bugs in the flavor of stonefly, caddis, and mayfly are Key.  Stay thirsty my friends.

Los Pinos RiverReal-time River Data

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!   Pine Brown

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
5.41 cvs below dam. Dropped to winter flows Leave these fish alone until they bump the flows up. Tie some flies for spring.

Dolores River Below McPheeReal-time River Data

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!


CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
66.1 cfs Recently bumped up Access will be tough with the gate closed, but that just means you will more water to yourself.  Flows were just bumped up to 66.1 which is not really something you should be ignoring right now… Midge nymphs, emergers, and dries.  Durangler’s Midge Pupa and DryRS-2

Dolores River Above McPheeReal-time River Data

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.


CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
Ice Ice Most of this river will be covered in ice.  If you can gain access, fish deep. Stonefly nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ear.  Egg patterns if you are a dirty bastard.

Rio Grande (30 mile /Wagon Wheel)Real-time River Data

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.   Jake-Mike-Rio

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
3.8/Ice Winter flows…so it’s really cold, icy, and low It’s going to be cold on the Rio, with low water.  Small bugs, light tippet, and deep holes are your best bet.  The lower stretches will fish best. BWO and midge nymphs and dries such as RS-2, Bat Wing Emerger, Foam BWO Emerger, Zebra Midge, Grape Slushie.

Florida River

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.

The Stupid Fast Caddis Success

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
6.94/5.89 Steady Mostly covered in ice and inaccessible. Midges will be popping: Disco Midge, Sproat midge Dry, Miracle Nymph.

Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis.


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. Colorado Creek Trout

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
Icy Cold conditions exist on our creeks but fish can be caught with nymph rigs if you are that type of person.  Fishing will hold until the snows cover these high country holes up until spring. Attractor dries such as the Hippy Stomper, Royal Wulff, Stimulators, 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.

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
Ice Low fall flows It’s cold, run a deep nymph rig if you can find any open water Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs.


Our local lakes and ponds hold an abundance of trout, pike, bass, and many other species of gamefish.   1 resized

  • 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)
CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
Lower Elevation Lakes are opening up Ice fishing on the higher elevations.

Vallectio is mostly ice free.

Navajo is open and pike fishing is on.

Pasterious, Totten, Puett are ice free.

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!

Les Gunnison

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
646 Steady Nymph rigs and midges will be the go-to, but don’t discount a good sontefly nymph either. Midges: Durangler’s Midge Pupa and Dry.  RS-2 Disco Midge, Sproat midge Dry, Miracle Nymph.

Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis.

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.

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
42.5 Steady Small stuff and lots of it!  Midges, midges, and more midges.  Leeches and aquatic worms are also a good choice.  Basic tailwater goodies. Eggs, leeches, and San Juan Worms patterns. Midges: Durangler’s Midge Pupa and Dry.  RS-2 Disco Midge, Sproat midge Dry, Miracle Nymph. Flash Midge Pupa, Flashback WD-40.