Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 5/21/2018

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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/Bug
 343 cfs Recently Dropped Fishing on the SJ Quality Waters has been great lately with warmer weather and clear water.  Midges are hatching all day and Baetis in the afternoons have been coming off.  Flows may be increased with water levels on the Animas decreasing.  Midges 22-28: Sidewinder 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
752 cfs Falling with Fluctuation The fishing on the Animas River is turning on with the flows dropping and increased visibility. Caddis are beginning to hatch in the evenings and reports of adult salmon flies are coming in. Fishing streamers and dry dropper rigs off of the banks are both effective ways to fish this time of year. Stonefly Dries: Flushfloater Stone, Chubby Cherynoble, Rogue Foam Stone

Stonefly Nymphs: Atomic Stone, Pat’s Rubberlegs, Wired Stone, Sparkle Stone, Hot Wire Prince, Twenty Incher

Streamers: El Sculpito, Complex Twist BuggerZiwi, Lunch Money, Meat Whistle, Triple Double, Sparkle Peanut, Galloups Mini-Dungeon.

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
 458 cfs Falling The San Juan River in Colorado is starting to shape up for summer. The flows are dropping and the clarity of the water is increasing. Be on the lookout for caddis and stonefly hatches as the flows continue to drop. Fishing streamers, stoneflies, and attractor nymphs can be effective in the stained water. Pat’s Rubberlegs, 20 Incher, Sparkle Stone, Atomic Stone, Brown Wired Stone, BH Copper John, Psycho Prince, Hot Wire Prince, Prince Nymph, GTI Caddis

Streamers such as the Dali Lama, Sheila Sculpin, The One Sculpin, and 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
279 cfs Falling Springtime fishing on the Piedra has been great! The river has really started to shape up post runoff. Be on the lookout for adult salmonflies and caddis as it is approaching that time of the year! Stonefly Dries: Chubby Cherynoble, Rogue Foam Stone, Flushfloater

Pat’s Rubber Legs, Twenty Inchers, Prince Nymphs, Atomic Stones, Golden Stone Nymphs…anything stoned is what you want.

Slumpbusters, buggers, Mini Loop Sculpins, and El Sculpitos are also good calls with the streamer game.

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
609 cfs below dam. Steady Fishing has been great on the Lower Pine due to the recent increase in flows.  Fishing heavier nymph rigs trailed by mayfly emergers has been very effective for targeting trout in the faster water. Little Black Sloan, Pats Rubber Legs, Brown Wired Stone, Copper John, GB Pheasant Tail, Z-Wing Caddis, Dirty Bird Hares Ear, Rubber Legs Hares Ear.

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
38.6 cfs Steady The gate was just recently opened allowing for easier river access. There have been some hoppers out and about so come prepared with a variety of terrestrials. With some cloud cover keep your eyes out for hatching PMDs. Terrestrials                              Tan Parachute Hopper, Chubby Chernobyl, Stimulators.

Midge nymphs, emergers, and dries.  Durangler’s Midge Pupa and DryRS-2

PMDs:Nymphs: JujubaetisRS-2, Killer Mayfly, Split Back PMD, Rainbow Warrior.

PMD Dries: Sparkle Dun, Barrs PMD Vis-A-Dun, Parachute Adams.

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
256 cfs Falling The Upper Dolores is beginning to shape up for some great fishing post runoff!  Spring conditions on this high country river offer some opportunity to catch trout on nymphs and smaller streamers. Be on the lookout for fish feeding on dries as the summer temps settle in. Stonefly nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ear.

Wooly Buggers, Slump Busters, Meat Whistles.

Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams.

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
824 (30 Mile)

1170 (Wagon Wheel)

Fluctuating Flows are dropping and the Rio Grande Float season is here!  This fishing is currently good with Streamers and nymphs, but watch for hatches of Stoneflies and Caddis coming soon. Stoneflies: Brown Wired Stone, Atomic Stone, Pats Rubber Legs, Peacock Stone, Golden Stone.  (It wouldn’t hurt to have some Stimulators, Chubby Chernoybles, or Rogue Foam Stones on hand.)

Streamers!!!  El Sculpito, Galloups Mini-Dungeon, Complex Twist Bugger, Krystal Bugger Motor Oil, Flash Fry, Triple Double Rainbow,

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
68.6(Above Lemon)

241(Below Lemon)

Fluctuating The Upper stretches of the Florida are experiencing our annual runoff. The water is cold and fast so feeding fish sub surface  will be the key.

Below the Dam the flows have increased for springtime irrigation. With increased flows, the nymph fishing has been incredible. As our summer temps settle in those fish should start looking up to eat your favorite attractor dry.

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
Falling Cold conditions exist on our creeks but fish can be caught with nymph rigs.  Lower elevation sneaky creeks are fishing. 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
N/A Falling Fishing on the San Miguel River is turning on. Look to target fish in deeper slower water on nymph rigs. As the runoff pushes through, keep your eyes out for risers. Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs, Pats Rubber Legs, Little Black Sloan


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
Most lakes are open except the highest country lakes  

Vallectio is picking up!  Trout fishing is on, and Pike fishing is in full swing.  Smallmouth are starting to move to shallower waters as well.

Navajo is open and pike fishing is on, smallie fishing is great.  Carp is turning on

Pasterious, Totten, Puett are all fishing good.

Lake Nightmare …er…Nighthorse has been fishing great with crayfish patterns and chronomids.

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
601 cfs Steady Early summer flows are low fishing is good.  A stonefly nymph with a Mayfly Nymph dropped off the back is a great prospecting rig.  Watch for hatches of stones coming soon. Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis.

Stonefly Nymphs: Atomic Stone, Pat’s Rubberlegs, Wired Stone, Sparkle Stone, Hot Wire Prince.


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
252 Recently Raised With larger flows, look for fish to be spreading out.  Hatches of Midges and BWOs are around, but excpect Caddis and PMD’s as well. 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.

(It wouldn’t hurt to have some Stimulators, Chubby Chernoybles, or Rogue Foam Stones on hand.)