Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 5/19/2017

Contact Duranglers for up to the minute information

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
 4840 cfs Increasing to 5000 next week Spring flushing flows are in full effect on the San Juan.  Waters are slightly off color, but look for them to clear up in the next week or so.  Fishing will start to get really good as the waters clear. It’s going to be big stuff for a little bit.  Simi Seal Leeches, Goat Leech, Egg patterns in Pink, Yellow, Cream, Peach. San Juan Worms: Red, Wine, Orange. Red and Orange Annelids, and Chamois leeches.  Black midge pupa in size 18-22 will also work well as the waters clear.

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
1740 cfs Dropping We had a little cold snap, and the Animas is dropping into a very nice window for float fishing…again.  Spring streamer stuff should be your go-to, but nymph rigs are also finding fish.  Hatches of salmonflies could be around the corner Prince Nymphs, Copper John, Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince, and Pat’s Rubberlegs.  Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Circus Peanut, Conehead Wool Sculpin, and Dirty Hippy.

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.

Caddis-eating-Trout

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
999 cfs Falling fast Flows are dropping and fishing has been picking up.  Big dark nymphs and streamers will be the key, watch for hatches of BWOs.  It looks like we may have a very nice float window on the upper Juan, call us to book a great and often overlooked float trip. Prince Nymphs, Hot Wire Prince, Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince, and Pat’s Rubberlegs.   Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, and Dirty Hippy.

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
970 cfs Dropping Flows are dropping and fishing could be picking up.  Big dark nymphs will be key as the water will be pretty cold.  You can also try out a bugger or streamer. Stonefly nymphs in sizes 6-12: Hot Wire PrinceRubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs, 20 Incher. Caddis Pupa: 14-20 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis.  Hot

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
763 below dam. Recently Increased Flows are up, but spring flushes are yet to come.  Flows in the 700 cfs range still produce fish.  Look for the heavy, deep slower water to hold good sized fish.  Wade carefully, the Pine can be tough. Mayfly Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Juju Baetis, BWO Bat Wing Emerger, BWO Blue Ribbon 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 Hot Wire Prince, Pat’s Rubberlegs, Prince Nymphs, and 20 incher.  Scuds and Sowbugs.

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!

Tom-Lower-Dolores-Duranglers-Durango-Colorado.jpg

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
871 cfs Dropped and steady Flows have been dropped from spring flushing flows, and is currently sitting at an amazing fishing cfs.  Float fishing would be a good idea right now, but wade fishing isn’t a bad idea either.  Fish will be pushed to the banks. Prince Nymphs, Copper John, Hare’s Ears, Psycho Prince, and Epoxy Stone.  Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Circus Peanut, Conehead Wool Sculpin, and Dirty Hippy.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
1460 cfs Dropping Flows are high, but dropping with the cold snap.  Big nymphs fished close to the banks will be your best bet to get into some fish. Stonefly nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ear.  Streamers.

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
590 at 30 mile/1790 Wagon Wheel Gap Falling Right now the Rio is falling with this cold snap we are having…and with falling water, the float fishing and streamer chucking program will be in full force.  Floating the Rio with streamers may not be a bad idea. Caddis Pupa: 14-20  GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis.  Prince Nymphs, Copper John, Hare’s Ears, and Pat’s Rubberlegs.  Dark streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, Flash Fry, and Dirty Hippy.

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
165 Above/161 Below Falling Fishing should be good on the the upper and lower sections of the Florida.  Flows below Lemon are soldid.  Nymph rigs with mayfly, caddis, and midge patterns will be the go to right now.  Above Lemon, flows are dropping but fishing will still be tough. Midges 18-20: Zebra Midge, Disco Midge, Black Midge Pupa.  Mayfly Nymphs.  Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Psycho Prince, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis.  Buggers and streamers.  Eggs and leeches.

Creeks

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
Slowly opening up Creek fishing season is will slowly be picking up.  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.

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
451 Dropping Flows are rising and the water will cold and off color.  Large attractor nymphs and buggers may fool a fish or two. Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs.  Small buggers and streamers.

Lakes/Ponds

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 local lakes are iced off and ready to fish.  Very high, backcountry lakes will still have some ice Fishing is picking up for pike, smallmouth, and trout.  Navajo is open, Totten and Puett will be fishable as well.  Lemon and Vallecito are also open.  Carp fishing is also starting.

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
3620 Rising Flows are coming up and fishing will be tough with the increases.  Stonefly nymphs will be a good food source with the increased flows and off color water.  You can also huck some meat. Stonefly nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Prince Nymph, Sparkle Stone, 20 Incher, Pat’s Rubberlegs.  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.

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
296 Steady Flows are up and steady and fishing is good!  Look for fish to be holding in new water with higher flows.  Typical tailwater stuff will work, but so will stoneflies and bigger nymphs.  Try a Hare’s Ear maybe.  Leeches too! Eggs, leeches, and San Juan Worms patterns. Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, BWO Blue Ribbon Foam Emerger.  Copper John, Flash Midge Pupa, Flashback WD-40.  RS-2