Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 1/24/2017

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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
 373 cfs Steady The lake is turning over.  While clarity is down, fishing remains great with midges, annelids, leeches, and egg patterns.  A leech/annelid rig is pretty much the go to. December 15th through April of 2018, there will be closures of the river from Simon Point to Crusher Hole.  A temporary boat take out will be located at Munoz day use area.  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, Jujubaetis.


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
114 cfs Steady With cold temps rolling in, water is very low and clear.  Trout will be holding in the deepest holes.  Nymph rigs are pretty much standard but it may be worth it to try a streamer fish very slow or dead drift. Miges 18-22: Disco Midge, Zebra Midge, Tav’s Big Mac.

Mayfly Nymphs: Jujubaetis, RS-2, Killer Mayfly.

Streamers: Sparkle Minnow, Ziwi, Lunch Money, Meat Whistle.


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/Bug85
 35.1 cfs Low and clear Veryow flows call for deep running nymph rigs, but don’t discount a slow streamer either. Trout will be holding in the deepest of waters.  Below the hot springs might be your best bet. 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
Ice Ice Deep holes, deep nymph rigs.  The upper streatches will be hard to access, but if you can, fish deep 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!

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

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
39.4 cfs Steady Access will be tough with the road closed.  But that just means you will have the river to yourself.  It’s been cold, so a lot of the water will be icy, but if you want to walk, this would be a worthwhile adventure. 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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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
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. 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
Ice Ice Mostly covered in ice and inaccessable. Midges will be popping: Disco Midge, Sproat midge Dry, Miracle Nymph.

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


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
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.

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 will be frozen Ice fishing.

Navajo is open and pike fishing will probably be not to bad.


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
835 Falling Nymph rigs and midges will be the go-to until spring if you can find access. 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
44.1 Recently Dropped 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.