Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 6/27/2017

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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
 3590 cfs Dropping The San Juan is finally coming down.  After about 50 days at 5000, the flows are being dropped.  Wade fishing will become more accessible, and we can expect fish to be found all over.  Look for the flying ant fall with rains  Midges 22-28: Black midge pupa, Disco Midge, Rootbeer Midge, Jujubee Midge, .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.  Flying Ant Patterns.

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
1920 cfs Falling and clearing The Animas is dropping and clearing up.  With cleaner waters and dropping flows, expect fish to be looking up to caddis in the afternoons and evenings.  If no risers abound, huck some meat.  Stonefly nymph rigs are also on point. Caddis: Foam Caddis, Duranglers Peacock Caddis, Black Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Dry Muddler Minnow.  GTI Caddis, Graphic Caddis, Swing Caddis.  Buggers and Streamers: Sparkle MinnowJosh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, 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.


CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
458 cfs Falling Quick Flows are dropping quick and the upper SJ float season is coming to an end.  Wading is an option…keep an eye out for drakes. Golden Stoneflies such as Stimi’s and Grillos El Camino Golden.  Caddis such as Caddis: Foam Caddis, Duranglers Peacock Caddis, Black Stimulator, Elk Hair Caddis, Dry Muddler Minnow. Dark buggers and streamers: Josh’s Ziwi, Home Invader, Lunch Money, and Dirty Hippy.  If nothing else, fish a double Pat’s rig.

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
239 cfs Dropping Quick The Piedra is dropping and fishing is heating up fast.  Look for smaller stones, drakes, and caddis.  Fish will be out in the riffles and runs. Golden stones: Pat’s Rubberlegs, Golden Flush Floater, Sofa Pillow, 20 Incher, Biot Stone.  Drake Spinners, Green Drake Parawulff, Caddis: Elk Hair Caddis, Foam Caddis..

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
635 below dam. Dropped to summer flows Flows are dropped and fishing is picking up below the dam.  Classic nymph rigs are in order but look for hatches of stones and caddis to possibly bring fish to the surface. Prince, Copper John,  Hare’s Ear Nymphs.  Caddis Pupa: 12-14 Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis, Stupid Fast Caddis.  Stoneflies such as Hot Wire Prince, Pat’s Rubberlegs, 20 incher, Sofa Pillow. 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!


CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
146 cfs Dropping Flows are being dropped and we should see the lower D to hit summer flows of 80 cfs this week.  These falling flows will really get fish moving and eating.  Wade fishing will be going strong.  Hoppers and PMDs will be the summer ticket. PMDs:  Split Back PMD, Barr’s PMD Vis-A-Dun, Juju PMD Nymph, Hoppers:  Yagers 409, Morrish Hopper, Sweetgrass Hopper.  Streamers such as Bennett’s Lunch Money.

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
636 cfs Slowly Falling With falling flows, fishing will get better with every day.  Watch for stones and caddis to be out and about.  If no action on top, a dry dropper with attractor bugs will be a good go-to. Stimulators, Royal Wulffs, Chubbys.  Stonefly nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Prince Nymphs, Hare’s Ear.

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
550 at 30 mile/1270 Wagon Wheel Gap Dropping Flows are dropping but the fishing is holding strong.  Hatches of caddis and drakes are keeping the fish looking up. Yager’s 409, Chubby’s, Grillo’s El Camino, , Parachute Adams, Golden Flush Floater, Morrish Fluttering Stone, Stimulators, Humpies, Para Andrew Henry Rib, Grillos Lazer Pointer.

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
127 Above/209 Below Falling Lemon is full, but the upper Florida will be fishing fantastic.  Below Lemon, if you have access to some water on the Florida, fishing will be great.  Look for hatches of caddis and little olive stones as well as PMDs. Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis.  Elk hair caddis, Stimulator, Yager’s 409.  Buggers and streamers such as Slumpbuster, Flashabugger, Bennett’s Lunch Money.


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
Dropping The fishing on our high country creeks is getting better every single day.  Flows are falling and fishing are looking up.  Everything except the highest elevation lakes are open for business. 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
715 cfs Falling Flows on the San Miguel are falling and the fishing will be getting better every day.  Nymph rigs and dry/dropper setups will be your ticket to success.  Look for hatches of Stones and Caddis. Stimulators, Flush Floater Stone, Elk Hair Caddis.  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.   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 may still have some ice. Fishing is great for smallmouth, and trout.  Pike fishing is slowing down, but some are still being caught.  Navajo is open, Totten and Puett will be fishable as well.  Lemon and Vallecito are also open.  Electra is open.  Carp fishing is really, really good right now.

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
1170 Steady Floatable, fishable flows are here on the Gunnison.  Hatches of stones and caddis are abounding and a few salmonflies are still around.  Dry fly destruction is now. Yager’s 409, Chubby’s, Grillo’s El Camino, Rogue Foam Stone, Parachute Adams, Salmon Flush Floater, Morrish Fluttering Stone, Stimulators, Humpies.  If no risers: stonefly nymphs, worm patterns, and Caddis Pupa are good go-to’s

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
379 Dropping Fishing is picking up with dropping flows.  BWOs and Midges are around, but look for PMDs and Caddis to hatch too.  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.  PMD Pink Hairwing Dun, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis.