Almost 30 years ago when I first fished the Animas, there were a few caddis, a few sculpin and a few large brown trout. Since then, due to many factors, water quality and bug life has improved dramatically; so much so that in 1996 A stretch of the Animas was designated as Gold Medal.
So, why can’t you catch more fish?
-There are not as many fish in the Animas as there could be, so don’t expect numbers when you go out.
-It’s The ‘Animal’! These are wild fish in a freestone river and they just don’t feed everyday.
-Because there are fewer fish, the one you are targeting has probably seen that ‘B’ rated movie a couple of times and isn’t going back.
-The few rainbows and browns that due try to spawn, have their best success right here in town. However, because of the ease of access and viewing points, these spawners are very visible and people hammer them and their reproductive success goes way down.
-Look for the feeding fish first, then make a good approach and try to catch just that one fish you see.
-Keep fishing her! If you pay your dues, the Animas will reward you some day.
– In the summer, don’t be afraid to throw a big dry fly, even when your nymphs and streamers haven’t worked.
– The Animas has some of the best natural fish habitat on any river in the state, especially right through town. It is very hard to cover it all, but you have to try to fish around every rock you see.
What else can you do?
-Help get catch and release on the entire Animas River. Even though it is considered Gold Medal, you can still keep fish(big ones), and people do.
-Leave the spawners alone to do their thing.