Duranglers May Monthly Report

5 May 2015
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5 May 2015, Comments: 0

Duranglers May Monthly Report

“If you don’t listen to country, you do now.”

Offhand warnings spoken to our summer help on their first days in the shop.  Training new fly shop guys just reinforces that May is here.  For us at Duranglers, May is pretty much summer.  We are scrambling to get everything in order before half the crew heads over the hill to Creede for a few weeks in June/July.  May is also the month of runoff and most of us are chomping at the bit to get on the water, hoping the rivers will clear soon.

Currently, the San Juan is fishing well with afternoon midge and BWO hatches while rivers such as the Animas, Piedra, upper San Juan, and Rio Grande are rising with cold off color water.  The fishing options grow by the day, but you might have to think outside the box this month.  If you want to get into fish, being creative counts.  How should one get creative exactly?  Well let us help you out with a few suggestions…

  • Religiously watching the flows – While not the best option, you may find a window of opportunity with all the unique weather we have this month.  If you see the flows drop for a day or so, it means the visibility might be getting better
  • Tailwaters – Local tailwaters such as the San Juan, Dolores, Uncompahgre, and Pine fish well right through higher flows.  The flows may get bumped up, but the water will still remain clear.  Plus higher flows on tailwaters makes for less technical fishing.
  • Flatwater – Not subject to flow fluctuations, lakes and reservoirs can be a great place to find some big trout, bass, carp, panfish, pike, and musky in May.  If you are a sold-out trout bum, I highly encourage you to pick a warmwater species to target this month.  You may feel like you are slumming it, but the things you will learn might just translate back to your trout fishing.
  • The High Country – Small creeks still hold fish during high water.  While the water may be cold, creek fish will still take a well presented dry, bead head nymph, or small streamer.  This is a great time to finally get up into the higher elevations.  Plan your trip accordingly.
  • Just Fish the Mud – High, off color water doesn’t mean no fish.  Just make sure to use big, dark nymphs and streamers and fish close to the bank.  Trout will move close to the bank to get out of the fast current in the middle of the river.

If you are not sure about where to start, give us a call at the shop or shoot us an e-mail at info@duranglers.com.  We are always glad to help.  Make sure to give us a call if you would like to book a guide trip.  Our calendar is filling up and we would love to get you on the books for a day out on the water!

“By the time it’s all over, you will dreaming in country music.”

Insects and Natural Food Sources

If you have any questions on a specific river; please call the shop for more info.  970-385-4081

Recommended Fly Patterns
San Juan River:
 Animas, Piedra, Upper San Juan, and SW CO rivers:


Rio Grande:
  • · Stonefly Nymphs: Size 2-14 –  Hairy Stone, Pats Rubberlegs, Sparkle Stone, Prince Nymph.
  • · Caddis Nymphs: Size 12-18 –  Caddisstrophic Pupa, Cased Caddis, GTI Caddis
  • · Mayfly Nymphs 14-20:  Red and black Copper John, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Hare’s Ear, Thread Baetis. Juju Baetis, RS-2
  • · BWO Dries – Barr’s Viz-a-Dun, Parachute Adams, Klinkhammer, Baetis Cripple
  • · Stonefly Dries – Chernobyl Ant, Chubby Chernobyl, Stimulators
  • · Streamers – Krystal Buggers, Sculpzilla, Circus Peanut, The One SculpinMeat Whistle, Cheech Leech, Josh’s Ziwi
Lower Dolores:


High Country:
  • · Attractor dries:  Humpies, Stimulators, Royal Wulff
  • · Attractor nymphs:  Prince, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Wet Flies
  • · Small streamers such as buggers and Simi-Seal Leeches

Plan for this summer by checking out our guide to fly fishing the high country!

Andy McKinley
Andy manages Duranglers Flies and Supplies online store and web content. When he is not plugging away in the basement of Duranglers, he can be found in the shop talking weird flies, throwing spey casts for few fish, eating pizza, drinking coffee, painting, and raising a family in Southwest Colorado.

His fly fishing writings have been published on blogs such as the Daily Drake and Simms Wading Room.

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