Duranglers October Fishing Report – Autumn Elements

7 October 2015
Comments: 3
7 October 2015, Comments: 3

Duranglers October Fishing Report – Autumn Elements


Animas Brown Trout on the spey.

Brown trout strip sets.  Camp fires smoldering in the rain.  Crushed aspen leaves pressed into elk tracks.  Mist-lined steelhead passages.  Marabou filled fly boxes.  Duck blinds before dawn.  Spey casts in crisp air.

Blaze orange and mossy oak.  Gold, Bronze, and Crimson.

The elements of autumn: things that grip us far more than being a special memory.  They are far closer to the spiritual.  Maybe it is the closing of summer’s dog days leading into the darkher hours of winter that cause us to hold these elements dear.  Sometimes they are just fleeting moments more than they are tangible and physical.  Passing through our life, these instances are not just etched into our memories.  They are etched into our identity.

October is here, and we have a lot to be excited about.

Interestingly enough, the biggest topic of discussion around the fly shop is the health of the Animas.  When the Gold King Mine dumped it’s contents into the Animas River this past August; the reputation of the Animas was poisoned far more than the waters and the fish.  Two month after the fact, we are still reading editorials and articles discuss the “death” of a once great river.  Many of these writings, while well intentioned with their conservation message, do not paint the full or correct picture of the Animas.  The short of it is that fish counts are actually up as of right now compared to last year.  Bug life is flourishing.  Toxin levels have returned to pre-spill levels.  Brown trout are moving into their historic spawning grounds for the fall reproduction fest.  The river continues to flow.  Life moves on.  And fishing is really good.

Some would paint the Animas as irrevocably damaged.  It is not.  It was injured, but it has been suffering these injuries for a century.  We hope that this incident opens the eyes of the public to the hardrock mining pollution across the west.  Only time will tell the long term effects.  Right now, the Animas is giving up some amazing fish.

Lysa Animas Brown

The remainder of our Southwest Colorado rivers continue to have incredible days of fishing.  The San Juan River is in the fall swing and is fishing very good with dry flies.  The Pine, Piedra, Dolores, and San Miguel are also fishing very well; but trout are beginning their fall maneuvers into winter lies.  This month may also have a few sunny days that will allow for good high country fishing, but you may have to put on a dropper.

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:
Lower Dolores:
High Country:
  • · Attractor dries:  16-20 – Humpies, Stimulators, Royal Wulff, Royal Chubby, H&L Variants, Purple Haze.
  • · Attractor nymphs:  14-20 – Prince, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Wet Flies, Dirty Bird
  • · Small streamers such as buggers and Simi-Seal Leeches
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.

3 responses on “Duranglers October Fishing Report – Autumn Elements

  1. Mark says:

    Looking to visit and even consider living in a few years. Have fly fished all over the Rockies. Primarily Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Calfornia and Colorado. Have heard of your area but have not had the chance to see and experience. Would love to hear more about the Animas, Dolores, etc. Have fished San Juan numerous occasions but not the Durango area. Hope to hear a bit from your site. May be visiting soon to look around. Any info. is greatly appreciated. Thanks,, Mark.

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