Duranglers September Monthly Report – The Million Dollar Month

3 September 2015
Comments: 0
3 September 2015, Comments: 0

Duranglers September Report – The Million Dollar Month

Andy Animas Fall Fishing

September is the month of the San Juan Skyway and the Million Dollar Highway drive.  While nonetheless beautiful every other month of the year, September is of course when the mountainsides of the San Juan Skyway bursts into the bright and luminous shade of yellow which almost requires sunglasses just to look at.  While many folks who stop in the shop this month are just passing through on their travel along the San Juan Skyway, September in Durango is no less remarkable (or colorful) for the fly fishing opportunities.

If you are to get out on the water this month you may see far less anglers thanks to the start of school, the beginning of hunting seasons (did you get your tag?), and the general decline in tourism that this month brings.  Less anglers mean less pressure, and less pressure (usually) means more fish.  Currently, there is no less fishing opportunities than there was in July and August though, just less people.

Actually, there might be more fishing opportunities this month than the past two with the pike bite beginning to pick up again thanks to cooler weather in the evenings.  Blue Winged Olives are also popping in droves on many of our local rivers such as the Animas, San Juan, Dolores, Rio Grande, Piedra, and Pine.  September also marks the migration of kokanee salmon from many Colorado reservoirs into their corresponding inlet rivers.  While the evenings are getting cooler, the high country is still wide open and fishing great throughout the day, again with far less people.  Brown trout begin their yearly ritual of the pre-spawn protein load up and many large fish will be caught on streamers.  It should also be noted that Capt. Mark Engler has be absolutely SLAYING smallmouth bass on poppers recently…but that is either hear nor there.

There is a boatload of fly fishing options right now.  No matter where you go this September, make sure to call or stop in the shop for the most up-to-date report!

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:  Humpies, Stimulators, Royal Wulff, Royal Chubby, H&L Variants
  • · Attractor nymphs:  Prince, Hares Ear, Pheasant Tails, Soft Hackle Wet Flies, Dirty Bird
  • · 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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