Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 10/17/2018

Make sure you also watch our recent Animas Lunch Report for a weekly recap!

Contact Duranglers for up to the minute information

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/Bug
 491 cfs Recently Dropped Fall on the Juan might be one of our favorite times to be here.  With dropping flows and overcast days, baetis will be out in droves, so look for risers.  Annelids and midges in grey, olive, and black will be standard.  Streamers become a good option the farther you get from the dam.  Midges 22-28: Sidewinder Midge Pupa, Tav’s Big Mac, Jujubee Midge.  Midge Dries: Duranglers Adult Midge, CDC Biot Midge, Midge Dry.

San Juan Worms: Red, Wine, Orange #14-20. Red and Orange Annelids #18-22, and Chamois leeches.

BWOs: Thread Baetis, Split Flag Baetis, Barrs Vis-A-DunJujubaetis #18-24

Streamers such as Buggers, Krystal Bugger Motor Oil, and Sparkle Minnow in the lowers stretches.


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
213 cfs Falling Fishing is ok, but fish are being caught.  With flows increasing due to rain, fishing may pick up a bit.  Look for BWOs to be out on the water.  Heavy nymph rigs are your best bet, but don’t be afraid of a streamer.

 

Stonefly/mayfly nymph rigs, would be our go-to.  A Pat’s Rubberlegs/ Pheasant Tail is pretty much standard.  Streamers such as: Cheech Leech, Triple Double Rainbow, Animas River Special, Lunch Money.

BWOs: Two Bit Hooker, Split Flag Baetis, Barrs Vis-A-DunJujubaetis , Parachute Adams, BWO Para Cripple #16-20


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.

Caddis-eating-Trout

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
67.8 cfs Falling Flows are coming down from recent rains but flows are still good.  Nymph rigs will be key, but watch for hatches of BWOs.  Streamers may find you into an angry brown trout. Pat’s Rubberlegs, 20 Incher, Sparkle Stone, Atomic Stone, Brown Wired Stone in sizes #8-12.

BH Copper John, Psycho Prince, Hot Wire Prince, Prince Nymph, GTI Caddis #14-18.

BWOs: Two Bit Hooker, Split Flag Baetis, Barrs Vis-A-DunJujubaetis #16-20


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

 

66 cfs Falling Flows are up thanks to recent rains.  Fish will be in winter holding water, so look for deeper pools and fish with weight to get your nymphs down.  It is possible to hit a BWO hatch this time of year, so have a few dries size 16-20 on hand. Pat’s Rubberlegs, 20 Incher, Sparkle Stone, Atomic Stone, Brown Wired Stone in sizes #8-12.

BH Copper John, Psycho Prince, Hot Wire Prince, Prince Nymph,  #14-18.

BWOs: Two Bit Hooker, Split Flag Baetis, Barrs Vis-A-Dun, , Parachute Adams, Jujubaetis #16-20


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
101 cfs below dam/45.4 and rising above Steady In fall, fishing smaller bugs is key below the dam.  You will have to be super stealthy and sneaky.  Flows are up a little so fishing could be good until they drop it.

Above Vallecito, fishing has been ok in deeper holes.  Low flows will have skittish fish, so wade slow.  Brown trout are moving out of Vallecito into the river with increased flows.

Nymphs:  Little Black Sloan, Brown Wired Stone, Copper John, Pheasant Tail, Z-Wing Caddis, RS-2, Rubber Legs Hares Ear.

Streamers such as: Cheech LeechTriple Double RainbowAnimas River SpecialLunch Money.

 


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!

Tom-Lower-Dolores-Duranglers-Durango-Colorado.jpg

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug
31.9 cfs Steady While the flows are low, fishing is really good on overcast days.  Make sure you make stealthy approaches with light tippet.

You would think that BWOs and midges are the go-to right now…and that is a good idea…but have a few terrestrials even if you don’t see any, trust us.

Terrestrials:  Dry Muddler, Parachute Hopper, Never Sink Trude

BWO Dries: BWO Snowshoe Dun, Parachute Adams 18-24, BWO Foam Emerger.

BWO Nymphs: Tav’s Fluff Baetis, Tungsten CDC FB Pheasant Tail, Two Bit Hooker.

Miges: Mercury Midge, Bling Midge, Flash Midge Pupa, CDC Midge Dry.

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

CFS Rising/Falling Fishing Conditions Patterns/Bug40
57.1 cfs Falling It’s getting on the upper D, but fishing remains good.  Double nymph rigs with a San Juan Worm and Pheasant Tail typically crushes round here.  Watch for hatches of BWOs. Nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Prince Nymph, Guides Choice Hare’s Ear.

Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Dave’s Hopper.

BWO Dries: BWO Snowshoe Dun, Parachute Adams 18-24, BWO Foam Emerger.


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
41 cfs (30 Mile)

123 cfs (Wagon Wheel)

Falling Flows have picked up a bit on the Rio with recent rains, but are still low.  Wade fishing will be good with nymph rigs.   Watch for hatches of BWOs and possible midges.  Streamer fishing is also a good idea. BWOs:  Juju Baetis, BWO Snowshoe Dun, Parachute Adams, BWO Foam Emerger, Barrs BWO Vis A Dun.

Streamers: Buggers in olive, black and brown, Krystal Bugger Motor Oil, Cheech LeechTriple Double Rainbow, Flash Fry.

Miges: Mercury Midge, Bling MidgeFlash Midge PupaCDC Midge Dry.


Florida RiverReal-time River Data

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
30.8 cfs (Above Lemon)

8.71 cfs (Below Lemon)

Low below/rising above Lemon The Upper river is rising with recent rains.  Bigger fish are in the inlet and may be moving into the river.

The lower river is so low that it would be pretty pointless to fish it right now.

 

Nymphs: Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Hare’s Ear, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis, tungsten golden stone.

Streamers: Cheech LeechTriple Double RainbowAnimas River SpecialLunch Money.

Midges in size 16-20 would also be smart to have.


Creeks

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
 N/A Low The high country is slowing down for the season.  Upper Hermosa is open,  Lime and Cascade are open as well along with numerous high country creeks and lakes!  Dry/dropper rigs for creeks, buggers and leeches are good to have for lakes. 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
59.9 cfs Falling Water will be high and off-color, but the recent rains will activate some fish.  Deep running nymph rigs will be your best bet, but watch for hatches of BWOs and midges! Nymphs:  Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs, Two Bit Hooker, Pats Rubber Legs, Little Black Sloan

BWO Dries: BWO Snowshoe Dun, Parachute Adams 18-24, BWO Foam Emerger.

Miges: Mercury Midge, Bling MidgeFlash Midge PupaCDC Midge Dry.


Lakes/Ponds

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
Falling Fall temps are bringing our local Reservoirs into some fun fishing shape before winter.

Navajo: Pike are eating!  A few bass are still being caught.

Pasterious, Totten, Puett are all fishing good for Pike, Bass, and Trout.

Lake Nightmare …er…Nighthorse will also be fishing well with crayfish patterns for big trout.  Browns will be up and easier to catch now

Electra: Fishing really great through fall.

Vallecito: Pike fishing is getting better by the day. Trout are staging and feeding.


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
311 cfs Dropping Flows are low and wade fishing will an option.  BWOs are showing up en force and Streamers are also becoming more popular with each day.  If nothing on top, deep running nymph rigs will be key BWO Nymphs: Sniper Baetis, Pheasant Tails, Micro Mayfly Olive, Two Bit Hooker Red, Rainbow Warrior.  Stupid Fast Caddis #16-18.

Stonefly Nymphs: Pat’s Rubberlegs, Wired, Stone, Sparkle Stone, Hot Wire Prince, and 20 inchers.

BWOs:  Juju Baetis, BWO Snowshoe Dun, Parachute Adams, BWO Foam EmergerBarrs BWO Vis A Dun.

 


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
49.3 cfs Rising Fish will be stacked up but spooky.  Be stealthy like a hunter and you may find big fish.

BWOs, PMDs, and Hoppers are a good food source these days.

Eggs, leeches, and San Juan Worms patterns. Midges: Durangler’s Midge Pupa and Dry.  RS-2 Disco Midge, Sproat midge Dry, Miracle Nymph. Flash Midge Pupa, Flashback WD-40.

Hoppers and terrestrials