Durango Area Rivers Report

Updated 11/13/2018

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
 289 cfs Recently Dropped It is late fall on the San Juan.  Flows have been dropped to winter levels and evening temps have been cold.  Watch for river discoloration due to lake effect.  With off color water, streamers, buggers, leeches, and aquatic worm imitations will be a good choice  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

Leeches: Simi Seal Leech, Rabbit Leech, Goat Leech.


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
174 cfs Falling Fishing is ok, but fish are being caught.  Heavy nymph rigs are your best bet, but don’t be afraid of a streamer.  Evening temps have dropped, and any fish will be very sluggish.

 

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.

Midges in size 18-20: Disco Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Midge Pupa.


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
36.5 cfs Falling Flows are dropping.  Nymph rigs will be key, but watch for hatches of Midges.  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.

Midges in size 18-20: Disco Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Midge Pupa.


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

 

44 cfs Falling Flows are dropping and temps are COLD!  Fish deep sections, but fishing will be tough.  Ice is forming in some areas. 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.

Midges in size 18-20: Disco Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Midge Pupa.


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
5.5 cfs below dam/32 and rising above Low It’s late fall and flows are low.  Below the dam, fishing will be extremely tough.  Above, you may find some open water to wet a line in the deeper sections of river. Nymphs:  Little Black Sloan, Brown Wired Stone, Copper John, Pheasant Tail, Z-Wing Caddis, RS-2, Rubber Legs Hares Ear.

Midges in size 18-20: Disco Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Midge Pupa.

 


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
28.4 cfs Low While the flows are low, fishing is ok.  Make sure you make stealthy approaches with light tippet.

BWO’s and Midges will be your best bet.  The Forest Service gate will be closing soon, so be prepared to walk to the dam about 3 miles if you wish to make it taht far

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
45 cfs Low Flows are low and ice is forming.  With cold nights, fish will be hanging very deep. Nymphs  Rubber Leg Copper John, Dirty Bird, Pat’s Rubber Legs.  Caddis nymphs. Prince Nymph, Guides Choice Hare’s Ear.

Midges in size 18-20: Disco Midge, Mercury Midge, Black Midge Pupa.


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
Ice (30 Mile)

70.5 cfs (Wagon Wheel)

Falling Low water and cold nights equals tough fishing.  Ice will be forming, but you may find fish in deeper water. 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.

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
10.9 cfs (Above Lemon)

59.5 cfs (Below Lemon)

Rising below/falling above Lemon The Upper Florida is low and cold, fish will be tough to catch.

The lower river was just bumped up, but due to the last few months of very low flows, fish will be few and far between.

 

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 Most high country creeks and lakes will be icing over and settling into the winter sleep.  Unless you can find good open water, wait until spring. 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
31.3 cfs Falling Lower, cold water, will be a nymph fishing game.  Look for deep, open sections and get down! Nymphs:  Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ear, and Prince Nymphs, Two Bit Hooker, Pats Rubber Legs, Little Black Sloan

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.  Hard to access

Vallecito: Pike fishing is ok but temps are dropping. Trout are 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
308 cfs Steady Flows are low and wade fishing will be good.  BWOs are hatching and fish mayu be found looking up, but if nothing on top, deep running nymph rigs will be key.  Don’t give up on a streamer… 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.

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


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
39.2 cfs Low and steady Fish will be stacked up but spooky.  Be stealthy like a hunter and you may find big fish.  Make the best presentation possible, or your flies will be ignored…

BWOs are also showing along with Midges.

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.

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

Leeches: Simi Seal Leech, Rabbit Leech, Goat Leech.