Durango March Fly Fishing Report 2015
March…and finally some winter weather! It seems like our monthly reports for February and March have been swapped. Recently we have seen a string winters storms roll through that have brought much needed moisture and snow pack to Southwest Colorado. While a few may balk at the idea of being excited for snow in March, let us just remind them that it is the snow that allows us float and fish our rivers in June. Not to mention it makes for some sweet spring skiing. Some of us even like to take a few runs in the morning and then hit the water in the afternoon. Make it as ski/fish kind of day.
Locally, our water has seen some cooler temps in the past week. While this seems that it should have shut down the fishing; it has not. Recently, many have had some great days on the Animas and San Juan Rivers (even during the snow). The San Juan is clearing up nicely after the lake turnover and has been fishing very well. Reports of big rainbows becoming more active have reached our ears as early spring is when the biggest bows in the neighborhood move and eat before the yearly spawn.
While some of us look back in our fishing journals (you keep one right?) we have seen that some of best days on the water happen in March. With the water warming, fish become more active and ready to chow down on hatching midges and baetis as well as moving stoneflies. We are also seeing the pike bite picking up on our local reservoirs. Captain Mark Engler and Tom Knopick were recently out on Navajo and were able to entice some “bluemouths” to eat. Read about it here!
Insects and Natural Food Sources
If you have any questions on a specific river; please call the shop for more info. 970-385-4081
- · San Juan River, New Mexico – Midges, trout eggs, annelids, aquatic worms, scuds, Leeches, BWO Nymphs, baitfish in the lower waters.
- · Lower Animas – BWOs, Midges, Cased Caddis, Stonefly Nymphs, Sculpins, Crayfish.
- · Upper San Juan – Stonefly Nymphs, Mayfly Nymphs, BWOs, Caddis Larva, Midges
- · Rio Grande – Stonefly Nymphs, Midges, BWO nymphs, Caddis Pupa, Baitfish.
- · Piedra River & Williams Creek – Stonefly nymphs, Midges, Mayfly Nymphs.
- · Los Pinos River – (Below Dam) – Midges, Mayfly Nymphs.
- · Dolores River Above Reservoir, Los Pinos Above Reservoir – (Mostly covered in Ice) Stonefly Nymphs, BWO nymphs, Midges.
- · Dolores River (Below Dam) – Midges, BWO’s, anything small. (access will be very difficult)
- · High Country Lakes and Streams – Iced over.
- · Local lakes – Lower elevation lakes are icing off. Leeches and baitfish patterns for trout and pike.
Recommended Fly Patterns
San Juan River:
- · Midges: Size 20-30 – Black Midge Pupa, Big Mac, Desert Storm, WD-40, Juju Midge, Midge Clusters, Duranglers Adult Midge, Griffith’s Gnat, Red Hot
- · Baetis: Size 20-14 – Juju Baetis, Thread Body Baetis, RS2, Pheasant Tail
- · Annelids: Red Sparkle Worm, Red and Orange annelids, Chamos Leech, SJ Worm in Red, Brown, Pink, and Orange
- · Leeches and Streamers: Size 8-14 – Olive, Blood Leech, and White Simi- Seal Leeches, Bunny Leeches, Buggers
Animas, Piedra, Upper San Juan, and SW CO rivers:
- · Stonefly Nymphs: Size 6-16 – Prince Nymph, Pats Rubberlegs, Little Black Sloan, Sparkle Stone
- · Caddis Nymphs: Size 12-18 – Caddisstrophic Pupa, , Hares Ear, Cased Caddis, Sparkle pupa Sparkle Emerger, Barr’s Graphic Caddis
- · Mayfly Nymphs 14-20: Pheasant Tail Nymph, Rubberlegs Hare’s Ear, Thread Baetis. Juju Baetis, RS-2
- · BWO Dries – Barr’s Viz-a-Dun, Parachute Adams, Klinkhammer, Baetis Cripple
- · Midges: Size 18-24 – Flash Midge Pupa, Disco Midge, WD-40, Zebra Midges, Adult Midge, Griffith Gnat
- · Sculpin Patterns – Black and olive Sculpzilla, Circus Peanut, Wool Sculpin, The One Sculpin, Near Nuff Sculpin
- · Crayfish Patterns – Magnum Super Bugger, Meat Whistle, Near Nuff Crayfish, Cray Cray Nabber, Barry’s Carp Bitter
- · Streamers – Simi Seal Leeches, Black and Olive Krystal Buggers, Josh’s Ziwi
- · Stonefly Nymphs: Size 2-14 – 20 Incher Stone, Pats Rubberlegs, Sparkle Stone, Prince Nymph.
- · Caddis Nymphs: Size 12-18 – Caddisstrophic Pupa, Cased Caddis, Sparkle pupa and Sparkle emerger
- · Midges: Size 18-24 – Flash Midge Pupa, Disco Midge, WD-40, Deep Poison Tung
- · Mayfly Nymphs 14-20: Red and black Copper John, Pheasant Tail Nymph, Hare’s Ear, Thread Baetis. Juju Baetis, RS-2
- · Streamers – Krystal Buggers, Sculpzilla, Circus Peanut, The One Sculpin, Meat Whistle, Cheech Leech, Josh’s Ziwi
- · BWO Nymphs: Pheasant Tail Nymph, Juju Baetis, Brown Baetis Nymph
- · Midges: Size 18-24 – Flash Midge Pupa, Disco Midge, WD-40, Griffith Gnat, Biot Midge Dry, Adult Midge
- · Streamers: Simi Seal Leeches, Buggers
- · Trout – Sowbugs, Leech patterns, chronomids, small baitfish fished slow.
- · Pike – Magnum Baitfish, Engler’s Pike Fly, Meat Whistle, Pike Snake
The end of the High Country season has come. Plan for next year by checking out our guide to fly fishing the high country.