View Full Version : Animas / Delores Rivers

04-25-2010, 11:21 PM
Headed to Colorado in about 6 weeks. Anyone ever fished the Animas or Delores? Thinking about a back country trip into the Animas area via the D&RG Railroad.

04-26-2010, 12:18 AM
Jim, Not sure what the snowpack situation is this year, but Early June is usually still in the runoff season...you might want to check with Duranglers for their opinions.

Here are a few links for other Info in that area:

Its a great, great area...there is a lot of water that's very fishable down there...

04-26-2010, 09:03 AM
Not sure about conditions in your location but Colo. got the Northern Rockies snow. Usually 6 weeks would put you on water "browner than a chocolate shake" in the Yellowstone area. The air temperature during the spring is also a factor. Remember "Spring" in the Rockies is a lot later. There was 5 foot of snow at 8500 feet outside of Cooke City, Mont. a week ago. (With only 40% of average snowpack).

I "wasted" my first trip West in the early 70's, I got there at the very beginning of the runoff. I spent two weeks watching the water rise and muddy up. The only fishing I got were some very small trib. streams.

I'm heading to the Cooke City, Mont. area in two weeks to camp ground host for the Forest Service. I'm planning on fishing a lot of mtn. lakes at Ice Off until around mid-July.

Check with the fly shops!!

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

04-26-2010, 09:18 PM
We'll be in the middle of runoff then. Waters to look at would be the S. Platte and the Blue as these are tailwaters and don't blow out as bad. water will be high but not brown. Or you could try some high lakes, the lids will be off by then and or high (9,000' or better) small streams for brookies and wild cutts.

Have a Good 'Urn,

04-26-2010, 11:01 PM
Check out the high mountain lakes in the area. Pick up a copy of Fishing Mountain Lakes by Gary La Fountaine. I never had stillwater appeal to me until I hit the High Mountain Lakes in the Beartooths of Wyo/Mont. If you have to go that early try high mountain lakes at Ice Out. I skated a Dancing Caddis over some Brookies 10-12 inches and had them hit it 17 of 20 casts. Or have a Cutt come up out of 10+ feet of water off a shelf to take a floating Beetle. I prefer running water but still water can be addicting also.

04-27-2010, 12:26 AM
Thanks Randall, I spoke today with the folks at Duranglers, There are a couple of regulated tailwaters in the area and as you said, some high lakes. I fished the frontrange north of Denver last June and caught a ton of fish around Frazier and Grandby. Looking forward to the trip. Hopefully will get back down to GSMNP sometime in May.

BTW- Caught ( and released ) about 50 fish out of Sulphur Springs last week after it was stocked. Mainly on a 16#BHPT

04-27-2010, 09:17 AM
I went to Durango the last week of April 2007. The runoff was just beginning, but the fishing was good. It was a little slower on the Animas, so we drove over the mountain and fished the upper San Juan River, and it was lights out fantastic. I took a guided trip, and we fished big stonefly nymphs below indicators on 2X tippet. That was a first for me.

Regarding the locals, I stopped by Duranglers and was given completely the cold treatment. I picked up some tippet, indicators, and split shot while there and inquired about the fishing. I was told that my best bet was to buy some #24 midges and grit it out. However, when I ran into some locals that were fishing they were all having great success using these large stoneflies, and it was also the only nymph we used all day during my guided trip.

If you are looking for a guide I highly recommend you do a search for Animas Valley Anglers and Chris or Will can show you a fantastic time. Unfortunately, it sounds like your trip will coincide with the spring runoff in that area, so you may have to resort to fishing below Navajo Dam....

Durango still ranks among my all time favorite vacation destinations. I enjoyed absolutely everything about it.

04-27-2010, 10:04 AM
Travis, I'm with you about Duranglers. I got a lot more off of their website than I ever got in the shop. Even after buying some stuff they still seemed put out by having customers in their shop...their website is pretty informative and they helped write the book "Fly Fishing Southern Colorado" which is a pretty good guidebook to the area that I used extensively and persuaded me to try the Three Forks of the Conejos area (which I would have never known about otherwise...).

I would also echo what Randell has said. Being a bit further south, many of the lakes in the Wemuniche wilderness will have iced-out and have some great fishing. They are easily reachable from Durango.

Finally, you had mentioned the Dolores River. Again, depending on snowpack, it might be fishable below McPhee reservoir in Early June. Right now Snowpack is running at 76% of normal, so runoff should end a bit earlier this year (depending on the temperatures and no freak spring snow storms) http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/reports/UpdateReport.html;jsessionid=F4AE7F0E5D7F70F22CF7B 73E2D842AA4?report=Colorado&format=SNOTEL+Snowpack+Update+Report