ANIMAS RIVER FISHING
The Animas River: The Animas river begins in the historic mining town of Silverton, Colorado hidden in the mountains high above Durango Colorado. The upper section of the river is relatively sterile as years of mining still take a toll. But as you start to get closer to town the river becomes more fertile. The river runs right through the center of Durango and eventually joins the San Juan river near Aztec NM. This section in Durango has been classified as GOLD METAL WATER. This classification by the state certifies it as one of the best rivers in the state for trophy fish. The long-time state record brown trout came out of the Animas at a impressive 30 some pounds. It is a classic freestone river with good hatches almost all year. Large boulders and log jams leftover from high spring flows provide most of the cover. Baetis and midges are the more common food sources in the winter and spring but good numbers of caddis and PMD's take over in the summer.
The large deep holes and small pockets yield some terrific rainbows, cuts and browns. It is a fun river to nymph, but a dry fly dropper rig also works well. Most fish in the system are 12-18" and are HOT. Best times for wade fishing the river are February-April if the weather and flows are right spring is of the best times of the year. At some point in April-May the flows will start to go from the winter lows of 180-225 cfs to the spring highs of around 4000-7000cfs. The river is then best fished from a raft after it starts to clear, allowing you to work the banks of the river with streamer patterns. As we move on into June, flows begin to drop to 3000-1000cfs allowing good streamer, dry fly and nymph fishing from a raft. Flows over 1500cfs are still not really that good for wade fishing but good spots can be found. Aug-Nov flows are much lower and floating the river can't be done. Wade fishing is again a very good way to fish the river. Good hatches will go into late October and then nymph fishing will be good until spring.
This river is a freestone and therefore is susceptible to big temperature changes as well as rain and winter run off or drought. All trips booked on the Animas will come with a backup plan in the event of rain or to high or low flows. The San Juan is just 50 min. away and makes a good backup river we also have access to other small lakes and sections of the Florida (a small tailwater river) in the area. In the event of rain the night before a trip on the Animas a alternate plan will be formalized with you that night or in the morning when you meet your guide.
The Animas is a very fun river to fish and a must fish in the rocky mountains. It is a river that can be a little better suited to a intermediate angler, however it can be a very good river for a person wanting to really learn a lot about trout fishing at his or her beginning stage.
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