Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Animas River - Durango - Colorado

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midge Mid-Day 16-24 Black Beauty, Zebra Midge
February Midge Mid-Day 16-24 Mercury Midge, Miracle Nymph
March Midge, Blue Winged Olive Mid-Day 16-22 Rs2, Juju Baetis
April Midge, Blue Winged Olive Mid-Day 16-22 Rs2, Juju Baetis
May Pale Morning Dun, Caddis Afternoon 14-20 Two Bit Hooker, Elk Hair Caddis
June Stonefly, Caddis Morning & Evening 6-16 Pats Rubber Legs, Goddard Caddis
July Yellow Sally, Caddis Morning & Evening 14-18 Copper John, Elk Hair Caddis
August Hopper, Trico Morning & Afternoon 6-24 Parachute Adams, Chubby Chernobyl
September Hopper, Trico Morning & Afternoon 6-24 Chubby Chernobyl, Parachute Adams
October Blue Winged Olive, Midge Mid-Day 18-24 Rs2, Zebra Midge
November Midge Mid-Day 20-24 Black Beauty, Mercury Midge
December Midge Mid-Day 20-24 Zebra Midge, Miracle Nymph

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Animas River in Durango is a haven for fly fishing enthusiasts, boasting an array of fish species and natural features. The following spots are considered the best for a fly fishing experience:

  • North of Durango: This part of the river is prevalent with rainbows and cutthroat trout. The water here is slower, which makes it ideal for novices.
  • Town Section: Stretching for about 9 miles, this spot in town is very accessible and offers opportunities to catch healthy-sized rainbow trout.
  • South of Durango: Experienced fly fishers will delight in the challenge of the complex currents and brown trout this spot presents.
  • Gold Medal Waters: Here, the Animas River offers a trophy trout section where fish exceed 14 inches, presenting a great challenge for advanced fly fishers.

Regardless of skill level, fishing on the Animas River speaks to the heart of every angler’s passion for the sport.

Best Access Points

Fly fishing on the Animas River in Durango provides a unique fishing experience with some key access points that fishers should consider.

  • North of Durango: This stretch of the river between Durango and Silverton is a high alpine gem with clear and small streams.
  • Durango City Limits: Excellent fly fishing spot accessible from many points within city limits. Consider the access at 29th street or Santa Rita Park.
  • Durango to New Mexico: Below Durango, the river opens up and provides plenty of room to cast. The High Bridge and State Line areas are particularly good.
  • San Juan Quality Waters: Downstream of Navajo Dam, it offers some of the best fishing anywhere.

Regardless of the access point, always check local regulations and obtain necessary permissions before fly fishing.

Local Fish

  • Rainbow Trout: One of the most popular and widely distributed species targeted by fly fishermen due to their aggressive behavior and beautiful coloration.
  • Brown Trout: Famous for their elusiveness and size potential. They’re recognized by their brownish coloring and large, black spotted body and fins.
  • Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout: Known for their bright red or orange marking beneath their jaws. These fish are extremely wary and provide a great challenge.
  • Colorado River Cutthroat Trout: Recognized by their crimson colored gills and larger spots along their backs. They put up a strong fight when hooked.
  • Brook Trout: The only trout species native to the eastern United States. Fishermen love them for their beautiful colors and tasty meat.
  • Mountain Whitefish: They are usually found in the deepest parts of the river and require a lot of skill to catch.
  • Grayling: They are small, but put up a good fight. The grayling are easy to identify thanks to their large, sail-like dorsal fins.
  • Pike: A predatory fish that can reach impressive sizes and are known for their aggresive strikes and vigorous fights after being hooked.

About The River

At the heart of Durango, Colorado flows the beautiful Animas River, a 126-mile waterway whose name means ‘River of Lost Souls’. This moniker is traced back to early Spanish explorers who erroneously thought their companions had perished in its waters. The river starts in the San Juan Mountains and flows through the heart of Durango.

The Animas River has a rich history despite its dark name. It fueled the region’s mining boom in the late 1800s while simultaneously providing a livelihood for local farmers.

Now, venture seekers from around the world visit to test its whitewater rapids, go fishing, and even pan for gold. The river is home to:

  • Trout fishing
  • Kayaking Adventure
  • Scenic riverside trails
The Animas River not only adds to the natural beauty of Durango, it also serves as a reminder of the region’s rich history.


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