Animas River Fishing Reports Animas River Fishing Report

















animas river fishing reports

animas river fishing reportsan juan river fishing reportsanimas river fishing report


The Animas River and other local Durango area fishing reports.

animas river fishing report

15th December - (Cole) The Animas continues to fish well. Over the last few days we had some snow which slowed things a little but as soon as the weather clears it is back to feeding fish. Most of the action is from nymphing. Best results were on a #16 GB Flashback hares ear.



10th December - (Nick) The Animas has been fishing very well at certain times of the day. Right now around mid-day once the sun hits the water and warms it up, the fish are moving to yellow eggs, and brown juju bee midges.  Look for fish sittinng in slower waters now that winter time is upon us!

9th December - (Brad) The animas did fish well and moved some fish, a few good ones.  The nicer fish seemed to be holding in the deeper pocket water with good flows.  Most fish were caught on black zebra midge (sz. 20),  Prince nymph (sz. 16 -18), and hot spot prince (sz. 18).  The flows are currently very low.  The paper yesterday said the Animas is lower then it's been in the past 102 years.





8th December - (Cole) Fishing has been fairly consistant on the Animas November into December. During this time of year the fish are going to migrate and find their winter holes and school up there. They aren't going to move much, so if you are not catching fish move to the next hole and so on... but if you do get into some consistent fish stay where theyd are.  Never leave fish to find fish!   

Try getting on the river from 11am - 2pm when the sun is overhead.  Nymphing has been the way to go.  Psycho princes red and blue sz 18-20, zebra and Juju midges sz 18-20, multiple egg patterns, Uv emergers olive/black sz 18-22, red larva sz 18-22 and Copper Johns chartruese/red/blue sz 14-20.  So get out on the river and enjoy this unusually warm time of year.





21st November - (Brian) The animas continues to fish very well with the fish taking baetis nymphs and midge larva and emergers. The water conditions are perfect. Look at the water in this photo of Brian.

Recommended flies:
Sz 18 baetis
Sz 20 black zebra midge
Sz 22 red larva midge

Brian on the animas

18th November - (Nick) The animas has been fishing very consistently over the past week. Fish are moving to soft hackle pheasant tails in a size 20 and olive big macs in size 20 as well.  Bigger prince nymphs have been producing a few bigger fish in heavier water, but mostly look for fish sitting in the frog water below the riffles eating smaller bugs.

5th November - (Nick) The animas fished well all morning from 8 until noon. Fish were rising to really small midges right when we got to the water - mostly rainbows. We ended up nymphing with smaller purple princes and rubberlegged pheasant tails.



25th October - (Cole) The Animas continues to fish well producing some excellent rainbows and browns in great Animas tradition for this time of year. The pictures below are fish caught behind walmart in the gold medal water. The better flies were, Purple 20 incher #12, BB formally Prince #16, any black lead or tungsten leech #10.  Fish are feeding aggressively and the browns are swawning. If you are in the vicinity of spawning beds fish below them to the big rainbows feeding on the eggs drifting below but avoid the swawning beds themselves. 





21st October - (Wylie) Even though the flows are low, the fish are taking streamers aggressively. Some nice big browns taken this week.Use tequeely's, olive bh pop's buggers.





14th October - (Nick) The big browns are moving onto the redds now. Don't fish to the spawners on the redds but fish well below to the big rainbows waiting downstream for the eggs to wash down to them. We don't like you to disturb the spawners because that is next years generation.

The water conditions are excellent with the cooler weather and few people out on the river. So it is time to get out on to the animas, particularly on sunny days with really good streamer action!!! The best time to get out is mid day and huck a sculpzilla and a tequelly around!

animas brown





24th September - (Nick) The Animas has been really turning the corner with some great rainbow fishing on dry dropper rigs! The fish are starting to move into the shallow riffles and feed on short dropper rigs. The best flies have been a half down hopper and chartruse copper johns!



16th September - (Nick and Marko) The lower dolores is still fishing extremely well. When visiting bring a box of streamers and throw them in every patch of fishy water you can find.  The fish weren't too picky about where they were holding. We moved fish out of riffles and deep slack water! Fishing upstream to them seemed to work best since we were not walking in front of their line of sight. The flow did drop down to 50 cfs so fish are a little more spooky but still ready to eat!! 

The best flies were a tequeely and a sculpzilla




8th September - (Wendy)  Last weekend I took my Golden retriever to upper Hermosa Creek, after not being in there since late June. The stream re- hab they are doing upstream from Hermosa trailhead has muddied  the rocks some, but, a patient angler (4wt rod, 7.5 ft, 7.5 5 wt leader) can still catch the trout there.   Beautiful, somewhat easy hike in for anyone with a wanting to get away and can deal with 9000' altitude. I used a #16 prince bead head, no attractor and #16 caddis in tan (basic pattern) and caught over a dozen.

I fished single hook the whole day. I hiked in with normal hiking shoes and wet- waded with them since the waters are low and not cold. Also, the rocks are not too slick, but take time, wade slowly. It is worth it to walk 1 hour plus from the parking area; as we fishermen know:  the farther you go, the better it is. Take rain gear and layers since you are in mountain conditions.

Road from Durango Mtn. Resort to Hermosa trailhead is bladed gravel and do-able if you drive slowly with any car besides a Corvette! Near the trailhead, to get to the trailhead area, you have to cross the stream, but if you have a 4WD you can easily cross. Camping is abundant in the nearby area. Aspens were hinting at turning already due to a low monsoon season last weekend, colors should be great between Sept 10-20th.  Pack a lunch, grab your shortest, lightest rod and have a ball!  Please, release what you catch so others may enjoy the area.


6th September - (Brad) Fished Cascade Ck. for half the day as one rod.  Flows are still there with clear water.  However, it is getting pretty low.  Brookies were still eager to eat.  Best flies were PMX (sz.12 yellow), Parachute Hopper (sz.10 tan), and HL Variant (sz.12).  We did result to a dropper for some of the day using a Micro Mayfly (sz. 18).

5th September - (Brian) Pine River. The fishing has been good on the Pine River over the last few days. We caught and missed some really big fish and had consistent action most of the day. Dam release flows will continue until October 15th which means we should have good fishing for the next 5 weeks.

Flies: Egan's Iron Lotus and Frenchie were the hot flies, Cream UFO midge pattern worked well in the morning.

Pine River


2nd September - (Brian) Good afternoon at pastorius reservoir. Lots of fish on Tungsten chironomid and small olive and black buggers on intermediate line.


1st September - (Brian) Pine River - With the water flowing at 500cfs we had consistent action all day nymphing.

The most consistent flies were the Hot Spot Prince and the Rainbow Warrior

Pine 1

Pine 1

29th August - (Wylie and Nick) - the lower Dolores is fishing well at the moment with awesome terrestrial fishing! Big parachute crickets and half down hoppers both in size 6 were very successful. It is an excellent place to consider at the moment.




12th August - (Brian) Florida river has been fishing well lately. We landed another colorado grand slam today with an additional bonus of a Tiger trout. This was the first ever tiger trout caught in the area in all my years of guiding and fishing the four corners.

8th August - (Nick) We fished cascade yesterday. It is proving to be one of the better high country options at the moment. The fish have been hitting pretty much any bushy style dry fly such as Royal Wulffs and Adams in #16.


5th August - (Brad) - Oh. By the Way. On Navajo Reservoir the Carp fishing is on!

Navajo Reservoir Carp

5th August - (Brad) - High country is fishing well.  Flies used are red humpy, Purple Haze and Chartruse PMX.

High Country

August 5th - (Wylie) - Pole creek has plenty of native Rio Grande cutthroat. A stealthy approach is mandatory for these rare jewels. Purple lightning bugs were perfect as the dropper; up top, a small rubber-legged stimulators produced aggressive attacks.

Pole Creek

August 4th - (Wylie) - The Rio Grande headwaters are skinny but fishing well. Lots of bugs are hatching including October caddis coming off two months early!

stony creek

October Caddis

August 1st - (Nick) - The high country is fishing very well right now. Hermosa and Cascade are in a hopper mode! size 14 royal pmx has been the hot bug all day!!

high country

high country

July 29th - (Brian) Pine River cfs 540
Clarity: Clear

Fishing was good but seems the fish have moving into the faster moving water.  I believe they do this to get more oxygen when the water temps start rising.
The insect hatch has slowed a little but did see caddis and small stoneflies.

Flies: Czech caddis, Copper John, Iron Lotus,



July 27th - (Brian) The lower Florida River has been fishing very well over the last couple of days. Several clients have caught the Colorado Grand Slam catching all four species of Trout. Average fish caught has been about 12" with several fish in the high teens.

Flies: Sparkle Prince, Hot Spot Prince, CDC Caddis Dry, Foam Hopper, Pops Bugger

The Florida

The Pine


July 24th - (Brian) The Los Pinos has once again proven to be one of the best rivers in the area. Although the day was cut short due to lighting and pouring rain fishing was excellent.

Good caddis and mayfly hatches.

The Pine


July 22th - (Brian) Pine River
Good fishing started around 10am and stayed good the rest of the day.
Decent yellow stonefly and caddis hatches mid-day.



July 19th - (Brian) We had some more great fishing on the lower florida river today. All three clients caught lots of fish thoughout the day.

Flies: purple twenty incher, flashback pheasant tail, sparkle prince

lower florida

lower florida

July 16th - (Jerome) The Pine River:
Cfs: 531
Visibility:  Very Clear
Rank:  Excellent!

The pine continues to fish extremely well.  Most of the larger fish have been coming out of the fast, angry, highly oxygenated water.  These fish are best reached by indicator rigs with plenty of weight in order to get to these solid wild fish.  On better days clients have been rewarded with multiple trophy fish in the 20- 26 inch range. Midge hatches have been occurring throughout the day with little interest for dry fly options but later day caddis hatches have been grabbing the attention of a few fish in the slower sections of the river giving anglers a window for dry fly activity.

Midge patterns:
Big Mac - Black Sz 18-20
Disco Midge - Red Sz 20-22
Lightning Bug - Black 20-22

BWO emerger, Barr's Sz 16-18
CB Micro Mayfly - Olive Sz 16-18
Iron Lotus - Brown Sz 18-20
Thinskin - Brown Sz 16-18

Soft Hackle Sz 14-18
Sparkle Pupa - Green Sz 16-18
FPA Emerger Hare's Ear Sz 16-18
CDC Tan Sz 18



July 14th - (Brian) Fishing on our private waters has been excellent over the past few days. The photos below say it all. Some good insect hatches have made for some great fishing.

Flies:foam caddis, hot spot prince, sparkle prince, gb angel case emerger

the pine river

the pine river

the pine river

the pine river

the pine river

the pine

the pine

July 7th - (Brian) Pine River: The private water is fishing extremely well. The past few days have seen a cooler change and a little rain which is exciting the hatches. We have had great hatches of caddis and pmds.
We have been having multiple fish days with some very large fish being hooked and sometimes caught.

Flies: Sparkle Prince, Hot spot prince, GB angel case emerger, CDC caddis, Corn fed caddis

the pine 1

the pine 2

the pine 3


June 30th - (Brad) Hermosa Creek and Upper Florida:  Water is starting to get low but still fishing very well.  Best flies were Chartreuse PMX #14 and Purple Haze #14.  They both fished better in the afternoon than in the morning. 


Lower Dolores: Besides the Rattle snakes and Black Bear it was a great day.  First couple of hours had a nice PMD hatch with good risers.  PMD CDC bubble emerger #20 caught fish with a good presentation.  In the afternoon we moved fish on a black ant #14, Baby Boy Hopper in Green and Fat Albert #10.


June 25th - (Wylie) We now have low water conditions on the Animas. The float fishing is about over testament to the light runoff this year. The river fished well after 10am. The dry fly of choice was Charlie Boy Hopper for the risers in the bubble-lines. Between rising fish, a Tequilly fished well, blindly to the banks.



June 19th - (Brian) The Fishing on the Pine was excellent throughout the day. We had consistent action nymphing with some nice fish caught and a few good ones that got away.
The best fly was the prince  nymph.

pine river 1

pine river 2


June 14th - (Brian) Animas fishing is getting a tougher due to fact that the fish have been eating a lot. Great hatches of stoneflies and caddis.  River flows are going down fast so if you want to float you better do it soon.

foam grasshoppers
prince nymph




June 12th - (Nick) Hermosa Creek had excellent fishing today non-stop from the first cast to the last!!! We fished the canyon pretty all day and the fish were super eager to wack dry flies.

Fish were eating in tailouts and riffles, with the biggest ones sitting behind rocks and big boulders. Hot flies for the day were the purple haze, olive pmx, and lime trudes. For droppers we were working them over on soft hackle hares ears and caddis green psycho princes.



June 11th - (Jerome) The Florida is fishing very well. Early on the fish were moving well to midge larva and emergers, such as black beauties, tungsten midges, RS2's, and JuJubee midges, in sizes 18-22. 

As the water started to warm the fish keyed on Pheasant Tail's and BWO emergers.  Later in the day peacock caddis emergers # 16-18 worked well.  The purple twenty incher #12-16 moved fish all day.  If the action slows down the fish will run down a bugger without question!





Ben on the Animas.

June 6th - (Wylie) Lower Animas is floating and fishing well. Lots of caddis are hatching, but streamers are the way to catch the big fish. Get it while it lasts, flows are dropping fast.






Great Animas floating today.


June 5th - (Brian) Good fishing at Haviland Lake today. Lots of fish caught stripping small bugger imitations. Use a fast retrieve on type 7 sinking line.

black pops bugger 
olive seal bugger


June 4th - (Brian)
Animas River float
We floated south of town and the fishing was excellent. Lots of big fish were landed.
Flies: Large dark and bright streamers
Chernobyl ants

floating on the animas

animas bow

Private Florida River
Great fishing throughout the day. Both anglers caught over twenty fish with some nice ones around 20".
Flies: Twenty incher, Psycho prince, prince nymph

June 1st - (Brian) It is now time to float and fish the animas! There are excellent caddis hatches and even some large stoneflies.

amys ant
pheasant tail
cdc caddis





May 31st - (Jerome) Pine CFS: 608 Very Clear! Overall:  Very Good!

Caddis and Midges have been coming off in the early and later parts of the afternoons.  I suggest Black Beauty 18-20, Tungsten midge 18-22, Black RS2's in 18-22, and JuJubee Midge 18 for midges.  For caddis I have found success with Cased Caddis 16-18 and caddis emerger hare's ear 14-18.  For midday BWO fish have been moving well to Skinny Nelson's 18, Green Machine- Brown 16-18, Bubble Back BWO 16-18.  For stones Purple Twenty Incher and Pats Rubberlegs have been moving fish consistently. 

the pine1

the pine2


May 29th - (Nick) 5/28 Dolores below the dam fished really well. Early in the day there were size 18 midge pupa in the surface film that fish were keying in on. We matched the hatch with an unbeaded pheasant tail behind a hopper. There is some hopper action starting to happen as well in the afternoons, green cartoon hoppers were the closest thing to the green hoppers falling in the water. The evening hatch was great starting at around 6 pm. There were a few caddis showing their faces, but the pale evening duns were the big ticket, we matched with a purple haze parachute and a quigleys cripple 18 inches behind! 

5/29 East Fork of Hermosa Creek was on fire! High country dry fly fishing at its finest!! No need to to technical with your offerings, fish were up on just a single dry fly rig with H&L Variants, Purple Haze Parachutes, and smaller Royal Stimulators being the tickets. The bigger Brookies were in the riffles and heavy chop, while the beaver ponds and tailouts were holding the little guys.


May 28th - Run-off is subsiding and stone-fly season is here. The fish are feeding heavily on nymphs and we are starting to see adults emerging on the lower sections of the rivers. Dry-fly action will be improving in the days to come. Also, caddis are beginning to hatch in most drainages in the Durango area. This is prime-time. Time to fish!


match the hatch

nice brown

Nice Brown

May 27th - It looks as though high country fishing is here early this year due to the low snow pack, although these streams and creeks are still moving swiftly so be careful wading.

Fly selection isn't very important; high floating dry flies like Humpies and Lime Trudes will take fish. It more about the stealthy approach to ensure that the fish does not see the approaching angler. So approach the water carefully and slowly because if these wild fish see you at all they will dive for cover and stay there.

Cascade,Lime and Hermosa are great spots just to name a few. Pull out a map and pick a spot of your own. There's more small creek and stream fishing here then one could fish on a lifetime. Go find a hidden gem to call your own. Things will only get better as the summer rolls on.




May 25th - (Brian) Fishing was excellent despite some strong wind. Insects are starting to hatch in greater numbers.

Large stoneflies, caddis, mayflies and midges were all coming off. Flows are still high (250 cfs) but the fishing was good.

psycho prince,
rubber legged twenty incher


May 22nd - (nick 5-21-12)

Lime Creek- We had a great and relatively unique day 4 wheeling along the old Coalbank Pass road to the end, fishing along the way. High country fishing is here a little early this year.  Lime Creek fished well yesterday afternoon. The morning water temps were very cold, and as a result the morning fishing is a little slow.

The best fishing started at 1 pm and was on the rest of the day. Fish were up and eating Purple Haze Parachutes, Lime Trudes, H&L Variants, and Psycho Princes

If you do intend to go to Lime Creek soon, be very wary of where you step in the water. There were a lot of rainbows digging up reds and in full spawn mode!!! So please as anglers let them do their thing and leave them alone!!!!


May 20th - Well a few warm to hot days and the flow is back up to 1600. One day its blown out and a couple days later its clear and looking super fishy. You'll just have to play it by ear. If its not muddied up though, throwing streamers can be effective. This is best done from a boat as you can cover more water and wading is difficult in the higher water. 


May 17th - Animas Flow :1300.

Animas is clearing and fishing well. Fish are still in wintering holes but they are slowly moving to normal holding areas and close to the bank when visibility is low. Great time to float the water but you better do it soon before it gets too low. There is two feet of visibility but any hot weather will push up the flow and reduce visibility.

Dark Streamers
Bright streamers,
Caddis larva


May 17th - Pine River-private below dam. Flow cfs:648

Fishing was slow due to cold rising water although we still had some good action in certain areas. There was a small blue wing olive hatch and some caddis sporadically coming off, this should increase daily.  Flows are at normal summer flows and the water should slowly warm making the fishing fantastic.  The best success came in the deepest water throwing weighted nymphs.

Micro Mayfly
Pheasant Tail
Grannom caddis,
Pats Rubber legs

For previous local river reports go to our Archive of local water reports.

"There is always some good fishing somewhere!"

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