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Fishing Report - The Animas River

March 28, 2021

Fishing has picked up on the Animas here in Durango. BWO's are hatching daily and fishing dry flies has been exciting. Use a dry-dropper rip when fishing shallow water and rig a nymph rig for faster and deeper water. The weather forecast looks nice and we should start seeing increased flows and off-color water. When that happens, switch to fishing streamers. The spring and early summer months are the ideal time of steamers.


Throax Baetis - Dry16-20Olive and Gray
Rosa Jig - Nymph14-18Violet, Pink, Red
Mini Dungeon - Streamer6Black, White, Yellow
Heisenberg - Streamer6Black, Olive, White
Micro Mayfly - Nymph16-20Olive, Brown

As of: September 14, 2021

Animas at Durango
165 cfs

Previous Reports

February 06, 2021

The fish on the Animas have settled into their normal winter habits. Target deep, slow moving pools in the morning, and move into some faster moving water in the early afternoon as the water warms up. The midge hatches are usually kicking off around 11am, with some sporadic baetis hatches occurring in the early afternoon. Dry fly fishing has been productive with small single adult midge patterns or a small cluster. The water is low and clear, and sight fishing opportunities are very good. Stop by the shop and we can get you sorted out with bugs and locations.


Matt's Midge24, 26Black
Griffiths Gnat20, 22Natural
Noon Midge24Grey, Cream, Red
KF Emerger24, 26Black, Grey
San Juan Worm16Red
FPA Sparkle Baetis22, 24Grey
CDC RS222, 24, 26Grey, Black

November 29, 2020

The Animas is been producing quality fish all fall. Expect the conditions to continue until we have consistently cold temps. The fishing has been technical but persistence pays off. Nymphing small midges and baetis patterns have been the best. Also, they are eating dries. Try a small highly visible dry fly with either a small midge sz. 20-24 behind it lightly weighted, or a second tiny dry fly. Streamers been have working ok.


Not much Midge Nymph20-24Bronze and Olive
Tailwater Tiny Midge Nymph20-24Black and Olive
Pheasant Tail Nymph18-24Natural
Mole Fly Dry16-24Olive and Brown
Parawolf Adams Dry16-18Natural
Sucking Midge Dry or Nymph20-26Black and Brown

September 03, 2020

The Animas River is really feeling the drought. We are seeing historically low flows and temps in the 60 degree range daily.

There is a voluntary hoot owl in effect which discourages fishing after 12:00 noon. So if you want to fish, fish early and be done early.

Fishing has been fair, but the fish have been lethargic and not moving much to eat. Quality and numbers are down but we expect things to pick up here with the start of fall.

Have patience and we will soon have much better fishing.


June 01, 2020

The Animas has peaked 2 days in a row now. The water is muddy and cold. With just a little snowpack remaining, the water is close to dropping and clearing up. When it does, the fishing should be on fire. We had good fishing before the last peak came. Nymphing and streamers are producting good numbers of fish. As the water clears in the next few weeks, work the banks. The fish will move to the rivers edge and should be easier to target. Caddis, stone flies and mayflies are hatching daily. Streamers will be the most exciting way to catch big fish.


Double bead stone fly nymph8Black and Natural
Plan C Caddis Emerger14-18Olive, Tan
Heisenberg Streamer6Black, White
Near Nuff Sculpin6Olive and Brown

May 02, 2020

The Animas is rolling at 2140 cfs today and is chocolate brown. If you want to raft, go get it! With the temps and below average snowpack, we believe this is going to be short and sweet. Look to late May or early June for fishing conditions to improve.


April 13, 2020

The flows are going up and the water clarity is getting dirty. This will be the scenario for the next couple months. There will be warm/hot weather and the Animas will bump and get dirty, then we'll have cold weather roll in and the Animas will drop and clear. This is when you will want to fish it. Streamers have been producing quality fish in the past couple weeks.

Let us know if we can fill any orders for flies or accessories.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has closed all access to fishing for the immediate future. Check back with us to see when it opens.

There is still plenty of water to fish. Animas (when conditions allow), Piedra, Upper San Juan in Pagosa (when conditons allow), Dolores (both upper and lower), Rio Grande, some low elevation creeks, Vallecito Lake, Pastorius Reservoir, Totten Reservoir, Puett Reservoir, Summit Reservoir and more. Look on a map and do some exploring.


January 22, 2020

Midges are active on the water and so are the fish. Setting up a tandem nymph rig or fishing an emerger below a dry fly is the setup of choice. We are seeing a good number of rising trout along the Animas, especially for mid January. Caddis larva are the next bug on the menu and should be fished along with the various midge patterns. The trout will often decide to eat a bigger meal like the caddis larva when given the opportunity. We haven't really seen much ice flow or shelf ice on the water so fishing has been wide open for anglers. Enjoy the low flows and clear water for the next few months before we start seeing early season snow melt.


Top Secret Midge22Brown
Johnny Flash 20Olive, Black
Guide's Choice Hare's Ear18Tan
Winter Baetis18Black, Brown

December 13, 2019

The Animas has been fishing great and should continue for the foreseeable future. Nymphing has been very consistent along with a little streamer action. The unusually good action has come from dry flies. The Animas is not known as great dry fly fishery, especially in December, but it's been unbelievable so far this fall and early winter. Midges are the main hatch along with few leftover BWO's. Look to start the day nymphing and switch over to dries in the afternoon. If you get a cloudy day don't hesitate to swing a few streamers.


Griffiths Gnat - Dry16-20Natural
Parachute BWO - Dry16-20Olive
CDC RS2 - Nymph/Emerger18-22Black, Brown, Tan
Rainbow Warrior - Nymph20Black
Bank Robber Sculpin - Streamer2Olive, Tan, Rust
Heisenberg - Streamer6Cowboy, Rust, Black

October 28, 2019

Conditions on the Animas River are prime at the moment and fishing has been excellent. Blue Winged Olive's (BWO's) have been hatching and the fish are gorging on them. Nymphing has been most productive but we are getting them on dries also. The stockers have been putting on weight and are growing fast! Some brute stock and survivors are also being catch that are bigger! It's so nice to be out on the Animas again and catching fish. Fall is a great time to swing streamers!


Magic Fly Nymph16-20BWO, Rusty
Phasant Tail Prince Nymph14-20Natural, Olive
BWO Comparadun Dry18BWO
Hi Vis BWO Dry16-20Olive, Natural
Sculpzilla Streamer8Black, Olive

September 28, 2019

Fall is the best time of year! Perfect waters clarity, great fall colors and consistent fishing. The Animas has been fishing good considering all the up's and down's over the past year. The fish have settled in and are moving throughout the river finding their own water. Nymphing has been most productive but we are catching a few on dry flies. As we move into fall more, the streamer bite will be the way to go!

Be careful for spawning brown trout and please do not walk on the redds. This is where they spawn and you shouldn't fish to them if you seen these areas. Allow the next generation live on!


Graphic Caddis Nymph12-16Tan, Olive
Magic Fly Nymph16-20Baetis, PMD
Big Bones Caddis Dry12-18Tan, Olive
TA Bunker Streamer4Brown Trout
Tequilly Streamer4Yellow
Blue Wing Olive Comparadun Dry18BWO

August 29, 2019

The Animas River has been fishing extremely well. With no rain the past couple weeks, the clarity has returned back to normal. Water levels are low so wading is much easier. With the Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocking the river 3 times in the past 2 months, we are catching a lot of fish. Mostly 14 inch stockers but there has been some bruisers hooked, landed and lost over 22 inches. It is shaping up to be a fantastic fall on the Animas. The only thing to be cautious about is the water temps. In the afternoon's the temperature are approaching 65 degrees. Do your fishing in the morning and carry a thermometer. Check the temps throughout the day and consider stopping if the temps go over 65 degrees. September is just around the corner and that usually brings cooler water temps. In the meantime, go out and enjoy!


Cased Caddis14-18Natural
Frenchie14-18Brown/ Natural
Pheasant Tail14-18Natural
Meat Whistle4Black, Olive
Parachute Hoppers12Brown, Tan
Chubby Chernobyl8-12Tan, Olive, Royal, Gold

August 10, 2019

With the monsoon season in full force, fishing conditions are hit and miss. Heavy rains in the Hermosa area have been pushing mud, dirt and ash into the Animas turning it off color. There will be short "window of opportunity" between storms until the monsoons end. Be sure to fish when the water clears because the windows have been producing. After the 2 fish stockings in July, there has been some quality rainbows and browns. Streamers have been the ticket!


Little Swimmer Articulated4Rainbow
Cheech Leech4Black, Cowboy, Tan

July 25, 2019

We are finally reaching fishable flows on the Animas! The dropping flows combined with the fact that the river has recently been stocked means that now is the time to go! Current flows are fluctuating around 2,000 cfs so hucking big streamers is our go-to method of fishing. While the flows are dropping, they are still high so exercise caution if you choose to fish the Animas. Seek out the slack water in front of and behind boulders, along the banks and around other river structure. Streamers are the most productive way to cover lots of water but working deep nymph rigs in slower runs will also produce strikes.


Sculpzilla#4-10Natural, Olive, Black, White
Dungeon#4-8Olive, Black, White, Crawfish Orange
Sparkle Sculpin#2-4Natural

July 07, 2019

It's looking like the Animas is starting to finish up with runoff soon. The river is slowly dropping everyday, and the clarity is improving as well. Streamers and nymph rigs are going to be the way to go, focus on all of the soft water along the banks. We should start to see some Caddis coming off soon, and hopper-dropper season is right around the corner!


Galloup's Dungeon2Black
Home Invader2Black
Sparkle Minnow2Flash
Girdle Bug4-10Black/Coffee
Devil Jig14-16Black/Gold/Green

June 14, 2019

On June 9th the mighty Animas reached 7000cfs and seems to have peaked, at least for the moment. Ever since that day it has been hovering around 6500cfs. It's hard to say what will happen in the coming weeks but we are not experiencing the upward trend in flows. The snow-pack statewide was somewhere around 500% of normal for this time of year and 1300% in the San Juan Basin. We could very well see another peak above 7000 cfs, but it will all depend on the weather patterns. For now, go rafting! If you're feeling lucky work the banks and slack water!


Sex Dungeon4Black, White
Girdle Bug8Coffee Black

April 23, 2019

River is running quick and dirty. Get your whitewater toys out and get after it! It is going to be a big water year, be careful out there and have fun! Fishing conditions are poor.


Meat Whistle4Black, Olive
Articulated Cheech Leech4Red/Black, Olive, Cowboy

April 12, 2019

The Animas is having some early snow melt and is muddy, but short opening may occur. During this time of year the river will fluctuate in flow (CFS) and color. When we experience warm weather and river swells and becomes dark chocolate, with little fishing opportunities. If a storm rolls in and Purgatory Resort get snow along with freezing temps, the river drops, sometimes significantly, and water clarity can improve. This is the short window to try and fish. Streamers and large nymphs fished along the bank can be surprisingly productive.


Gallups Tips Up4Black, White, Yellow
Near Enough Sculpin4-8Natural, Olive
Pat's Rubber Legs8-12Coffee, Yellow
Prince Nymphs10-14Natural

March 29, 2019

The Animas River is starting to see spring runoff conditions. The water clarity has deteriorated and waters temps have dropped. Over the next few months the conditions will fluctuate with the weather, but a few angling opportunities might be possible. If water clarity improves, there might be a short window to test the waters by fishing streamers. Post runoff at the end of June or first part of July will be the next best opportunity to fish the mighty Animas. Until then, be patient!


Gallops Sex Dungeon 4Black, White, Olive
Sculpito 2Tan, Olive
Cheech Leech4Red/black, Cowboy

February 26, 2019

The fishing has been fairly slow but fish are being caught. The water is picking up color in the afternoons due to low elevation snow melt.

Water temps have been cold so the fish are lethargic and aren't moving much. Streamer fishing has been fairly steady with a few quality fish coming to net. Slumpbusters, conehead mudders, and articulated dungeons. Nymphing caddis larva and pheasant tails are producing.


Caddis Larva14-18Olive
Pheasant Tail14-18Brown
Slump Buster8Rust, Black
Conehead Muddler6White