Well heres some positive news for you to dwell on! We’re open for business and would love to get out on the water with you. We’ve added two new ranches to our private water portfolio this season and let me be the first to say, they’re pretty awesome! Right now the Pine remains too low to book any trips on but should be coming up in the next few weeks. Look for flows to hit 100cfs and get on the phone to book your trip! As the flows increase the big boys are going to come out hungry and this is the time to land one of those true monsters of the Pine. The Animas private water is fishing well right now and should stay that way unless we get some sort of cold front to bring the water temp back down. BWO’s are hatching as are midges, and we’ve had some nice fish on streamers as well. The Animas should continue to fish well until the runoff begins, usually around late May, and typically picks back up again by the late June/early July.
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The San Juan continues to fish well. The water is remarkably clear for this time of year with close to four feet of visibility. The dry fly fishing has been awesome, fish are rising well to individual midges as well as clusters. The crowds have also been relatively light and I suspect this will continue until the threat of COVID-19 is lessened or behind us. We’ve decided to cancel our lunch service on guided trips to cut back on the spread of germs, but guests are encouraged to bring their own lunch and beverages. Again, as soon as the major threat of this pandemic is behind us we will continue to provide our guests with the best guide lunches out there! Thank you for your understanding and we look forward to getting out on the water with you in the near future.
The Animas is fishing well right now. Winter is starting to give up to Spring and temps are warming. The river has been clear for the most part, the only thing making it dirty is the construction at the Santa Rita Whitewater Park. Hopefully the City of Durango will get it right this time and will stop wasting money on a new whitewater feature every year. Above Santa Rita is fine, the water is clear and there are lots of fish to be had. On warmer days they have been rising pretty consistently, my favorite fly has been a Purple Haze size 20. The nymphing has been good too, my best flies have been a beadhead pheasant tail and a disco midge. The river is fishing well and is the perfect escape for all of the doom and gloom surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. We are still running trips during this time, the only changes we have made to our fishing program is to eliminate guide lunches. We are asking our guests to pack their own lunch to keep cross contamination to a minimum. We look forward to seeing you on the water!
The San Juan is fishing pretty well these days, but just not super consistent. One day the bite will be on with lots of fish and all day action, and the next day not so much. There doesn’t seem to be any real reason to it, just day by day the fishing can be very different. That being said, even on the slower days the fishing has been pretty good with the old egg, red larva combo. The other positive note coming out of this time is that there have been some really big fish caught in the last month. This is the time to get out on the Juan before the crowds hit and get crazy!
The temps are starting to warm up and it’s got me thinking about chucking streamers on the Animas! I thought this would be a good time to give a quick couple of pointers to help with your streamer game. First of all, grip on the rod is very important. Your hand naturally wants to slide down the grip until it is near the bottom of the cork close to the reel. Choke up on that grip! By moving your hand to the top of the cork with your thumb directly on top you will have more power in your cast and will have more room between the reel and your stripping finger to grab the line. When stripping try to keep your tip low or in the water and keep your rod tip in line with the fly. All of these actions will help to eliminate slack and come tight to the fish quicker. More streamer tips will be coming soon in a new blog post.
I got out on the San Juan with my amigo Will Knight today. He’s recently got the streamer bug and was given a sweet 6wt setup for Christmas. Of course he wanted to chuck streamers even though it wasn’t supposed to get above freezing all day. We ended up choosing a black crystal bugger as the fly and rigged it on 2X to a sinking line. The bite was on as soon as we figured out how they wanted it- slow and deep. We stripped it with short jerky strips and tried to get it down as deep as possible. Will landed a bunch of great fish and ended the day with a stud rainbow from Cannon Run by E.T. Rock.
The private water we fish on the Animas continues to fish well. The streamer bite has slowed down, but there are still lots of bugs and the nymphing has been productive with mayfly and midge patterns. Aside from the colder mornings, the weather has been ideal and the afternoons have been close to T shirt weather. As always, I love coming to these different properties to enjoy being outside and to get away from the crowds. Give us a call to book your own exclusive private water trip today!
This morning was chilly but the fishing was hot! I fished with William and Don Knight, a pleasure as always. We let the river warm up and hit it about 9:30 am. The bugs were coming off pretty well, but William wanted to learn how to fish streamers better, and his Grandpa was up to the challenge as well. We started at the top of the stretch we were fishing and started working downstream. Will missed a couple due to the old trout set and we had to take a minute to talk about strip setting and why it’s so important. Once he figured that out it was game on. Will put a clinic on those fish, landing a good number of Rainbow and Brown Trout. We got some great pictures with he and his grandpa, and Will capped off the day by landing a sweet 22 inch brown. All in all it was an incredible day on the Animas with plenty of fish and not one other angler in sight!
The lower private water stretch of the San Juan is on fire right now. The crowds are up in the quality water and have left the lower alone since it got a little challenging the last few weeks. Thats all it needed, a little rest, and boom its back on! I was able to float my friend Wally, a 93 year old fishing machine down there today and it didn’t disappoint. Wally hooked into a beast the the top of Jacob’s and after a nearly five minute battle we landed an incredible two foot rainbow. I’ve had a lot of great times and memories with Wally over the years, and this one was special for both of us. I feel truly lucky to spend time with him, and am already looking forward to my Rock House amigos return in the spring.
Last creek day of the season! Well, I might run up again for a mountain fix, but it was pretty chilly and it seems like we’re in store for an early winter. I went up with my buddy Mark Garcia and his friend Jonathan from NC. Jonathan hasn’t done much fly fishing so I sent Mark off on his own and Jonathan and I stuck together and tromped around. Like so many of the people I get to meet and fish with, Jonathan was really cool and we hit it off. Talking, telling stories and laughing, all while walking up a beautiful mountain creek chasing trout is one of the things that makes my job so enjoyable. We ended up catching some fish, having a great time together, eating a delicious lunch from my favorite bakery, and generally just had a special day in the mountains.