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Animas River Middle Section Fishing Information
Middle Section - near Durango, CO
The middle section of the Animas river begins when the canyon above Hermosa ends all the way down below the town of Durango. This section has the most accessible stretches of water and holds some of the biggest fish. There are many hatches during the year on this section of river so pay attention to your bugs and match the hatch if you wish to throw dries for rainbows. The bigger browns are mainly sculpin eaters and your best chance at success is throwing some meaty streamers that push some water and get down deep. There are some really nice fish in this section but it’s the most pressured and these fish can take work to catch. When in doubt or there is no hatch, a stonefly nymph or pheasant tail can do great work through the runs riffles and holes.
Bring Your “A” Game – I often find that when I get to a new river that’s far away, I get over-confident since I’m used to finding success on more pressured, difficult waters close to Denver. The fish don’t always adhere to that principle and the Animas can be a challenging river. Simply knowing that you’ll need to bring your best skills with you on the river will help keep you focused and treating this river with the respect it deserves. With some patience and persistance, you’ll find this a very rewarding river.
Struggling Streamers Catch Big Fish – Big brown trout aren’t going to chase fish out of the water for a meal. They are looking for the weak, easy meals that keep them big and fat without much effort. Standing further out in the river above a hole and letting your streamer dead drift down the run with the occasional twitch is an excellent way to entice the browns to come up and slurp down your streamer. Careful of the slick rocks, but standing directly above where you are bringing your streamer in lets you keep it in the water longer and deeper improving chances of a fish eating your streamer.
Fish: Some Medium-Sized Fish
Best Techniques: Streamers
Best Seasons: Spring - Fall
River Type: Large Freestone
Fish Types: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout
Dog Friendly: Yes
Located in the San Juan/Dolores River Basin near Durango, CO
Fishable Seasons & Current Weather
The best seasons to fish this river are Spring - Fall. See the current weather reports for the next 5-6 days listed below for the nearest city.
wind: 3mph E
H 70 • L 67
Weather from OpenWeatherMap
Knowing what flies to use is only have the battle. You have to know when the insects are active on the water and when it's likely the trout are feeding on them. Refer to our hatch charts below to understand when the insect categories and some of the possible hatches on the river.
Midges hatch year round, but their importance is from September through winter into April. During the warmer months, the trout often focus on larger insects as they are more active on the water like mayflies, caddis and stoneflies.
Aside from Blue wing olives, mayflies are active most commonly from May to August in Colorado. There are many different mayfly hatches found on most rivers and the most common are listed below.
Blue Wing Olive: September throut winter to April
Pale Morning Dun: June to Mid September
Colors: White, Yellow
Sizes: #14 - #20
Trico Mayflies: Mid July to Mid September
Colors: Black, White, Grey
Sizes: #18 - #26
Caddis hatch starting early in May and continue to the end of October.
Colors: Olive, Green, Yellow, Tan, Orange, Brown and Black.
Sizes: #10 - #20
We have some great stonefly hatches in Colorado and while not all rivers carry all species of salmonflies, you can often fish stonefly adult patterns with confidence from May to September. Start off in bigger sizes and get smaller till September hits (size 8 - 16)
Golden Stone: June to August
Colors: Yellow, Tan
Sizes: #8 - #14
Yellow Sally Stonefly: Mid June to August
Colors: Yellow, Tan
Sizes: #12 - #18
Terrestrials don't hatch since they are out of the water, but they can have importance starting in Mid April and ending in September.
These are the the top flies we sell for this river. Use the hatch chart above to know what flies you will want to have in your fly box during your adventure on the river and then select the flies here 30 days before your trip to get them at a great price. All of our flies are hand tied to each order to ensure quality and to keep our prices low for you.
Click on a fly below to select a size and color for purchase.
If you need an easier solution than selecting each fly and size, try out our top fly assortments for this river that will put all the flies you need in a single order for this river. We've already selected the flies we use in our fly box for this river including the sizes and colors and put them in these assortments so you can fish with the confidence that you have the right flies in your box.
Click on any of the pictures to see what flies, colors and sizes we recommend in each assortment.
Use these epic resources to get ready for your adventure. Whether you're planning your trip, learning your insects, improving your fishing with expert tips or getting detailed resources from the USGS streamflows or DoW, we got you covered to help you find the river and find the success you want.