The West Fork of the San Juan is similar in fishing to the East Fork of the Juan, but less accessible making the fishing less pressured and at times, easier.  Scenic stretches of rivers and beautiful mountains and landscape surround this pristine river and while the lower stretches get fished on occassion, there is likely stretches of this river section that only get fished by the most adventurous every 3-5 years or so.  The further up you go, the more adventurous the journey.  Don’t overlook any part of the river as you hike up, fishing everything you’d expect to hold a trout.  Often, you’ll find trout willing to eat a variety of standard dries and nymphs if you work the water with a method and with a little stealth.

Trout aren’t overly difficult to catch up here, but if you give them extra respect beyond what you would for a typical, un-pressured freestone, you can be rewarded with larger sized trout and more numbers for the day.  Fly selection isn’t overly difficult here most times, but if you find yourself not able to discover the trout, be sure to use a bug seine or look through the forage in the sides of the river and you’ll quickly discover the loads of insects in the river and can hopefully find some bugs of the right size and color to catch some fish and make it a memorable day of fishing, not just hiking.

If you make it up towards the headwaters, explore cimarron creek as well. It fishes similar and if you’ve made it that far, might as well fish as much as you can!