Fishing Season: year round

Animas River - CO

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Heads Up Flyfishing's Tip of the Week

The Animas is starting to color up a bit with all of the low elevation rain.. The cooler temps have arrived and fishing is going to be the best around the warmer parts of the day. Try small baetis nymphs or a Caddis pupa followed by a midge pattern. Fish have been taking streamers as well, olive seems to be the color of choice.

Directions open in app

Map of Animas River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Heads Up Flyfishing

5-Day Outlook as of 3/20/23

The weather looks very wet this week with a cold front moving in on on Tuesday and some more snow.This could slow the dry fly activity but nymphing should continue to be productive. Even with the colder temps the fishing should be good but probably best 10am to 2 or 3pm

Techniques & Tips as of 3/20/23

Nymphing small bugs is probably going to be the most productive method of fishing right now. Some fish have been rising to midges in the afternoons. A small steamer twitched slowly could entice one of our larger fish to eat!

Local Species Available year round

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Heads Up Flyfishing's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Tunghead Prince brown 16
Flashback Baetis Nymph brown 18
Tunghead Soft Hackle Pheasant Tail tan 18
Bead Head Rubber-Legged Pheasant Tail brown 16
Stimulator Orange 12
grey foam wing emerger grey 18
Griffin's Euro Candy Caddis olive 16
Nutcracker tan 4
Tequilly streamer N/A
Hopper Tan 4

Tunghead Prince

Peacock herl adds vivid coloration to this Tunghead Prince nymph fly.

Heads Up Flyfishing's Recommended Gear

Description: About Animas River

The Animas River begins its 126 mile journey high in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton, Colorado. It's full name, Rio de las Animas Perdidas, The River of Lost Souls, gives an air of mystery to this incredible fishery. The Animas begins as a small creek full of feisty brook, cutthroat, and rainbow trout. It drops down through the mountain canyons picking up tributaries and snow melt along its way until it hits the beautiful Animas Valley just north of Durango. This stretch of river is slow moving and meanders through oxbows on the valley floor. This can be a great dry fly fishery in the summer when flows are high enough to float. As it travels through town, the Animas gets a steeper gradient and becomes faster moving. From town on south the river is full of bubbly runs and fast riffles, big boulders, and deep pools typical of a freestone river. The hatches here are varied, we have everything from tiny midges to monster salmon flies. Our most consistent hatches are midges, blue winged olives, and caddis. There are some truly incredible fish in this river, with browns and rainbows well over the two foot mark caught each year. Don't forget the meat box, the Animas is a streamer junkies delight!

Nearest Airport:

Durango La Plata County


Mayflies, caddis, midges, stoneflies,

Best Time to Fish:

10am- 3pm

Best Stretch:

Above 9th street bridge

Best Access:

High bridge