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#12213302 - 04/24/17 06:49 AM Durango/San Juan
Jerryfly Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/10/17
Posts: 14
Good morning all. I am heading to Durango the week of May 14. I know snow runoff will create high and dirty water in many areas. I am looking for advice on any tail waters or mountain lakes that may provide good options to the high runoff in the creeks and streams. If you have fished this area in May, I would appreciate any advice. Thanks!

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#12213500 - 04/24/17 09:26 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
Golfer Jeff Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 409
Loc: DFW
Man, bad timing. Your only option may be the San Jaun below Navajo in New mexico. Another option is to check out Pa-Co-Chu-Puk (Uncompahgre river) below Ridgway Reservoir north of Ridgway. Most of the good/great rivers and creeks near Durango are already in runoff and it is expected to last 4-6 weeks.

Ask a fly shop if it is even possible to fish Hermosa Creek or Lime Creek. You never know.....

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#12213574 - 04/24/17 10:31 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
Bonofly2010 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 02/24/17
Posts: 8
Big Meadows Lake on the other side of wolf creek pass has a tail water creek that is usually loaded with cuts

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#12213612 - 04/24/17 10:53 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
Jerryfly Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/10/17
Posts: 14
Thanks guys. Appreciate the info. Anyone know of a way to monitor the runoff?

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#12214971 - 04/25/17 06:01 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
kodys'papa Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 17495
Loc: Tawakoni/Mogote, CO.
You can get river conditions from the Colorado department of wildlife..
As mentioned, you can also call fly shops in the area...
San Juan will be the best best... The conejos is usually in runoff until late june
_________________________
Hooking a fish is like playing string with a cat. The exact size, shape, color of string matters less than how you wiggle it- and little cats are easier to fool than big ones. John Gierach

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#12215056 - 04/25/17 07:32 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
kaboboom Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 134
Reports from Duranglers might suggest the Los Pinos river. I fished it once...guided...though this link suggests some public access. http://duranglers.com/los-pinos-river-fly-fishing

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#12215109 - 04/25/17 07:55 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
Golfer Jeff Offline
Angler

Registered: 01/18/13
Posts: 409
Loc: DFW
https://waterdata.usgs.gov/co/nwis/current/?type=flow&group_key=huc_cd

http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/data/division.aspx?div=7

From each of these you can observe stream flows and conditions. For example, in Durango, the Animas is basically unfishable right now at almost 2000 cfs. Many rivers are running at 200% of normal due to high snowpack and slightly early runoff.

In general, runoff will be heavy and early all thru Colorado this year due to snowpack and recent warm temps. Even the Conejos is blowin a little early downstream.


Edited by Golfer Jeff (04/25/17 07:58 AM)

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#12215629 - 04/25/17 11:26 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
spacemonkey Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 67
Los pinos above vallacito reservoir. You can park at a hiking/ horse trailhead and it's a couple miles (I forget how many) hike into the Weminuche wilderness area. Spectacular views as well. The river below the wilderness area is all private access on a large ranch, so unless you can obtain permission (and you likely won't) you will have to make the hike for public access. The hiking is relatively easy, but long.. unless your not in shape. Don't hike in in waders. Carry them in a pack or just wet wade is what I do.

Below the lake is all private and only accessible by guided trip through duranglers on main in downtown durango.
I personally have not done it because I don't enjoy guided fishing. I like doing my own work. But it may b an option for you.

There are numerous creeks all over the place out there that offer excellent fishing when the flows on the animas are high.

The headwaters of lemon reservoir can also be productive on the creek. There are salmon in the lake as well.


Edited by spacemonkey (04/25/17 12:03 PM)

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#12215926 - 04/25/17 01:16 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: spacemonkey]
Jerryfly Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/10/17
Posts: 14
Thanks. I will give these a try. The hike and spectacular views soulnd like a great option that will give my wife and pup something to do.

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#12216013 - 04/25/17 02:05 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Bonofly2010]
Hawkpuppy 1 Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/20/02
Posts: 657
Loc: Kerrville, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bonofly2010
Big Meadows Lake on the other side of wolf creek pass has a tail water creek that is usually loaded with cuts


Always loved fishing that little creek coming out of the lake....

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#12217968 - 04/26/17 03:45 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
spacemonkey Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 06/02/10
Posts: 67
You are very welcome. It's a spectacular area. Enjoy!

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#12224197 - 04/30/17 03:04 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
BACKSEATWILLIE Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 02/27/09
Posts: 81
Loc: lubbock
San juan will be in flush mode. I would call Duranglers and ask for Corky and fish the pine below vallicito, its an awesome place.

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#12230638 - 05/04/17 11:48 AM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
dbltea Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 81
Loc: Pagosa Springs, CO
The San Juan has started their ramp up and already approaching 2000cfs. Navajo Lake is at it's highest level in years and the flush is expected to last a good 40+ days ...but don't let that deter you ...some really good fishing during high flows just be very careful wading. A float trip would be ideal.

Even with the high snow volume the melt began pretty early and while flows around here pretty good the water is not as stained and some streams are fishable.

For just pure beauty take a hike into Spud Lake north of Durango. Only 1+ mile hike in but you will need a high clearance vehicle to travel up old Lime Creek Rd and you will catch some small fish.

While not as pretty as the Durango area the tailwaters of the Dolores is a great fishery ...however I have not heard or read what the current flows are and what they are expected to be.

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#12230961 - 05/04/17 02:12 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: dbltea]
Jerryfly Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 04/10/17
Posts: 14
Thanks for the additional info dbltea. Looks like your location is Pagosa. The last couple nights we are in the area, we will be backpacking the area around Buckles/Harris Lakes and Leche Creek. Have you fished or hiked that area?

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#12231190 - 05/04/17 03:59 PM Re: Durango/San Juan [Re: Jerryfly]
dbltea Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 81
Loc: Pagosa Springs, CO
The Buckles / Harris Lakes is a beautiful area and who will love it for the scenery ...unfortunately no fish ...or as of last year there were none. We hiked in the first part of August and fished Buckles ...never got a bite and did not see any activity of fish (there were four of us fishing). Harris was 90% dry ...not sure what was going on there. Later we talked to some people in the area and they said Game & Fish had not stocked Buckles in several years. Opal Lake is another pretty spot ...can get crowded in the summer. Again no fish last year.

Can't help you with Leche Creek as I have not fished it. I've heard good things about the Rio Blanco in that area along with the Rito Blanco and Fish Creek ...but again I have not fished them. The problem around Pagosa is there is too many lakes and streams to fish smile ...nice problem to have. We just moved here full time a year ago. Spent most of the first year in the Weminuche area and on the Rio Grande side of the pass.

You backpacking into the V Rock area?

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