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So this is the conclusion, or 2nd day to my trip to Dolores Colorado, which was absolutely amazing! This time of year gives so many opportunities to catch fish, and pretty much every time I go out to Dolores I have a great time, and am usually successful. This trip was no exception to that. I caught a ton of fish! And had a great time with my good buddy Jeff.
If you remember a few weeks back, I went fishing the San Juan River with Fresh Salt Fishing, and we had a great time! We caught many Brown Trout, and one was really really large! They came back to fish with me, and we decided to hit up the Animas River. We had a float trip scheduled for the next day, however we had some time this day to wade the river. Fishing the Animas can be tough. Its not one of those rivers that many people can go out and guaranty a boat load of fish. But when you catch one, usually its a very good sized fish. Mostly browns live in this river, and they are wild. They pull hard, and make you fight for every inch of line. Keep in mind this river is very slippery, so if you come out, make sure and bring some wading boots with studs in them.
The Gunnison River is a tailwater of the Blue Mesa Reservoir, and its really good fishing. Better known is the Black Canyon River section of the Gunnison which is further down stream, but it is still great fishing right near the dam. In fact, one of the trout I caught on my second day, was one of the prettiest rainbow's I've ever seen. Super colorful, just absolutely amazing! Also, there was something a bit surreal about this river. Being in the middle of a narrow canyon, with rocks on either side. There was an echo that made for some excellent noises when fighting fish. Every time they would jump, it sounded amplified. The fish were hitting streamer, but on the 2nd day, I started getting some fish on dry fly and nymphs. It was a really really good day. Please stay tuned next week for an absolutely amazing day fishing! I stayed at a camp ground overnight in a tent. The camp ground was called "Blue Mesa Escape" and I highly recommend staying there if you plan on camping around that area. If river fishing is not your thing, there is a large lake that have some record sized lake trout in them. Seriously, some are upwards of 50+ lbs! If you want to stay there, please make a reservation at the camp ground before showing up. They are booked up regularly because they are so nice and good prices.
One of the last free-flowing rivers in the state of Colorado, the Animas River is a unique and rare treasure. With the newest and one of the best Gold Medal Water fly-fishing sections in Colorado, the Animas is a river that should be on your list of places to fish. When Juan Rivera passed through this corner of Colorado in 1765, he named the river El Rio de las Animas Perdidas en Purgatorio, “The River of the Lost Souls in Hell.” To Rivera and his Spanish compatriots, the valley was remote, bleak, and had little to offer them in the way of riches. The Animas River is the major stream draining the high alpine terrain of the Needle Mountains. It heads in small meadows on the flanks of Cinnamon Mountain north of Silverton, then plunges through wild canyons as it carves a route between the Needle and West Needle Mountains. By the time it reaches Durango, the Animas has grown to a large river. Out of the mountains the Animas meanders through a shallow depression across broad plains. South of the New Mexico border at Farmington the Animas joins the San Juan River. Fortunately, public access to the Animas River within the city of Durango is plentiful with almost 7 miles of river from 32nd Street Bridge to the Rivera Bridge south of town. Two parcels of private land are found in this stretch, but they are well marked. Foot and bike trails parallel the river through much of town, providing abundant easy access. The Animas is big water. In Durango the river is almost 100 feet wide, filled with huge rocks and deep holes. The river offers extensive riffles, freestone conditions, and stretches of pocket water. The bottom consists of gravel and cobbles. The rocks are as slick as those in any river in the West, and anglers must always be very cautious when wading. Wet wading is popular in summer, but waders are called for in the early season and in the fall. This trip was a bit frustrating as well as many trips I seem to be having while filming. The river is a great river to fish, but by the time I got the hang of the river, it became blown out, and was basically chocolaty everywhere I could fish. The conditions were not ample this trip, but that won't stop me from trying. I fished all day until about 1 hour from sunset. When at that point I decided to go into town and grab some food and a beer. The rod I was using was my custom built 9' 5wt. Its rather stiff, but I am fishing with a larger 4x and 5x tippet, also the flies are size 18-22, which is much larger then my San Juan River trip, so I feel It can handle it. Plus the stiffer rod will help with longer casts and easier mends. Some of the above info about the animas was gotten from the Duranglers website. You can see more info about the Animas River and other local rivers on their website www.duranglers.com.