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WILD BROWN Trout in Colorado

brown trout trout trout fishing wild trout fly fishing colorado animas river

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14 replies to this topic

#1 McFlyLures

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:00 AM

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.
 
A year or so back, the EPA spilled about 3 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the river.  These chemicals included heavy metals like lead, arsenic, zink and iron.  For a week the river turned bright orange and many thought the river was done for.  However after cleanup, and time, the river has seemed to turn back to what it originally was.  Fish show no signs of poisoning, and supposedly the river water is safe to drink.  
 
This trip started (and almost ended) very frustrating.  I didnt see a single fish all day, and didn't even get one bite on the line.  At the end of the day when I was further down stream, I fell in the water which pretty much made me quit fishing.  As I walked back to the car, I decided to try one last spot.  The spot where I hooked a big trout my last trip.  I ended up hooking a very good sized brown trout, one of the largest Ive ever caught.  It had to have been 24-25" at least.  It was a beautiful fish, with hooked jaws.  
 
The rod I hooked that fish on was a 9' 6wt Sage Method, with a 3250 sage reel.  I had a 7wt outbound short line with an intermediate sink tip, and I was fishing a size 10 cone head slump buster streamer in olive.  
 
Some of the above info about the animas was gotten from the Duranglers website with their permission.


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#2 Striperknight

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:46 AM

That river is gorgeous. I took the Durango to Silverton train while I was out there on my honeymoon. The train follows the river most of the way.  No I did not get to fish it. I only got to fish Hermosa creek in Durango.



#3 McFlyLures

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:33 PM

Hermosa is fun also!  Any luck there?  Yeah, I love fishing this river, but I also hate it in a way.  Its a love hate relationship!  Beautiful, but really tough in the winter.  I hear the spring/summer will get better though!  


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#4 Adam Saarinen

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:01 PM

Looks like you've trimed your beard? Not good! Let it grow!:-)

#5 McFlyLures

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:52 PM

Looks like you've trimed your beard? Not good! Let it grow!:-)

I trim it every once in a while...  HAHA  Usually its my wife telling me I need a trip to the barber...   


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#6 Idaho RC

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:54 PM

A year or so back, the EPA spilled about 3 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the river.


Are you certain that the Environmental Protection Agency caused the spill? I suspect you have this fact incorrec.

#7 McFlyLures

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:13 PM

A year or so back, the EPA spilled about 3 million gallons of toxic chemicals into the river.


Are you certain that the Environmental Protection Agency caused the spill? I suspect you have this fact incorrec.


Um... I never said they did it on purpose, but it's pretty well known that they did cause the spill accidentally... it was a Missouri company under EPA contract that did it. So part of the EPA employment.
https://en.m.wikiped...ste_water_spill

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#8 mikechell

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:35 PM

Of course, it was accidental, but the EPA was "inspecting" a closed gold mine when they busted through a retaining wall.  The result was the release of approximately 3 million gallons of toxic waste water.  

Probably would've eventually breached anyway, but the EPA is directly to blame for the stupidity and immediate draining of that holding tank.


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#9 Idaho RC

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:38 PM

Thanks for the link. I am not a fan of the EPA OR DEQ but would not have thought that they were stupid enough to cause something like that. The article confirms their stupidity.

#10 McFlyLures

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:55 PM

Yes Idaho, they are not too bright with this spill. I'm no conspiracy theorist, but many people around this area have discussed that it was done on purpose to be able to free up funds to clear the whole area. I personally don't hold those views though... however some of the locals discussion does seem to make sense, but I still don't hold this view. I still think it's an accident.

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#11 Dave G.

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 10:22 AM

By the looks of the fish you caught the spill didn't hurt the species a whole lot. Nice fish, looks healthy !


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#12 Adam Saarinen

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:19 PM

I trim about 4" off mine each summer, mostly strings! Go the beard!

#13 McFlyLures

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 01:35 PM

By the looks of the fish you caught the spill didn't hurt the species a whole lot. Nice fish, looks healthy !

Oh yeah, he was healthy for sure.  No they say it didnt hurt the fish.  I don't see how not, but apparently they are right cause the river still fishes great!  And the fish are all really healthy.  Well this one was, but I have a friend that fishes this river a lot and said that he didnt notice any issues with the fish at all even recently after the spill.  


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#14 Striperknight

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 02:32 PM

Hermosa is fun also!  Any luck there?  Yeah, I love fishing this river, but I also hate it in a way.  Its a love hate relationship!  Beautiful, but really tough in the winter.  I hear the spring/summer will get better though!  

Yes. My Wife's uncle lived on Hermosa creek. At that time I was a newbie into fly fishing and I could not catch with my flyrod. I did however catch a couple of rainbows with my spinning rod. I would love to go back for a rematch with my flyrod.



#15 McFlyLures

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Posted 17 February 2017 - 03:13 PM

 

Hermosa is fun also!  Any luck there?  Yeah, I love fishing this river, but I also hate it in a way.  Its a love hate relationship!  Beautiful, but really tough in the winter.  I hear the spring/summer will get better though!  

Yes. My Wife's uncle lived on Hermosa creek. At that time I was a newbie into fly fishing and I could not catch with my flyrod. I did however catch a couple of rainbows with my spinning rod. I would love to go back for a rematch with my flyrod.

 

Well if you ever make it back, hit me up and we can make a trip together if your interested.  Its a bit of a hike for those who don't live right on it.  LOL  but I like back country hikes anyway.  


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