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The San Juan River is fishable year round. I have caught many fish while its snowing out. The river is a tail water, so it does not freeze up, and the temperatures stay relatively the same all year round. The winter is one of my favorite seasons to fish at the Juan because the river isnt as pressured, and the larger fish come out. The lake also turns over usually in late December and the river becomes slightly off color. For that reason, you can fish larger nymphs and even do really well on streamers. No more fishing the really tiny midge patterns you are used to fishing in the spring and summer. I find that you can get away with size 20-22 midge patterns, 18-20 red annelid patterns and some smaller bunny leeches and other streamers as well. In fact, I really like to fish a streamer under an indicator and drop a red annelid behind it. Also, you want to fish a bit more flashy this time of year.
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. On this trip to the Animas I only got to fish a few hours. I had a late start on this impromptu fishing trip. I also forgot my SD drive for my go pro so I could not film everything. However It still was a fun trip even though I didnt land any fish. I did hook a very large fish though, but could not bring in this big brown. He threw the hook within a few seconds of hooking him. I was fishing nymphs all day, and the fly rig I hooked the big one on was a small (18 size) red copper john, and a 20 size two bit hooker. Im guessing the one he hit was the two bit... The rod was my custom rod (a bit stiff of a rod) and the reel was my sage 2250. I was using the basic Rio line, "mainstream WF5F". Some of the above info about the animas was gotten from the Duranglers website. You can see more info about the Animas on their website http://www.duranglers.com View the youtube video below, or click this link to view on my website. http://www.mcflyangler.com/episode-5-fly-fishing-animas-river
https://tieflycast.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/the-box-winter-steelhead/ 3 flies that I will not venture out into the cold without. How I tie them and tips to make the common patterns more successful for winter steelhead. This flies have been tried and tested on Erie, Huron, and Ontario tributaries while having some specific influence from Lake Michigan. I have put together a collection of thoughts and ideas as well as a few favorite patterns for winter steelhead flies for the Great Lakes region. Basically this post is a collection of concepts and patterns that I have had success with over the years. I know that most of the content will not be earth shaking for most of you, but I do appreciate the feedback I get from the members of this site. I tried much harder to get some 'animation' in my voice overs and dropped the banjo (for now). Take a look and give me some feedback, criticism, or a thumbs up if you like the content. It's greatly appreciated. Thanks Shane