While the Durango area may have more fishing opportunities that one could fill a lifetime with; runoff season seems to deflate many ambitious anglers.  Now that runoff is in full effect, we often get asked in the Duranglers shop where someone could wet a line when the river looks like a mud sluice.  Truthfully, the fishing options are growing by the day, but you might have to think outside the box.  If you want to get into fish, being creative counts.  How should one get creative exactly?  Let us help you out with a few suggestions…

Religiously watching the flows – <link to: http://www.dwr.state.co.us/SurfaceWater/default.aspx> This is by no means the best option.  However, you may find a window of opportunity on our local rivers with all the unique weather we have this month.  If you see the flows drop for a day or so, it means the visibility might be getting better.  When the flows drop for a few days, fish tend to mellow out and get into the feeding groove.

Tailwaters – Tailwaters are a section of a river that flow out of a dam.  The flows on tailwaters are regulated and usually remain clear even during higher waters.  Our local tailwaters such as the San Juan, Dolores, Uncompahgre, and Pine fish well right through higher flows and are a great option when everything else is too dirty to fish.

Flatwater – Not subject to flow fluctuations, lakes and reservoirs can be a great place to find some big trout, bass, carp, panfish, pike, and musky in May.  If you are a sold-out trout bum, we highly encourage you to pick a warmwater species to target this month.  The things you will learn might just translate back to success with trout fishing.  Great local flatwater options this time of year are Pastorius, Lemon, Navajo, Vallecito, Jackson, McPhee, Capote Lake, Echo Canyon, Haviland, Andrews Lake, and Molas Lake.

The High Country – Small creeks still hold fish during high water.  While the water may be cold, creek fish will still take a well presented dry, bead head nymph, or small streamer.  This is a great time to finally get up into the higher elevations to wet a line.  Make sure to plan your trip accordingly and be prepared for 4 seasons of weather in May.

Just Fish the Mud - High, off color water does not mean that fish are not biting.  Just make sure to use big, dark nymphs and streamers and fish close to the bank.  Trout will move close to the river bank to get out of the fast current in the middle of the river.  This can actually simplify the fish locating process.

If you are not sure about where to start, give us a call at the shop or shoot us an e-mail at info@duranglers.com.  We are always glad to help you out with your fishing adventures in Southwest Colorado.

Andy McKinley

Duranglers Flies and Supplies



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