► Catch of the Week – Do you have a Catch of the Week? Submit your Catch of the Week photos to The Durango Herald. E-mail pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org, drop them off at 1275 Main Ave. in downtown Durango or mail them to Outdoors, The Durango Herald, P.O. Drawer A, Durango, CO, 81302.
► Animas River – The river is running low and clear. Cast near undercut banks for brown trout. Rainbows prefer faster water. Anglers should be ready to try a variety of flies – caddis, nymphs, hopper-droppers and stimulators. If the water goes off-color because of rain, try a Woolly Bugger. Try small spinners for spin casters.
► Crawford Reservoir – Anglers are catching their limit of crappie. There have been more bass and catfish reported this year. Pike, trout and perch are biting. The water temperature is 65 to 68 degrees. The lake level is dropping, but the Peninsula boat ramp is open.
► Dolores River (upper) – Fish the river high in the drainage where public access is available and the fish habitat is good. The river is running low, so look for pocket water in the morning and evening. Try small dry flies, nymphs and spinners. Much of the lower part of the river is private. Because the lower section of the river has been channeled over the years, habitat is poor, and the river holds few fish.
► Echo Canyon Reservoir – Fishing for trout has been good for anglers using worms, garlic-flavored Power Bait and light-colored lures. Cast beyond weeds that grow near the shore at this time of year. This is a great place to take kids to give them fish-catching experience with a worm and a bobber.
► Gunnison River (below Crystal Dam) – Flows are up to 829cfs for the next week while the DOW does a river survey. BWOs on top, BWO emerges, RS2s, San Juan worms, No. 6 Woolly Buggers, egg patterns, No. 14 orange and green scuds, No. 10 GB Poxy Back Biot Stones, No. 12-16 GB Prince Nymphs, No. 16-20 Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails and Flashback PTs and No. 10 20-inchers and Halfbacks.
► Gunnison River (through the canyon) – The flow in the Gunnison Gorge is down to 524 cfs. Fishing conditions are good, and water is low and clear. Fishermen are using Red Copper Johns and Autumn Splendors, as well as hoppers, caddis and mayflies, especially RS2s. Large hoppers in orange and yellow have been good. Zebras, Flashy Woolly Buggers and some Golden Stones are still being used along with Chernobyl Ants and Emergers. The North Fork is now low enough to wade.
► Los Pinos River – The river above Vallecito Reservoir is accessible only on foot and requires a hike of more than a mile from the trailhead. A stealthy approach is recommended. Be prepared to try a variety of flies – caddis, mayflies and small hopper patterns. Below the reservoir, the river runs through private property.
► McPhee Reservoir – Fishing for trout has been good for kokanee, trout and walleye. Anglers also have been successful with smallmouth bass. All smallmouth and largemouth bass 10-15 inches must be returned to the lake immediately. However, anglers should keep fish that are less than 10 inches. Boat inspections are conducted from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Sagehen ramp.
► Navajo Reservoir – Fishing improved this week with a water temperature of 68 degrees. Bass fishing is fair on plastic worms, spinners and crank baits. Crappie are hitting on jigs and grubs in 10 to 20 feet of water. Pike action is good on large swim baits and large lures.
► Pastorius Reservoir – Fishing has been fair to good with the standard array of baits and lures.
► Piedra River – The Piedra is running low, and fish are gathering in holes. The river, however, receives a lot of pressure. Anglers who are willing to hike a couple of miles off the road will be rewarded. Be prepared to try a variety of wet- and dry-fly patterns and small spinners.
► Ridgway Reservoir – The lake is going down rapidly. The water temperature is in the upper 60s, and the
fishing is good. Bank anglers have been doing well using night crawlers, red salmon eggs and silver or gold Kastmasters.
► San Juan high-country lakes, streams – The high country lakes and streams are open, and fishing is good. Use small spinners, dry flies and nymphs. Fishing the high lakes requires a stealthy approach and presentation. In lakes, fish spots with rocky dropoffs. In the streams, don’t be afraid to get your feet wet.
► San Juan River – The San Juan is running very low and clear. Fish are bunching up in holes. Hopper-droppers, caddis emergers, small attractors and nymphs are safe bets.
► Summit Reservoir – The reservoir has a good population of 10- to 14-inch rainbow trout and has been fishing fairly well.
► Taylor Reservoir – Fishing for rainbows with cowbells and nightcrawlers is the best way to go. Lake trout are starting to rise slowly.
► Vallecito Reservoir – Excellent fishing is reported for northern pike and smallmouth bass. Some anglers are catching walleye. Spinners and Rapalas are recommended. Trout fishing is slow. A mercury advisory has been issued for consumption of northern pike from the lake.
► Williams Creek Reservoir – Fishing is best in the early morning and at dusk. The best fishing is at the inlet and near the dam. Fishing is good for trout. Use worms, Power Bait and small spinners in the reservoir. Small flies and nymphs are best for the creek below the lake.