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winter fly fishing

Rio Grande details
The Rio tumbles out from Rio Grande Reservoir, located near Creede Colorado, and flows southeast towards New Mexico.

The Rio is primarily a brown trout river but is also home to some nice bows, cutbows and the occasional cutthroat and brookie.

Fish on the Rio are very gullible (most of the time) and range in size from 12 to 16 inches, but you always need to be ready for a monster. Big Rio fish range from 20 to 24 inches.

If you are into scenery as well as a lot of fish to the fly, than this place fits the bill. The Rio also offers a chance at cutthroat, brookies and splake (a cross between lake trout and a brookie).

Rio Grande
The Rio, a river with prolific hatches and very eager trout make this fishery a must-fish on any anglers bucket list. The fish may not be as technical as our other fisheries, but they can be moody. Our reports might give you a little insight into this river and the trout it calls home.

Rio Grande Flows, Guide Report and Hatches

There are not many angling opportunities on the Rio in the winter. Sure wish there was, but due to the elevation it is cold and iced over in most sections from the dam all the way to New Mexico.

Predictions and forecast
The Rio will open up in early spring. We offer early float trips as early as late March. Check back or drop us a line.

Note: Since the West Fork Complex Fire (2013) the health of the river is just fine. Fish and insect activity continues to thrive. 2014 was one of the best seasons for the Rio in a number of years. We had salmon flies on the water as late as July 4th!

The Rio will be stained as heavy rains continue to flash fire debris into the tribs and main river. Once the rains settle fishing will pickup again. Small mayflies, stones and caddis are the bugs of choice.

Rio Grande River Flows and Guide Reports
Winter 2014

Upper Rio: Flows are low and cold. River is iced-over in most spots.
Summer flows range from 25-200 CFS.
Winter flows: Ice and snow

Rio below 30 Mile Reservoir: Flows are low and cold. River is iced-over in most spots.
Summer flows range from 80-2200 CFS
Winter flows range from 2-50 CFS

Guided Fly Fishing on the Rio Grande River
Animas Valley Anglers offers guided float trips on over 60 miles of the Rio Grande. We float north of Creede through the Rio Oxbow Ranch downstream through South Fork Colorado to Del Norte.

The Rio is an awesome river with a lot of diversity in insect hatches, types of fishable water and fly fishing techniques. Pocket water, cut banks, long runs and meandering meadows offers an angler endless chances at trout. Dry, nymphs and streamers will fool most of the Rio Grande trout throughout the season.

Book your summer and fall Rio Grande floats today. Last minute bookings are possible, just call to check on availability. The Rio offers some of the best dry fly and streamer fishing i the West.
If you like casting streamers and dries than this is the river for you. Streamer fishing in the late winter and spring gives way to dry fly fishing in early summer. Even in the summer streamer fishing can incredible, that is during the rare times the fish are not looking up. Dry patterns are large, fluffy and easy to see in early summer. Some dry patterns get a bit smaller as summer rolls along, but rarely will an angler need a fly smaller than a number 16. Fall angling can also be great with streamers and hopper-droppers.
  • April through May: Stone fly and caddis nymphs. Sculpin patterns.
  • June: Salmon flies, Golden stones, medium black stones, green drakes, gray drakes, brown drakes, PMDs, PADs and a countless number of caddis and spinners.
  • July: PMDs, BWOs, hoppers, drakes, caddis, tricos and sculpins.
  • August: Hoppers, tricos, PMDs.
  • September: BWOs.
  • October: BWOs, streamers and nymphs.

Insects and food in the system: Stone flies, caddis pupa (both cased and free) caddis larva, midge larva and pupa, mayfly nymphs, snails, eggs, worms and sculpins.