Custom Meeting Locations
AVA offers custom meeting locations that helps make life easy for you and your group. Avoid a frustrating scramble to find parking on a busy street. Just let us come to you. We'll pick you up and head out to the water. It's just that easy!

Animas Valley Anglers is a home-based guide service. We do not have a store front, so our meet locations are catered to you and your groups needs. We can meet you and your party at your hotel, B & B, guest ranch, personal home, fly shop or on the river. Meet locations are determined at the time of the booking or once contact is made with your guide prior to the days fishing trip. Guides call guests the night before the trip or a couple days in advance to introduce themselves and go over any last minute details.

Colorado trips meet in Durango, Cortez, Creede, Aztec, Navajo Dam, Mancos, South Fork, Dolores or Pagosa Springs. San Juan trips in New Mexico will meet either in Durango, Bayfield or a fly shop in navajo Dam.

Colorado and New Mexico Fishing License
For most guide trips a fishing license can be picked up on the way to the river. To help streamline the morning guests are more than welcome to purchase them on line prior to the trip. Click the links to the left to buy on line.

The day
A day on the water starts in the morning between 7am and 9am. On full day trips we will break for lunch between 11am to 1pm, then continue fishing till 3pm to 5pm, depending on the start time. Meet time and time on the water can vary a bit depending on transportation, schedules and fishing conditions. Custom meet times are available and may be determined by the guide as well as the clients' wishes. We do not have set times or schedules when it comes to guide trips.

Full day trips are 7 to 9 hours long depending on the trip and half day trips are 4 hours long. Short full days are also available for those with different needs and the occasional special situation.

1/2 day trips: 3 1/2 to 4 hours on the water
(Snacks and drinks are provided on 1/2 day trips)

Full day trips: 7 1/2 to 9 hours on the water.
(Stream-side lunch and drinks are provided)

Custom trips: We pro rate the guide fee depending on the duration of time spent fishing. (Stream-side lunch is included on custom full day trips)

Three person wade trips (San Juan in New Mexico, Animas and mountain streams in Colorado)
If you have an odd number of anglers in your group we recommend booking an additional guide, however we do offer three person wade trips on the San Juan in New Mexico, the Animas and a select group of mountain creeks. The guide trip will be billed at our two person rate plus an additional $150 for the third angler.

Keep in mind that adding a guide to a group with an odd number of anglers will increase the hands-on instruction each person receives. Adding a guide will also open up the option for the group to experience a float trip. There is a maximum of two guests per boat on float trips.

A non-angling friend or spouse would like to tag-along? No problem.
Non anglers are more than welcome to join in on a guide trip with a spouse or friend. Tagging along works best on float trips, however it is also available on wade trips. (Waders and boots for the tag-along will be available at no extra cost). The trip will be billed at our single angler rate, plus $25 for the tag-along. On full day trips lunch is included at no extra cost. The tag-along is however responsible for taking photos of trout and scenery.

  • Spring (March to the middle of May): Root Pond, our private pond near Cortez, is happening big time in the early spring. Animas, Dolores, Rio Grande, the upper San Juan near Pagosa and the San Juan below Navajo are all options. Spring Specials
  • Summer (Middle of May to the end of August): Root Pond fishes well till mid June or when water temps get a little too warm for the trout. The Rio, Animas, upper San Juan and the San Juan in New Mexico are all happening big time. Mountain creeks and streams also start to fish well in the middle of June. Summer Specials
  • Fall (September to the middle of November): Great time to be the water. Creeks are fantastic due to the bright fall colors and feisty trout. The Animas is outstanding in the fall as the large browns start to get more aggressive. The San Juan below Navajo Dam is a consistent fishery in the cooler months. The Dolores also fishes pretty well in the fall.
  • Winter (Middle of November to late February): Do away with cabin fever and fish our year-round fisheries, the Animas and San Juan below Navajo Dam in New Mexico. Crowds are nonexistent and moderate winter temps make these two fisheries the best winter fisheries in the west. Fish a couple days on your next ski or snowboard trip. We also offer specials in the winter. Winter Fly Fishing

What is the best time of year?
We guide and fish all twelve months of the year. That makes the Southwest a fantastic year-round fishing destination, especially with the consistency of the San Juan in New Mexico and the Animas that flows through Durango. Each river, stream and lake in our region changes with each season of the year. Our guides are very diverse as to the locations fished and will move from one fishery to the next depending on the conditions and fish activity. The guides have a constant pulse on each fishery. There is always some were to fish, regardless of the time of year, weather and snow melt.

Stuff to bring, not just for fishing but any trip to Colorado or New Mexico
Rain gear, fleece top and bottoms, wool socks, shoes that can get wet or muddy, polarized sunglasses, hat, medications such as prescribed inhalers or bee sting kit. Bring a willingness to learn and a sense of adventure, we'll take care of the rest.

Fishing gear
Breathable waders along with wading boots and wading belt are also essential items. Neoprene guard socks also work well in the summer in wet-wading situations. If you need waders, boots, belt or neoprene socks for your trip we'll provide them at no extra cost. Just let us know your height and shoe size.

What is included in a trip?
Please note that the guide fee for a two person trip is for the entire trip, it is not per person. Colorado and New Mexico guide trips include your professional guide, flies, terminal tackle, transportation (if needed) as well as a hearty lunch that includes drinks. Polarized sunglasses are also available if they are needed, please let us know in advance.

If you don't have gear (rod/reel or waders/boots) or you have no desire to pack yours along, we can help. All rod/reel and wader/boots used on the guide trip are included in the trip cost. Most guide services tack these types of additional costs on to the guide fee. If you are shopping around make sure ask, because equipment rental and flies can run an extra $40 per person.

What is not included in a trip?
Valid Colorado or New Mexico fishing license and gratuity for the guide are not included in the guide fee.

Trips set up with some B & Bs, guest ranches, historic hotels, packers and other businesses we work with may have additional fees. Those fees will be detailed at the time of booking with the companies out-side of Animas Valley Anglers. There are no hidden costs when you book through Animas Valley Anglers.

Tips on tips
Gratuities are not included in the cost of the guide trip. Tips help the guides with the numerous expenses that are involved in each guide day. Lunch, fuel, flies, gear, shuttles, private land fees, boat and trailer maintenance are the responsibility of your guide. Tipping a guide is very similar to an experience in a restaurant. If you enjoyed the day of fishing, 15 to 20% of the trip cost is an average gratuity. If you had an outstanding trip, many times our guests will go above and beyond.

Buy Your Fishing License On-line
Fishing license in Colorado is required for anyone 16 years and older. Colorado residents, over the age of 65 are not required to have a fishing license. Click the link on the left to buy a New Mexico or Colorado fishing license online.

The weather in our region can be very unpredictable. Even though we have numerous beautiful sunny days, there are times that rain and snow can come in unexpectedly. We will guide rain or shine. At times in the summer and fall, torrential rain storms will cause our local rivers to muddy up and swell to un-fishable flows. On occasion, this forces us to change our plans and the locations we had planned to fish. Just remember to be flexible and ready for an adventure. We have a number of fishing options and we will do what it takes to get you on the best water in any conditions.

Keeping it safe during a thunder storm
Rods will be put down and boats parked in the event of lightning, but we are more than happy to fish through sleet, rain, snow, cold, wind and under a bright blue Colorado sky. On very rare occasions the weather can force a shortened day, but we'd much rather take a break, let the weather clear and keep fishing.