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ozark trout fisher

Sw Colorado

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So I've spent a ton of time fishing in CO, but all in Northwest/Northcentral region. I'm thinking of changing things up a bit this summer by heading out to the Durango area in the SW corner of the state (where I have zero experience and almost as little knowledge.) I plan to camp and fish for a week to ten days in late July/early August, with a kayak for any stillwater angling that might end up happening. Anyone been out that way? If so, any suggestions? The Animas and the Dolores seem to be the most popular options in the area, but I'm open to anything with trout in it, lake, small stream, whatever and honestly would rather stay off the famous rivers. High country and pretty scenery are more important to me than big fish, as always.

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Ok, so slight change in plans....I'm looking hard at fishing the Uncompaghre River in the tailwater down below Ridgway reservoir.....anyone been there?

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I have fished the Rio Grande many times from its beginning below the dam 30 miles or so west of Creede down past the first 2 campgrounds and caught lots of rainbows and a few browns. I always wanted to float and maybe camp the 20 or so miles that run through the wilderness area where there is little to no access except by floating.

F2F

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I prefer the Lake City area OTF. The road that takes you over Engineer Pass (towards Ouray) parallels Hanson Creek and you've got Lake San Cristobal that the Lake Fork of the Gunnison feeds and runs below with spectacular scenery (14'teeners) and good access.Head just east of Lake City towards Slugmillion Pass, not sure on the spelling there, then head north and there is some great brookie fishing up there.The Grand Mesa is the best place to haul a canoe or yak for stillwater fishing. Plenty of lakes (trout going airborne on Kastmasters) and the rivers are mostly wade stuff. I've had a blast up there. If you take the road to the Mesa off I-70 it's a heck of a beautiful drive. Check out the website "COLORADO DIRECTORY". Lots of info. Also, drive the "Million Dollar Highway" between Ouray and Silverton if you're in the area. You won't be disappointed. The areas I've mentioned are not near as crowded as Durango/Ouray/Silverton.

KC

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The San Juan river is only about an hour south of Durango (in New Mexico) if you're still thinking about heading to that area. I've never been but am going the first week of June to fish it while on the family vacation in the area. I've heard its very good.

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ozark trout fisher,

Podum has a great suggestion; Lake City area is wonderful. The Uncompahgre near Ridgway is a very pretty area, but not really a destination fishery for someone traveling so far. Its a small tailwater below a heavily mined area and there aren't many (to my knowledge) good back up plans nearby as is the case in Lake City or Durango. I have been through there two out of the last three years, never fished it, but just didn't seem worth it given the other waters in the area. I know you mentioned Durango, and it is a great area. But to get away from famous rivers and have a ton of fishing in a more remote setting, I'd check out the Conejos River west of Alamosa. Long gravel road along the Conejos River with beautiful water and lots of public access; everything from classic Colorado pocket water to a meadow tailwater in the upper reaches below Platoro Resevoir. The South San Juan Wilderness area is right there; arguably some of the best backcountry fishing in all of Colorado. I've backpacked/fished there twice and, after Wyoming, its my favorite. Hike up from Three Forks into the Wilderness and the fishing is good; ditto for Elk Creek down near the start of the gravel road, but its a 4 mile hike up to the great meadow water there, no big deal if you are a hiker. The high country scenery and fishing, in my opinion, is WAY better than anything near Durango. Durango is a pretty big down and attracts lots of folks; the Animas Valley is pretty highly developed.

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