Durango Area Fishing & Camping

Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior MemberPosts: 6,029 Senior Member
The wife and I have some time off the week after next and we're thinking about SW Colorado. Durango looks appealing because there are other things to do besides fish (gotta keep the boss happy, ya know). The only river I've heard of is the Animas, but am even more interested in doing some camping where we can get into some willing fish and have some nice scenery and camping. After a few days of that I think it would be nice to stay in town for a few nights and catch the train to Silverton and hit Mesa Verde NP. Any suggestions for areas to camp or river/stream info would be appreciated!

Replies

  • ScottPScottP Senior Member Posts: 480 Senior Member
    I'd check with the folks at Duranglers for fishing info; nice shop and the guys I talked to were pretty helpful. Sorry, can't help you any with camping. Definitely take the train to Silverton (word of warning - if you sit in one of the open-air cars, you're going to get covered in ash from the locomotive) and go to Mesa Verde (wish we could have spent more than 1 day there, the place is amazing).

    Regards,
    Scott
    They say the times are changing but I just don't know
  • KyoKyo Junior Member Posts: 10 Junior Member
    Always wear glasses when riding a steam train.
    If you don't wear glasses sun glasses or some sort
    of economy safety glasses will work fine.
    Doesn't matter if it's a coal burner or oil fired
    your eyes will thank you. Kind of like wearing
    protection when streamer fishing.
  • SaraSara Senior Member Posts: 511 Senior Member
    Shawn, if you are thinking about taking the train, make reservations NOW! You can also fish the San Juan. http://www.steamworksbrewing.com/ is a good place to get grub. Cajun Boil was well-worth it when I went there. There is also fishing on reservation land that is good.
  • SaraSara Senior Member Posts: 511 Senior Member
    Oh and only go in the open air cars!
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,029 Senior Member
    So... I'll be covered in ash and have my eyes burned out, but I will enjoy the experience of the open air cars? Hmmm...
    Thanks for the tips guys and gal. I will make some train reservations before heading out. Hopefully a weekday won't be totally booked.
    As far as fishing, I have 0 interest in ever fishing the San Juan. Can't explain it, but the prospect has never interested me. I'll check with Duranglers!
  • Scruffy FlyScruffy Fly Junior Member Posts: 17 Junior Member
    You can get off the train about midway and fish then catch the train or a later train on the way back down. That would be a different experience. The wife can continue on to Silvertone and shop.
  • ScottPScottP Senior Member Posts: 480 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    So... I'll be covered in ash and have my eyes burned out, but I will enjoy the experience of the open air cars?

    The views of the San Juans are worth it and they're making Nomex suits in some very nice colors these days.

    Regards,
    Scott
    They say the times are changing but I just don't know
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,029 Senior Member
    Thanks for all of the info and the pics also, Scruff. Beautiful mountains. It looks like there are lots of forest service campgrounds in the San Juan NF northof town, so I think we're just going to hit the road and see what we can find!
    Thanks again!
  • lopsangsherpalopsangsherpa Junior Member Posts: 5 Junior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    As far as fishing, I have 0 interest in ever fishing the San Juan. Can't explain it, but the prospect has never interested me. I'll check with Duranglers!

    I was in the same boat, went down and tried it anyway and my opinion hasn't changed. I think your plan sounds like a good one.
  • herefishyherefishy Junior Member Posts: 3 Junior Member
    Great place for scenery and camping, don't know about fishing in the lake, but lots of other options in that area(north of Durango).
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,029 Senior Member
    Well, I'm back and Durango was great fun and I got into some trout for the first time in almost two years. I was recovering from a mountain bike accident and the subsequent two leg surgeries. The guys at Duranglers pointed me towards streams where I could wade easily, yet find some nice fishing for high mountain 'gems.' They were very sympathetic to my needs and incredibly helpful.
    After gaining some confidence and seeing what my knee could handle I headed up into the Florida River above Lemon Reservoir. Not big fish, but very beautiful and a nice test for my leg. Eventually we headed up to Gunnison and I got in a half day on the Gunnison at Neversink and a few hours on the Taylor.
    Overall I have to say Durango is a very cool town with fun night life, good vibe, friendly people, decent fishing and incredible scenery! Thanks for the tip on the train, too. My wife insisted on one of the Presidential Class cars and I'm glad we did the trip that way. What a great experience.
    If anyone is planning on doing any fishing in the area and is not familiar, I cannot recommend Duranglers enough. Great people that were extremely willing to help!
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,707 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    Well, I'm back and Durango was great fun and I got into some trout for the first time in almost two years. I was recovering from a mountain bike accident and the subsequent two leg surgeries. The guys at Duranglers pointed me towards streams where I could wade easily, yet find some nice fishing for high mountain 'gems.' They were very sympathetic to my needs and incredibly helpful.
    After gaining some confidence and seeing what my knee could handle I headed up into the Florida River above Lemon Reservoir. Not big fish, but very beautiful and a nice test for my leg. Eventually we headed up to Gunnison and I got in a half day on the Gunnison at Neversink and a few hours on the Taylor.
    Overall I have to say Durango is a very cool town with fun night life, good vibe, friendly people, decent fishing and incredible scenery! Thanks for the tip on the train, too. My wife insisted on one of the Presidential Class cars and I'm glad we did the trip that way. What a great experience.
    If anyone is planning on doing any fishing in the area and is not familiar, I cannot recommend Duranglers enough. Great people that were extremely willing to help!

    Do you have any pics from this trip? Durango is on my to do list in the near future.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,029 Senior Member
    Joekrz, I haven't put any pics up on photobucket. I don't have a whole lot of exciting pics anyway. A few of me fishing and a lot of the wife and I on the Durango-Silverton Railroad.
    If you are planning a family-type trip I can't recommend Durango enough. As for a solo fishing-centric trip: I would do it, but of course there are better places in CO. Still, the scenery is awesome and the fishing was very fun! For fishing research, check out Durangler's web site. They have a good primer of the area.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,707 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    Joekrz, I haven't put any pics up on photobucket. I don't have a whole lot of exciting pics anyway. A few of me fishing and a lot of the wife and I on the Durango-Silverton Railroad.
    If you are planning a family-type trip I can't recommend Durango enough. As for a solo fishing-centric trip: I would do it, but of course there are better places in CO. Still, the scenery is awesome and the fishing was very fun! For fishing research, check out Durangler's web site. They have a good primer of the area.


    Thanks for the info.

    What better places are you thinking? I've been to RMNP, Colorado Springs area and Carbondale already. I'm really intrigued by the train ride.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,029 Senior Member
    Honestly, the train ride is worth it alone. Really nice, relaxing and just fun. You will go nuts thinking about the fishing opportunites along the Animas River as the train rolls past. ****...
    As for other areas I have fished: Been to the Gunnison in and around the town itself a couple of times and always caught nice fish. This past trip I spent only a few hours on the Taylor River during the middle of the day. It is one of the prettiest rivers I've fished in a while and I'm sure the fishing would have been better during the evening hours.
    One thing that shocked me was the huge amount of private land along the Gunnison area rivers. I'm done **** about access in UT! We have it pretty good compared to Gunnison. It's not like you can't find good places, but the amount of public access along some of these rivers is disturbingly low. The Taylor R. has good access but a lot of the other waters had only very limited areas where the common man can wet a line.
    Hopefully it isn't as bad as I perceived it, but according to my maps and driving around it was pretty grim. Still nice fishing where you could get it, though.
    For an overall vacation experience I would recommend Durango. I know the wife and I will be heading back one of these years!
  • ScottPScottP Senior Member Posts: 480 Senior Member
    Try the College Drive Cafe for breakfast and Serious Texas Barbeque for dinner. BTW, they filmed the train robbery scenes from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid on the Silverton NG train.

    Regards,
    Scott
    They say the times are changing but I just don't know

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.