Today’s Feature Friday is Duranglers, a Durango fly fishing guide service and shop located in downtown Durango. Tom, one of the owners has answered today’s five Feature Friday questions.
1. Duranglers has been around a while? How did you get started in Durango?
In the late summer of 1983 my business partner (John Flick) and I had both been laid off from jobs in NM. I took the time to wander around Southwest Colorado and do some fly fishing. In the course of the wandering, I spent some time in Durango and really connected with the place. Seeing that there was no fly fishing shop or guide service to speak of in Durango, John and I decided to take a shot starting our own business. And, since we both knew fly fishing and the area held such great potential, Duranglers was born, circa December, 1983.
2. Your guided fly fishing trips sound really great! Explain what a day of fly fishing with Duranglers would consist of?
A day of fly fishing with Duranglers starts, typically 7:30 or 8 in the morning, with a meet of client(s) and guide at our shop. The guide will get a feel for the client’s interests and expectations for the day and discuss the various options (venues) for fishing. Since we guide anywhere from the San Juan Quality Waters in northern NM to the high mountain creeks of Hermosa, Cascade and Lime to the Piedra to the east and the Dolores to the west, we strive to match the clients interests with the experience we will provide.
After getting licenses and equipment, if needed, it’s off to the river/creek for a day of education and fun. Depending on the water and client’s wishes we may be floating the river in a drift boat or wading. The guide handles all of the rigging, fly selection, positioning of the client and will provide instruction as to casting, line management and fishing in general, if appropriate. Of course, netting and fish handling and picture taking if needed are usually handled by the guide as well. A break for the guide provided lunch around mid day is followed by an afternoon of more fishing, then back to the shop late afternoon.
3. Where are the best places to fly fish in Durango and when are the best times for fishing?
In this area we are fortunate enough to be able to fly fish year round. We have the luxury of the San Juan Quality Waters below Navajo Dam in northern NM. Being a tailwater fishery with water released near the bottom of the dam, the water is around 42 degrees year round. This means the fish are actively feeding all the time and susceptible to being caught. The Animas through the town of Durango is a very good fishery that offers good fishing for most of the year.
The only difficult times for the Animas is during the high water of runoff and the times in the winter when we get slush ice in the River. The high mountain creeks of Hermosa Lime and Cascade come in around the first of July and fish well till early November. The Piedra is good from early June to late November. So, you see, there are many great places to fish in about an hours drive of Durango and for much of the year. We like to say the best time to go fishing is whenever you can.
4. What is your favorite way to spend a day in Durango (when you’re not fishing)?
I really enjoy walking the Animas River Trail, just watching the river flow by, looking for fish and checking out the anglers on the water.
5. What do you think is Durango’s best kept secret?
We feel that Durango’s best kept secret is the truly great fishery that we have in the Animas River in the town of Durango. Running a close second is the stunning beauty of our San Juan mountains and the special experience one can have on our high mountain creeks.
Be sure to check out Duranglers on your next trip to Durango for a fly fishing trip you won’t forget! Duranglers is also about to launch an awesome online shop so be sure to check back to check out their online shop!