The Animas, a tributary of the San Juan is a sought out river for most anglers. It runs right through the heart of downtown Durango and the access is amazing.
The Animas became our "Want to go fish for an hour or two before dinner?” river. We never really planned an actual day to dedicate to it. It was more or less the “go-to” after fishing or exploring somewhere else.
For us, The Animas is totally different from anything we're used to. It's HUGE!
No trees or laurels or rhododendrons to get stuck in.
No rocks to hop across to get to the other side.
And most importantly, no people.
This crazy attraction, right downtown, was wide open.
This was no South Holston river where everyone was clambering to get "their rock" for the day.
The shear openness was astounding. The freedom in knowing you could traverse all the way to the other side, up and down as far as you can see without running into a single other soul was absolute bliss.
One evening as we set out, after a day of back country fishing, we could see a storm starting to move in. The wind picked up, the clouds turned an ominous shade of gray and in the distance, above the mountains, you could see the lightning begin. Nature's fireworks were going off all around us. We headed back to the car, standing in the middle of a river with stick that conducts electricity in the middle of a thunderstorm is never a good idea. We waited the 10 minutes it took for the storm to roll in and then quickly roll out.
The Animas gave us brown trout. Every different shade of gold and yellow and brown you can imagine, shades of gold that matched the color of the evening light.
It may have only been our evening retreat for an hour or two, but she gifted us with memories and more gold than we could ever hold on to.
Jacob is a fly fishing guide with a passion for conservation and brook trout. He is an accomplished rod builder and restorationist.
Jillian is an outdoor photographer and blogger, using her voice for Public Lands and Cold Water Conservation. She specializes in trying to out fish jacob whenever she puts the camera down.