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Hey there! First post here. I'm a Colorado native that recently explored some new-to-me rivers, creeks, and lakes and wanted to report what I found there since information online is sparse or incorrect. So I'm here to tell and show what I found! I'm a fly fisherman so everything was caught on flies. Mostly dry flies which is fun, but a few may have been caught with nymphs depending on the circumstances. And all fish were returned to the water and swam away healthy and strong, I'm all for catch and release since I'm not too interested in eating fish.

So two weeks ago (August 9-11) I went on a solo off-roading and fishing trip in the Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride area and I tried fishing in as many bodies of water as I could. So below I will list where I fished, the town closest by to avoid confusion with other possible waters with the same name, and then what species were found there.

Dolores River (below McPhee Reservoir) - Brown & Rainbow Trout
My dad and I fished down here and caught a handful of fish, but due to higher temperatures in the late summer there are signs informing anglers you can only fish until noon.

Glasses Smile Sky Water Goggles

Water Vertebrate Smile Sunglasses Fisherman


La Plata River (Hesperus, CO) - Brook Trout
I travelled up La Plata Canyon and fished multiple spots and found some really beautiful brook trout here, some that were surprisingly big too! Definitely a great time if you're in the Durango area.

Salmon-like fish Plant Fisherman Oncorhynchus Organism


Cunningham Creek (Silverton, CO) - Brook Trout
Travelled up the creek and fished at multiple locations, all the way from the confluence with the Animas River to where the road ends and found brook trout all the way up. I was hoping for cutthroats since in an old post on a different website someone had states cutts were found here, but I only found brookies. And as would be expected, the further up the creek you go the smaller the fish got, especially since there are some major waterfalls along the way that probably act as pretty good barriers.

Water Salmon-like fish Fish Marine biology Oncorhynchus



Clear Lake (Silverton, CO) - Brook, Tiger, & Cutthroat Trout
Camped up here for the night and fishing was great! Caught a lot of brook and tiger trout which was a pleasant surprise. But I did get lucky and caught one small cutthroat too! Fishing for me was great in the evening but slow in the morning.

Salmon-like fish Fish Marine biology Oncorhynchus Ray-finned fish

Photograph Vertebrate Fish Salmon-like fish Ray-finned fish

Vertebrate Salmon-like fish Organism Oncorhynchus Fish


South Fork Mineral Creek (Silverton, CO) - Brook Trout
Found a few brookies in this river, but if you go too far down and reach the actual Mineral Creek proper, the water color changes to a hazy blue from all the minerals in the water and no fish were to be found for me.

Water Salmon-like fish Organism Fish Trout


Upper Animas River (Silverton, CO) - Brook Trout
Fished a little ways out of town and found some nice brook trout in the river. Legend says the fish in this river are full of mercury from all the minerals from the mines and mountains, so eat at your own risk! (I'm not sure if you are allowed to keep any anyways, I'm just a catch and release guy.)

Cloud Sky Fish Watercourse Fin


Lake Como (Silverton/Ouray, CO) - N/A
This lake is a beautiful blue color, but with the high amount of minerals in the water here I suspect fish cannot survive, so I had no luck with catching anything and never saw anything rising on the water, even with plenty of insects on the water. This is the lake found at the top of Poughkeepsie Gulch right between the California and Hurricane Passes.
 

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San Miguel River (Placerville, CO) - Rainbow & Brown Trout
Fished here just downstream from Placerville and had luck with nymphs catching rainbows and even one brown trout. I didn't wrangle any trophies but it was still a fun time.

Organism Salmon-like fish Fish Adaptation Ray-finned fish

Cloud Sky Smile Water Goggles

Salmon-like fish Organism Fish Fisherman Brown trout


Alta Lakes (Telluride, CO) - Rainbow Trout
Fished the main lake you can drive up to but didn't get the chance to fish the other lakes that require short hikes to. If you could get out on the lake in a canoe or something I imaging your chances are way better than from the shore, since the fish were literally breaching out of the water non-stop out in the middle. It was quite the sight to see! I did get to hook up and caught one nice rainbow. But I suspect the lake isn't too healthy whether from disease or low oxygen since I probably saw at least a dozen dead fish in the water along the shore.

Water Smile Vertebrate Sky Sunglasses

Vertebrate Fish Salmon-like fish Marine biology Oncorhynchus


Upper Dolores River (Rico, CO) - Brown Trout
Fished just in town in Rico where I found a sign that said "State stocked waters - open fishing" and had luck catching multiple small brown trout.

Water Salmon-like fish Fish Oncorhynchus Marine biology

Water Salmon-like fish Fish Oncorhynchus Marine biology


Hopefully this helps anglers visiting the area! Good luck out there! And as a note, there could well be other species in some of the places I fished, but these are just what I personally found and can 100% confirm. Other times of year the fishing quality may vary, but I was pleased with the luck I had this trip.
 
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