If you are into fly fishing wild, freestone streams for trout or fishing with the family at a lake or stream, then this is the place to be! Pagosa Springs fly fishing is both beautiful and plentiful.
***Please practice catch and release in the area streams to ensure a quality fishery for the future. Pinch down the barbs on your hooks and be gentle with the fish to ensure survival.***
LIMITS: Though the limit is generally 4 trout on most of the streams, it is catch and release only on the main Piedra river from the Piedra road bridge to HWY 160. If you want to keep fish to eat we recommend keeping them from the lake, which is stocked each year.
Williams Reservoir is a medium-sized lake located 5 miles North of us with a beautiful mountain background. It is stocked with Rainbow and hybrid-Cutthroat Trout every year and a resident population of Brook Trout and Kokanee Salmon. The reservoir reaches depths of more than 60 feet, creating a great trout environment. Most fish are between 6 and 13 inches, but there are plenty of 14-25 inch fish to make things interesting. Fishing from shore, especially in May, June, September and October can be very productive with worms or small spinners and spoons. We have a canoe and 2 kayaks for rent, which will help you move around and find the fish more easily, especially during the Summer. Williams Reservoir is a Colorado State Wildlife Area and beginning July 1st 2020 anyone 18 & older must possess a valid fishing or hunting license to recreate at the lake whether you are fishing/hunting or not. Here is a link to the Colorado Parks & Wildlife page explaining the details.
Remember that we offer boat and canoe rentals should you wish to go off-shore and don’t have a floating-vessel of your own!
- Kayaks: Single: $55/day, $45/day for multiple days Double: $65/day, $55/day for multiple days. Includes PFD’s & paddles.
- Canoe: $30/day, $55/ 2 days. Includes PFD’s, paddles.
The Piedra River (1.5 miles south of us) and it’s tributaries, including Williams Creek ( ½ mile west of us), offer wonderful fly fishing opportunities for native cutthroat trout, brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. The general rule in the area is the further you walk form the road, the better the fishing gets. July and August bring greater fishing pressure and lower water levels which can make the fishing more technical. Stealth and proper fly presentation are key during this time of year. The Piedra river from the Piedra road bridge down to HWY 160 is catch & release only with flies and artificial lures only. We recommend catch and release on all streams in our area.
The upper Piedra River is a wonderfully rugged & scenic river that includes more than 11 incredible miles of river only accessible by foot as well as a lower section of river that offers an additional 10 miles accessible only by foot. The Piedra will reward the adventurous angler with a truly spectacular experience and of course the farther you walk the better the fishing generally is. The Piedra ranges from 30’ to 100’ across and is characterized by many pool/drop stretches in majestic box canyons and boulder-filled runs through open meadows. The river accommodates a healthy population of brown and rainbow trout, some exceeding 20 inches. The river is best accessed 1.8 miles south of our campground via the Piedra trail. The annual stonefly hatch that occurs somewhere between mid May and mid June can be an exciting time to catch the larger fish. Caddis flies and grasshoppers from mid June through mid fall offer great top water action.
The smaller streams in our area (15-30 feet across) offer great opportunities for feisty 6-12 inch trout with the occasional larger fish ready to surprise you. These streams, including Williams Creek & the Middle Fork of the Piedra, are classic freestone streams with numerous boulders and plunge pools. You’ll find brown, rainbow and brook trout in the lower stretches of these streams and native cutthroat trout in the upper stretches in and near the Weminuche Wilderness. Please tread lightly on these streams, pinch down your barbs and let these fish go. There aren’t many places like this left in the world, please respect these fish and this area.
Recommended fly fishing gear for the area includes a 2-4 weight rod for the smaller streams and a 4-6 weight rod for the Piedra River and Williams Reservoir – all equipped with floating fly line. Don’t forget split shot and floatant. A good selection of flies would include: Hoppers sizes #10-16, Stimulators #10-16, Blue Winged Olive #12-18, Elk Hair Caddis #12-16, Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph #14-18, Hares Ear # 12-16, Copper John’s #16 and #18 as well as Stonefly Nymph patterns. Also don’t forget a net and polarized sunglasses! We carry a good selection of flies and tackle in the store.
Recommended spinning gear includes a light action rod with 4-10 lb. test line, small spinners (blue, silver, orange and black are popular), size 6-10 hooks for bait fishing, split shot and bobbers. We have a nice selection of tackle, salmon eggs, power bait, and worms in the store. We also sell fishing licenses.