Re: Animas Valley Anglers
Like Frank W. mentioned, Bubba Smith guides with Aztec Anglers. I have been guided by him on the San Juan, and he was unusually generous with giving me extra flies for the rest of the week I was going to be fly-fishing on my own - a rarity, since most guides I've fished with are careful to cut off the fly from your tippet at the end of the day, let alone not parting with any more of their flies. I guess for "competitive advantage"?
I too had never heard of Animas Valley Anglers, but when I looked over their rather lengthy list of guides I recognized two - Chip Hodlmair and Aaron Hyder, who are both also listed with Aztec Anglers. I've heard good things about Chip, but have never been guided by him. However, I have had the good luck to have been guided by Aaron (through Aztec Anglers), and I have to say he was one of the - if not the - best guides I have ever fished with. What made Aaron so outstanding was not only his excellent guiding - we did a full-day San Juan combo float/wade, & it was one of the few times there I caught on dries as well as on the usual nymphs - it was also that he taught me a great deal, made easy by his low-key manner.
Txbevo, you mentioned you knew of Brian Capsey of Durango's Caddis Company. He is also listed with Aztec Anglers, through which I located him for guiding on a day's fishing on some private waters he had access to near Durango (the Los Pinos, to be precise). He is also an excellent guide, one reason that day I caught the largest rainbow I've ever landed - 23+" and as fat a football as you'll ever see.
Finally, worth noting is that if both of their website guiding rates are current, Animas Valley Anglers is more expensive than Aztec Anglers are. If it turns out you're interested in being guided by one of those several guides who are listed as guides by both outfits, you might as well retain them through the less expensive Aztec Anglers.
On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
Last edited by Fly2Fish; 04-23-2010 at 09:39 PM.