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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 04-04-2005, 07:44 AM
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Default Featured Guide: Don Oliver - Durango, CO

Don is no doubt one of the best fly fishing guides anywhere. To top that off… he guides in one of the best fly fishing areas in the country… Colorado and New Mexico. Don Oliver Fishing Guide is based in Durango, Colorado in the Four Corners area where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona all meet. In the mountains and mesas of this region there are great rivers and fine streams waiting to be explored. First-time beginners learn about the equipment and how to use it; novices perfect their casting skills and skilled fishers will discover some unique spots and great fish. Don says, “as a fishing guide, I provide services that fishermen and ladies need in their trips to this area.” Don’s services include: teaching first-time beginners, helping novices perfect their casting, and providing experts with a fishing experience they will remember for years to come. It is the mission of Don Oliver Fishing Guide to provide a fun and safe trip, to provide a positive learning experience, and to promote an appreciation of fly fishing and the San Juan National Forest.

Don is a Texan so that has to be a big mark in his favor. After growing tired of the hustle and bustle of the Dallas area he had a change of heart, attitude and mind. He left his successful career behind to become a fly fishing guide in the wilds of Colorado. A dream comes true. He is now a dry fly fanatic. If you hang around him long enough you’ll become one too. Don loves dapping a dry fly in a high mountain small stream deep in the forest. If you enjoy escaping the crowds, Don can provide total seclusion for you. Don also guides on the San Juan River in New Mexico. Check out his guide service at Don also owns an online fly shop. Don’s Fly Shop can be found at

Don has access to some of the most beautiful and peaceful streams on earth.

Hermosa Creek
For beauty, accessibility, numbers of fish, and variety of fishing, this area is second to none. The east fork of the Hermosa is a small stream that is shallow, slow, and gin clear. It was stocked with cutthroat trout some years ago and these fish have a Ph.D. in how to challenge an expert fisherman or lady. This area is in an open meadow and fishing is shared with deer and elk. The fishing is done with long leaders and tippets, size 18 dry flies, and precision casting.

The middle fork of the Hermosa was made for beginners. It is full of brook trout that love size 14 royal wulffs. This is the area I take my first-time beginners. I had a twelve-year-old catch thirty fish in this stream. There are open meadows for learning how to use a fly rod and a wide stream with very little under brush to impede the beginning caster. I am able to park next to this part of the stream making it very easy for beginners to get to it. Along with your fishing gear, don't forget your camera. The views are awesome, at least that is what the bald eagles think.

The west fork of the Hermosa is great for novices. We usually hike in on a forest service trail for about a mile and then take all day to fish out. This part of the river is wider and deeper but still very wadeable. Here you will cast to rainbows, cutthroats, and brooks. While the trail is used by visitors to our area, very few of them are fishing. This part of the stream will challenge, but not frustrate, you.

Lime Creek
This stream is where I fish when I have a day off. Located in a deep valley, the fishing is second to none. The fish are small, 10 inches, and love dry flies. The river has everything from long flats to deep pockets. The drive in is on an old stagecoach trail that is breathtaking but also makes it hard for large numbers of people to access the area. I take novices and experts alike to this stream. This is a great place to spend the day.

San Juan River
All fly fishermen and women should fish the San Juan, once, before they die. This river is loaded with trophy rainbow. It is also loaded with people. When fishing this river, take a sense of humor to deal with the people and be able to laugh as you catch large fish. Fishing is normally done with size 18 and 20 nymphs. However, I do catch fish on dries.

Animas River
One of the best kept secrets in the area is the Animas River. The Animas flows through Durango, but don't let that fool you. Even if the scenery includes Wal-Mart and schools, the fish can be plentiful. The river is not heavily fished and is just minutes away from your hotel. Keep this river in mind for convenience and large fish potential.
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:03 PM
runngun80 runngun80 is offline
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Default Re: Featured Guide: Don Oliver - Durango, CO

Hello Fishbones
I saw your post on Don Oliver and tried to find him on his website and and neither worked. I now this post is old but I hoped to locate Don. He was my first fishing guide back in July 2001 and he taught me how to fly fish. He's a great guide. I fished with him again in 2002 but have not been back to the Durango area since. Do you by any chance have any updated info on him
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