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Thread: Animas Valley Anglers

  1. #1

    Default Animas Valley Anglers

    Does anyone know about or have any experience with Animas Valley Anglers out of Durango, Co? I am looking for a guide for the Animas and maybe the San Juan. I know about Duranglers and The Caddis Company (Brian Capsay), but I came across the Animas Valley Anglers website (San Juan | Animas | Rio Grande - Animas Valley Anglers - gottrout.com - Guided Float and Wade Fly FishingTrips). It looks like most of their guides used to work for Duranglers. If anyone has any information or experience with them I would appreciate any info.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Hi txbevo,

    I looked at the list of AVA guides and didn't see any that I know. But, if you are going to fish the San Juan I can recommend Bubba Smith who guides for Aztec Anglers. He loves to fish and you will have a great time with Bubba.

    Frank

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    txbevo: Animas Valley Anglers must be fairly new, I have never heard of them, but haven't been in the Durango area now for about four years. In the past I always fished with Duranglers and used Mark Engler to fish the San Juan. He has over 20 years experience guiding on that river. However, as Frank said I have also heard good things about Bubba.
    TU TV Series (on the Outdoor Channel) had a recent episode on TV about the Animas River, it looked real interesting, but I have never fished it. In the past, I was always down there at the end of May, early June timeframe, right in the spring run off and the Animas was always blown out and running like a choc. milk shake. If you haven't fished the San Juan you should make a point of doing at least a day there.

    Larry

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  5. #4

    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    I watched the TU On The Rise episode that you mentioned and the guide they used on the Animas was Nate Bronson. It said he was a guide from Duranglers. I looked him up and he is on the Animas Valley Anglers list of guides instead of the Duranglers' list. That is how I came across their site. In looking at the bios it appears that several of them used to work for Duranglers. Didn't know there had been some kind of rift or if some of the guys just wanted to strike out on their own.

  6. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Hi txbevo,

    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.
    Last edited by Fly2Fish; 04-23-2010 at 09:39 PM.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Quote Originally Posted by txbevo View Post
    I watched the TU On The Rise episode that you mentioned and the guide they used on the Animas was Nate Bronson. It said he was a guide from Duranglers. I looked him up and he is on the Animas Valley Anglers list of guides instead of the Duranglers' list. That is how I came across their site. In looking at the bios it appears that several of them used to work for Duranglers. Didn't know there had been some kind of rift or if some of the guys just wanted to strike out on their own.
    txbevo: It is good that you also caught that TU episode. It sure looks like a bunch of Durangler's guides either had a rift or just struck out on their own. You have a lot of information so picking a good guide should be easy enough. I hope you have a great trip, be sure to post a trip report following your fishing. What time of year are you planning to fish the Durango area?

    Larry

  8. #7
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    live in the south, but have a second home in Durango Co. Hope to be there full time some day!
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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Hello,

    Animas Valley Anglers is a topnotch guide service! Just wanted to start with that. I'm new to the forum and enjoying all that I have seen so far. I started to poke around to get a feel and quickly found this post regarding some of my favorite waters and the guides that fish them. The guys at Animas Valley Anglers are indeed some of the best in the guide industry. They do not have a store front, just a guide service. Will, the owner, always seems to build a custom trip for me and my angling partners. We end up on the best waters for that time of year. I try to get in two or three trips a year to southwest Colorado. We have fished the San Juan QW (mostly in the winter and spring) Animas, Dolores, Mountain Streams, Pine (fantastic private waters) and the Rio Grande. I have gotten to know these guys pretty well. I have fished with Will, Chris, Tim, Marc and Josh. They all have fished that area for what seems like forever, but are not old, grumpy or stuck in their ways. They have a young energy for so much experience. I think 2013 is their 13th season. Will has been guiding the region since '92 or '93. There are a couple new faces I noticed on their site and we will be meeting them in the next couple months. Knowing Will, they will be solid guides. Our second trip of the year will be on the San Juan, Root Pond, Dolores and Pine River some time in late April or early May. Still working on the details. Our first trip of the year was a few weeks ago. I based in Durango and fished the San Juan for two days and the Animas for one. The Juan fished well, but was impressed with the winter fishing on the Animas. Blown away by how big some of the fish were. Click the blog link below to see a collection of shots from the week I was there. As for guide rates they seem about average for the San Juan and a bit more for the trips in Colorado. I'm careful were I spend my fishing vacation money, but will never skimp on guides. Just my two pennies.


    Anyway, back to the bench to crank out a few more buggers.
    Last edited by mcnerney; 03-09-2013 at 09:54 PM. Reason: Removed URL to Fly shop

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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Larry,

    Haven't fished the San Juan for a number of years but, if he is still guiding,
    would highly recommend John Gomez. He not only was an excellent guide but
    knows the river better than any of the others I fished with over a ten year period.
    If you have time, by all means give the San Juan a day or two. Best of luck.

    Paul

    Nature, Cheaper than Therapy

    LIVE TODAY

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    I've fished with Chip Hodlmair and he's top notch. I think if someone's got a good rep and has been in the area for a while, you probably won't go wrong.

    Bob

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Animas Valley Anglers

    Joe Kresl (sp?). Duranglers.

    Spent some hard days/nights on the Babine with this guy and he is fish.

    Or go self guided...its an easy place to find and catch fish.

    I have competed against Brian many times and I can attest to his abilities as well. He's a cool cat.

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