Heads Up Guides focus on the complete experience of fly fishing from knowledgeable instruction and critical skill teaching, to a truly great lunch on the river and enjoying the company of our guests in a spectacular setting. Beyond just being fishy guys and good at what they do, our guides are fun to be with, patient, and energetic; guys that I'd be excited to spend my day with. Our fishing venues also lend themselves to an experience well suited for all experience levels. From the Animas river that runs right through the heart of downtown Durango, private water options on exclusive ranches, to lesser known stretches of the world famous San Juan River, we have options for the needs of every angler beginner to advanced. We're proud to offer float and wade trips 365 days a year, and look forward to hosting you in our beautiful corner of the Southwest soon.
Half day guided trips start at $365, Full day Trips up to $565. Additional rod fees may apply for private water options. Prices are located on the bottom of each trip page on our website: www.headsupflyfishing.com
Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, brook trout, carp, pike
We fish year round, float or wade, 365 days a year
Durango is located at 6,512 feet above sea level, at the base of the San Juan Mountain Range. The Animas, Pine, Florida, and Upper San Juan Rivers are found in pine forests and grassy valleys, with scenic mountain views. We guide a beautiful high mountain lake at 8,400 feet surrounded by aspens and pines, all overlooked by the iconic Engineer Mountain with an elevation of 12,968 feet!
We have a huge range of weather here in the Southwest. Typically we have blue skies and lots of sunshine, over 266 days of sunshine on average. In the Summer months we tend to have lows in the 60's and highs up to 90 degrees. Spring and Fall are a mixed bag with many blue bird days with mild temps in the mid seventies, but the possibility of rain or snowstorms can bring chilly weather down to the 40's. Our lows in the winter can hit single digits, but again, most days are sunny and pleasant. The average high July temperature is 86, average low January temperature is 12.
Guided fishing trips include use of guides rod and reel if desired. All flies, leader and tippet for the day are also provided. Full day trips include a delicious lunch, 3/4 day trips will have a light snack, and half day trips beverages are provided. Guests are required to purchase the applicable state fishing license for the day. If waders are needed, they can be rented for a daily fee.
Guests should bring appropriate clothing for the weather, rain gear (at least a waterproof jacket), sunglasses, a camera.
I recommend 9 foot rods in 4-6 weight. Most of the time the 4 weight will throw dries and nymphs well and protects light tippets at the same time. The 9 foot 5 weight is the standard rod for getting it all done in most conditions. 6 weights are the go to for throwing streamers.Ten foot or even switch rods are good for the higher stretches of the Pine River I like weight forward floating lines on the 4 and 5 weights. The six weight line is more dependent on the conditions. I fish a floating line quite a bit, but high water or some of the slower deeper stretches on the Lower San Juan call for sinking tip lines.
Waders are not necessary for float trips, or wading the Animas in late summer. Any other time or for inclement weather, waders with felt or rubber boats are the ticket. I recommend not wearing studs as they lead to problems in the raft or drift boat.
There are numerous additional activities in the Durango area to take part in while visiting. Winery tours and tasting can be arranged right off the river. Have an incredible river side dinner with customizable action stations and your own private chef. Enjoy a happy hour and hors d'oeuvres at a downtown art gallery. There are numerous spas and natural hot springs to spend some time relaxing. Downtown Durango has lots of shopping options and boasts more restaurants per capita than San Francisco! We are right in the center of the San Juan mountain range and there are endless hiking and biking choices in the immediate area. Mesa Verde National Park is about an hour from town and highlights Anasazi cliff dwellings that are absolutely jaw dropping in their beauty and dramatically set high in the canyon walls.
We work with various partners to offer you lodging options from stream side cabins and cottages to downtown hotels. We also offer meals and grocery services so you can focus on enjoying your vacation and leave the details to us.
For those with limited mobility, we have options to fit your needs and can get you in and out of the boats without even getting your feet wet.
There are a couple of shuttle services from the airport to town. In town there are taxi options and Uber for getting around.
We are 100% catch and release, but know of a good restaurant or two to get your trout fix!