Hot Winter Fisheries
Despite the rumors of its early death, the Dolores River is still a solid fishery, worth a trip both for the fishing and the incredible scenery. In the 1980s, the high-desert tailwater was well on its way to becoming one of the top trout streams in the country.
The lower Dolores offers solitary winter angling, abundant wildlife sightings, and challenging angling in near-spring-creek conditions. This was once one of the top tailwater fisheries in the West, but mismanagement and drought have severely affected the quality of the trout population.
Nevertheless, the angling experience in such extreme surroundings is still top-notch.
The Dolores River has twelve miles of fishable water, all sorts of lies, and finicky fish. Anglers will need to use long leaders, stalk the trout, and employ cautious approaches. Don't be fooled by the freestone nature of the stream. The Dolores fishes best by downsizing the fly patterns and fishing under the surface with nymphs.
The high canyon walls cast long shadows over longer pools on this secluded stream. In the winter, few anglers visit, so you can have entire stretches to yourself. The river is remote, in the middle of nowhere and that's its chief appeal.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication