All rights reserved. This is a major drainage originating from the Continental Divide deep in the wilderness. If you intend to park alongside the lake you will need a use permit. Browns hold in this area all year and mid-May through mid-June is best for pike. There are more creeks, streams, and tributaries located within this national forest that it would take a lifetime to fish. From the wilderness boundary to the Continental Divide the Pine offers backcountry fly fishing at its finest. .css-cn9xs{font-weight:500;font-size:1.25rem;color:#a74944;}The San Juan Angler is a division of Frying Pan Anglers. Allow yourself some extra time to take pictures, enjoy the sounds and smell of the mountains, and keep your eye’s peeled for wildlife. Find & reserve the best campsites near Vallecito, California. Vallecito Lake, where water from the Pine and Vallecito Creek is impounded,  provides easy access and large fish - rainbow, brown trout, and northern pike. The upper Pine is entirely hike-in water. The best fishing season is from June until the end of September although earlier and later in the season can be surprisingly productive. The high-country creeks are home to many native and wild populations of fish including Cutthroat, Brook and Rainbow trout. The area also offers fantastic fishing for those seeking more wilderness experience. Access along the creek can range from easy to moderately difficult access. This is a great dry flies and dry dropper river with consistent action during peak summer months. Trails follow the Vallecito and the Pine, but if that’s too tame for you, the trail-less Florida is just the ticket. Vallecito Reservoir, where water from the Pine and Vallecito Creek is impounded, is great for those seeking less of a wilderness experience. Click Here to See Lodging, Restaurant, and Adventure Specials. Don’t forget this is a one-way in/one-way out scenario and keep enough time and energy for the return trip unless you plan to stay overnight. Hiking can be strenuous in the first 2 miles with elevation gains and losses. You will have the opportunity to catch walleye, pike, smallmouth bass, brown trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon. Certain reaches can also be home to Brown trout and if you’re lucky the Colorado Grand Slam is waiting. The Weminuche is Colorado’s largest wilderness, just under 500,000 square acres in size, and is easily accessed from Durango. The upper Los Pinos is a beautiful section of the river and offers some fantastic angling. The alpine wonderland, just 18 miles from Durango, is surrounded by over 2.5 million acres of public land of the San Juan National Forest and Weminuche Wilderness. Access is the most difficult though as anglers must hike 3 miles boarding a private ranch first to reach the wilderness boundary. Backpacking with a fly rod is one of the supreme pleasures of angling in the San Juan Mountains. In the wilderness part of the Pine River, you will find exclusively wild fish, particularly trout. If you intend to park alongside the lake you will need a use permit. A well presented dry fly is all that’s needed to catch fish all day long. Rainbows, Brook and Cutthroat Trout are most common with an occasional Brown in the lower reaches. Luckily for anglers, or anyone else making the trek, the hiking from the trailhead and along the river is easy to moderate as there is very little elevation change. Comparable size range for trout caught in the upper Florida River. Above Willow Park it is mostly cutthroats and brook trout. Vallecito lake has a vast ecosystem hosting a variety of fish. The Durango area offers abundant access into the San Juan National Forest. Trust us, it's well worth it! Fees run from $3.00 per day to $30.00 for an annual permit. While the altitude is significant for most with elevations from 8,000 ft – 11,000, we do have options that can accommodate most fitness levels. A narrow canyon divides the lower section around the campground from the upper reaches. The brush can get pretty thick along the banks of the canyon base. With a short growing season during the prime summer months, these trout feed vigorously! Access to the upper Pine River begins at the Pine River Trailhead east of Vallecito Reservoir, the first 3 miles of river above the trailhead, as well as the trail itself, passes through the private ranch. Fees run from $3.00 per day to $30.00 for an annual permit. The reservoir offers a good opportunity to fish in late spring, when the rivers in the area are high with runoff. Unlike the Florida River and Vallecito Creek, anglers have an excellent chance at landing fish over 20”. The southwestern half of the Weminuche Wilderness Area is drained by two major streams-the Los Pinos (The Pine) and Florida Rivers-and their tributaries. The wide trail has one of the gentlest climbs in the wilderness. Not only does Vallecito lake have a large variety of fish to catch but also has some of the largest fish in the area—just waiting to be caught by you! This river has all the characteristics anglers desire from slow, meandering meadow sections to fast riffles, amazing pocket water, and long deep plunge pools.

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