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The Ultimate Day for the Fly Fishing Lover

How anglers can spend the perfect day in Durango.

24-Hour Durango Itinerary for the Fly Fishing Lover 

Fly fishing is one of Durango’s biggest draws for newbies and longtime anglers alike. We asked Andy McKinley of Duranglers, a local fly fishing shop and guide service, to craft the perfect 24-hour Durango itinerary for the fly fishing lover. Here are his recommendations for everything from the best creeks in the area to the perfect day-starting coffee and breakfast burritos.

Andy McKinley of Duranglers

Fly Fishing on the Animas River

Like many fly fishing lovers, Andy McKinley gets an early start. And in Durango, he likes to start his day on the Animas River. “The Upper Animas is one of the best spots in and around Durango for fly fishing,” he raves. “The Animas in town is also really good. I’ll get up at the crack of dawn and go down there.”

Taste Coffee

After a sunrise fish, McKinley would head over to Taste Coffee, a favorite local roastery, for his morning coffee. “You can get a great cup of coffee at Taste Coffee,” he says.

Breakfast at Backcountry Gourmet

To gear up for the rest of the day, McKinley would indulge in a hearty breakfast at an eatery in the 11th Street Station. “Before fishing for the day,” says McKinley, “I’d grab a breakfast burrito at Backcountry Gourmet.”

Fishing at the Piedra River

McKinley was generous with insider tips about some great spots for post-breakfast fly fishing. McKinley shares his favorite spot on the Piedra River: “The Piedra in between the first and second box canyons is really good for fly fishing.”

Cunningham Gulch

McKinley also offered some details about local fishing areas that could help you make your choice about where to stake out for most of the day.Regarding Cunningham Gulch, an hour drive from Durango, just north of Silverton, McKinley offers, “Up higher, you’re going to catch a lot more cutthroat trout and brook trout. At lower elevation, you’ll catch more rainbow trout and brown trout.”

To Silverton for Lunch at Thee Pitts Again

While fishing near the scenic town of Silverton, McKinley comes to town for lunch, and for him, that means great barbecue: “After fishing the Cascade Creek and Cunningham Creek, I’d go over to Thee Pitts Again for barbecue in Silverton.”

Drinks at Steamworks Brewing

McKinley’s go-to spot for post-fishing drinks and dinner is Steamworks Brewing, one of Durango’s best-known breweries. “After a long day of fishing, I’ll head to Steamworks for beer and dinner,” he says.

O-Bar-O Cabins

Planning to stay overnight after a fishing jaunt? McKinley suggests the O-Bar-O Cabins: “If I was coming in from out of town, I’d stay at the O-Bar-O Cabins. You can fly fish their private water on the Florida River just before dark.”

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