winter fly fishing

Pine River details
Upper Pine
The upper Pine flows is a stunning, free-flowing river that tumbles its way into Vallecito Reservoir. The public access is a few miles above the confluence. The upper sections of the Pine fish more like a large mountain stream, home to very nice trout.

Below Vallecito Reservoir
The lower Pine is mostly private waters with limited access. It is a fantastic fishery with prolific hatches of caddis, BWO, PMDs and midges. The section right below the dam is home to giant trout in the 10-pound class. AVA has access to guide that section.

Pine River
The Pine River is best known for stunning red-sided rainbows and big browns. It is also known for being locked up by private water. The Pine is split in to two different sections, the upper river above Lake Vallecito and the lower river flowing out from the bottom of the dam.

Pine River Flows, Guide Report and Hatches

Winter on the Pine can be OK. The fish are cold but you can find them in the deeper runs. One AVA guide poked around Bayfield and found a few nice fish that gobbled caddis and midge nymphs.

Predictions and forecast
The Pine is low and iced over in most sections. We will most likely not see increased flows till early spring.

Fall was pretty sweet on the Pine this year despite some muddy and stained waters that flowed out from the dam. Streamer fishing from the dam all the way to the lake was the best method of taking fish. Nymph rigs also turned heads at times.

Pine River Flows
Pine above Vallecito:
Summer flows range from 40-200 CFS.
Winter flows: Ice and snow

Pine Bellow Vallecito:
Summer flows range from 550-850 CFS
Winter flows range from 2-75 CFS

Guided trips on the Pine River
AVA offers guided wade trips on the Pine River that flows through the San Juan National Forest Service, Weminuche Wilderness Area and a very special section of private water located below the dam. Drop us a line for more info and availability.


Pine Hatches
The hatches on the Pine, like all of our rivers, change with the seasons and section of river.

  • Winter: Midges
  • Spring: Midges, BWOs, caddis, stones, sculpins, fry
  • Summer: Micro caddis, PMDs, tricos, ants, hoppers, sculpin, fry
  • Fall: Hoppers, BWOs, sculpins

Insects and food in the system
Caddis pupa (both cased and free), caddis larva, midge larva and pupa, mayfly nymphs, snails, stones, eggs, worms and sculpins.

Fly patterns
Upper Pine
Attractor patters, stones, hoppers, Miller Moths and caddis. Bead-head nymphs are also important. Flies like copper Johns and prince nymphs. Keep a few small bugs in the box too, some times these trout can be tricky. Small hares ears, BWO patterns and midges.

Lower Pine
PMDs, Pheasant tails, BWOs, midges, Miller Moths, streamers, buggers and stones.