Chapter News 

Hermosa Creek Restoration Work

In coordination with The Forest Service, we are planning on workdays on Hermosa Creek at the confluence barrier for the purposes of planting willows on October 7th and 8th (Monday and Tuesday). This is the only volunteer opportunity we have for fieldwork at the present time.

Animas River Community Forum

The Animas River Community Forum recently held a presentation of the health of the Animas River from the headwaters through Durango. Discussed were the state of the headwaters and status of the Bonita Peaks Superfund process; the San Juan Cutthroat Trout and their effect on the Animas River health, and the Animas River fishery and bug life update.

The conclusion was that while it will take a while for the Animas to fully recover, the river is still fishing decently.

For more information, click here to see the presentations.

february 2019 chapter meeting

On February 13, we hosted a videoconference presentation with Bryan Huskey and Sascha Clark Danylchuk of Keepemwet®Bryan and Sascha discussed principles to minimize the impact on the fish we catch, even while taking pictures. More information is available on their website, but here are a few of the basic principles they reviewed regarding handling.

  • Minimize air exposure. Keep a fish’s mouth and gills fully submerged in the water as much as possible during handling.

  • Eliminate contact on dry surfaces. Contact with dry surfaces, whether they are hands, rocks, grass, boat bottoms, etc.  can remove a fish’s protective slime and make them more susceptible to diseases.

  • Reduce handling. Generally the less a fish is handled, the better. Measures like fishing barbless hooks and having tools easily accessible help reduce handling and allow you to release the fish more quickly.

January 2019 Chapter Meeting

A big thanks to Matt McCannel, head guide at RIGS Fly Shop in Ridgeway, CO for venturing over for our January meeting and discussing techniques to help improve your landing rate. While Matt is generally targeting large fish on light leader/tippet with small flies, these are great tips for any situation. For those who attended - and those who couldn't make - here are 5 recommendations that Matt presented.

  1. Set your drag light, you can always add more

  2. Set the hook the opposite direction the fish is facing

  3. Use a low rod angle

  4. Get close to the fish and stay close

  5. Back off the drag and don't touch the line while netting the fish

Ridgeway guide.png

Hermosa Creek Restoration

The Hermosa Creek work for 2018 was partially completed. In November, volunteers helped scatter grass seed in the area of the new barrier prior to the road shutdown for the winter. We intend to go back in as early as possible in the spring to plant willows. Stay tuned as more information becomes available.

The Chapter will be looking for volunteers to help with this work in the summer and fall of 2019.

Bonita Peak Consumer Advisory Group

There is no other issue of greater importance to the health of the Animas fishery - top to bottom - than mining-impacted water quality. As such, TU has long-been at the table with local stakeholders to address the problem and find solutions. It should then come as no surprise that TU was instrumental in developing the Bonita Peak CAG. Sign up to stay informed by going to

Kara Armano_Orvis.jpg

Orvis 50/50 On the Water Profiles

Congratulations to 5RTU board member Kara Armano for being recognized by Orvis in their #50/50 On the Water Profiles. To read more about this accomplished fisherwoman and conservationist, check out the following link at