Conejos River, CO

by Steve La Falce

What may be one of the best kept secrets about trout streams in Colorado is the quality of the fishing to be had in the Conejos River, a jewel of a stream which flows through the town of Antonito in the south central part of the state. Flowing out of the Platoro Reservoir, the Conejos features several types of water for the angler. In the reaches near the dam, called “The Meadows”, the braided nature of the river offers small stream kinds of challenges. Further downstream are rapid and plunge pools, succeeded by long and smooth glides interspersed with challenging faster flowing rocky sections.

In July of 2018 four of our intrepid anglers, Steve La Falce, Mac McIlwaine, John Fish and Neil Warner, spent three days sampling the fishing there. Basing out of Conejos River Anglers in Antonito, we tested our skill on several different locations along the river. Although the conditions were less than ideal, the result of an abnormally mild winter and unusually warm water teemperatures, we enjoyed what can only be called spectacular fishing. All of us caught several rainbows and browns, and all of us had more than a few fish approaching the twenty inch mark.

Surprisingly, almost no other anglers were encountered, the reason I call he Conejos one of the best kept secrets among Colorado trout streams. It has the most prolific and varied hatches of any stream in the state, it has numerous access points and campgrounds, it has beauty and relatively easy wading and generously provides all any angler can ask for in quantity and size of fish.

Mac’s photos will bear out what I’m saying. You can be there in abut eight hours out of Flagstaff. We’ve scheduled another trip for next July and the four of us would selfishly hope that it remains a well kept secret, but you’re in on it now, so go enjoy it!