New to fly fishing or Animas Valley Anglers?
No problem, this page is geared to help point you in the right direction and answer basic questions about fly fishing and our guided trips. Veteran anglers out there, especially if you are bringing along a rookie for their first time, will find this information helpful as well. So click around and become acquainted with AVA.

Beginners Welcome and Veteran Angler Approved
Animas Valley Anglers offers the best guides and guide service in the West. Our float and wade fly fishing trips focus on the entire fly fishing experience. Fly fishing is a life-long lesson and we will help shorten the learning curve regardless of your ability or the ability levels in your group.

Never held a fly rod before? No problem, you'll be casting and feeling comfortable in no time. Veteran anglers will enjoy our fish "spotting" and boating abilities, local stream knowledge, and willingness to share some of our personal tips and tricks.

The beginner angler has a lot to learn when getting started, and we will help make the first experience fun and entertaining. Our guide trips cover all aspects of fly fishing; including equipment, casting, line control, rigging tackle, reading water, presentation, insect life cycles, fly patterns as well as how to hook, play, land and handle trout. We keep the education process simple and easy for you to follow.

Trips with Animas Valley Anglers can be catered to meet your personal needs or the needs of your angling group. Just ask and we'll make it happen.

I have fished for bass all my life, how will I do?
Those of you out there who have fished all their lives for bass or other species with conventional gear will do great with fly fishing. It is a bit different at first, but after a little time on the water you'll get the hang of it. Please keep in mind that trout and bass are very different species and the techniques we use to catch them are equally as different. Keep an open mind to learning new techniques, apply what you know about fish and you'll be a trout pro in no time.

Also, please realize that fly fishing for trout is meant to be an enjoyable and relaxing way to spend a day on the water, there are no weigh-ins at the end of the day or money prizes for the biggest fish. While friendly wagers and jokes can be fun, we are not tournament fishermen and our goal is not to catch every fish in the river but rather to make sure you enjoy the whole fly fishing experience.

I have fly fished, but the person I'm bringing has not. How will they do?
They will do just fine. They just need to be ready to enjoy the experience and be willing to learn. They will also gain a lot from watching you fish, along with the guides' patient instruction. Guided fly fishing trips are a fantastic way to spend time with friends, family, a significant other and business associates.

I plan on fishing, but my wife/husband/friend wishes to just tag along. Is this available?
Yes. It works best on float trips, but can be arranged on wade trips as well. The guest will be billed at our single angler rate, plus $25 for the extra person. Lunch is included for that person on all our full day trips.

Can you guarantee we'll catch fish?
If we guaranteed trout, we might as well call it catching, not fishing. As outfitters, we are, by law not allowed to guarantee a catch. While we may not be able to guarantee you'll catch fish, it is nice to know our rivers and streams will give you plenty of opportunities.

Catching fish depends on many things; weather, river conditions, fish activity and the ability level of the angler. Beginners will have plenty of chances and just need to set realistic expectations for their day. The fish are out there, and we'll give you the best coaching to help you get into them.

Can I keep a fish? Can I use a spinning rod and spinners on the trip?
No and no. Sorry, but we release all our fish unharmed and back into the water because each trout is one of our hard working coworkers. Spinning rods may seem simple to operate, however they do not work well with fly fishing. There are also safety issues. Fly fishing is pretty fun; we make it simple, fun and easy to learn. We have turned a lot of spin-fishers into hard-core fly-fishers.

Should I buy gear before our trip with AVA?
You do not have to invest in gear right away. You can wait to make sure you like the sport and just use our gear. We provide it as part of the trip at no extra cost. (Most guide services charge for rentals) We provide Sage, TFO and Scott Fly Rods on our trips. It just so happens Scott is one of the top manufactures and they handcraft every rod right here in Colorado. We also recommend you not buy cheap gear, you'll out grow it pretty quick. Instead ask us for recommendations and we'll point you in the right direction as to gear manufactures and places to buy equipment.

Should I book a full day or half?
We encourage booking a full day for several reasons. For beginners in particular, it may take a good portion of the morning for you to develop the techniques and come to understand the fish. Often times the half day trips come to an end right as you're getting the hang of it and starting to catch fish. In addition, the conditions and fish activity can change significantly throughout the course of a day, meaning that sometimes the fishing can be better in the morning than the afternoon or vise versa.

Spending a whole day on the water gives you the best chance at "catching the hatch" when the fish and the insects are most active. Lastly, because of the time commitment and the resources that go into each trip, the cost difference between half day trips and full day trips is minimal. We realize that not every angler has the vacation time and budget for a full day of fishing and for those folks a half day trip can be perfect.

We can also arrange to do a short full day trip (with lunch included) for those that have a time crunch. We do not pressure our guests; our goal is to offer the best experience possible. So book a trip today!

Float or wade?
Some guides say floating a river is the best way to learn, others say wade fishing is the best...we say both. Floating gets you out away from trees and other snags, however there are things to hook in the boat. Like the guide, which is why we fish barbless hooks. With wade fishing anglers can spread out, accessing their own water. Float or wade, beginner anglers will not have to make long casts as they learn the basics.

Wade Trips
Wade fishing is a great way to learn because you are knee deep in cool stream or river living the dream. You are a post card out there as you cast into the cold clear waters. When our larger rivers are too low to float, wade trips can be the only option.

Float Trips
Float fishing allows the angler to fish remote waters and/or through private waters (that we 100% respect). It is a great way to cover water and enjoy a day.