San Juan River (30 minute drive) Excellent fishing for Rainbow and Brown Trout. For the fisherman who wants to fish but doesn't want to travel far. The San Juan runs right through Pagosa Springs.
Echo Lake (40 minute drive) Stocked with Rainbow Trout, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Green Sunfish and Channel Catfish. Trout are best caught with lures, flies or natural bait such as worms; Bass, with top surface lures, crank baits with pork frogs or rubber worms. Perch are best taken with live bait; Sunfish, with worms and sometimes flies; and Catfish, with cut bait (Suckers or commercial stink baits). Echo Lake is also excellent for Trout and Bass ice fishing throughout the winter. Access is easy, four miles from Pagosa Springs on U.S. Highway 84.
West Fork of the San Juan River (45 minute drive) Good Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout fishing. There are two campgrounds in the vicinity. Easy access - take U.S. Highway 160 east out of Pagosa Springs approximately 17 miles to the West Fork Road. Hike from the trail head at the end of the road for better fishing. Watch for private property downstream and upstream.
East Fork of the San Juan River (45 minute drive) Excellent Rainbow and Brown Trout fishing on the lower reaches; Brook and Cutthroat Trout at higher elevations. The East Fork is easily accessible, about 10 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs on U.S. Highway 160 to the East Fork Road.
San Juan River Below Navajo Dam (2 hour drive) (New Mexico fishing license required). These are trophy fish waters and are regulated by posted signs which tell fishermen what kind of bait they may use. (3¾ miles of river below Navajo Dam off New Mexico State Highway 511. Part is catch and release - ¼ mile). The rest is one trout 20 inches or longer. Artificial flies and lures with barbless hooks.