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Phone:  505-632-2194 Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958 Navajo Dam, NM  87419
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For Lodging or Guide Service call 505-632-2194
The Restaurant - El Pescador - Open for the 2015 Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 380 cfs **
Water Clarity:    2' 1/2  - 3' Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
** On April 23, 2015 the Bureau of Reclamation announced that the flows published by the USGS for the Archuleta Site (09355500) were approximately 135 CFS higher than the actual Flow.  The flow above and the flows for the San Juan Flow Graph toward the bottom of this web page have been adjusted using new data available from USGS on or after 4/24/2015 resulting in a CFS value approximately 135 CFS lower than before.
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                   Bad Day at Texas Creek Cover                                                                                         

Jay Walden's Bad Day At Texas Creek takes you down dusty, gravel roads, with a fly rod under the wiper blade, and a dog's head out the side window. His irreverent view from the windshield, that occasionally appears more like a fun-house mirror, makes you glad you came along for the ride. Whether you're a fly fisherman, dog lover, or none of the above, you'll enjoy this collection of short stories about life and adventure in the Rocky Mountain West.

Bad Day at Texas Creek on Amazon
Bad Day at Texas Creek on Kindle                                                        

Fishing Report
July 5, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
For a place that's in the middle of nowhere, this little town can get awfully busy sometimes. With the Fourth of July falling on Saturday, this was one of those weeks. Contrary to popular belief, the crowd part of the whole mess doesn't come from hordes of fly fishermen descending on the San Juan, it's mainly from boaters, picnickers, and campers. Whether it's from the fact that a lot of fly fishermen are just off doing other things during the holiday, or avoid the trip under the allusion that the river is just going to be a combat fishing scene, it's hard to say, but the reality of it all is that the quality water section of the river generally isn't any busier than any other summer weekend. In fact, probably less so. My guess is that it probably falls somewhere between the Orwellian groupthink/collective psychology that values coherence over accurate analysis and critical evaluation and the old Yogi Berra adage that, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded." Anyway, if you're one of those smart guys that thinks you're the only one that has figured out how to game the system by postponing your trip here by a week, be prepared for some company. Generally by this time of the year, most of the fishable water to our north is pretty much under control from runoff and folks have a lot more choices on their radar when they are deciding where they want to spend their time. But then again, I can't recall the last time that most of the mountains in Colorado got four feet of new snow in May, either. So there you have it. Reality—the facts. Make the best of it. KBO, as Winston Churchill might say. The fishing conditions haven't really changed much over the last several weeks. We're still at that same 350ish flow and my repeating it here is beginning to sound like that old three chord beat from some early Ramones album. As far as any changes to that, don't expect them anytime soon—the Animas is still running at 2,000 cfs and dropping at about 1,000 cfs per week, but unfortunately we're headed into the monsoon season where it rains every afternoon in the mountains. Depending on the weather, we could be looking at 350 cfs for quite a while longer, we'll just have to wait and see. As far as fly choices, when we get into those bright summer days with clear water conditions, these fish can get a little picky and the bugs we use tend to get smaller. Smaller, as in size 24 and 26 dark midge patterns. Despite the reduced real estate on which to practice yBad Day at Texas Creek Imageour craft of flinging fur and feather due to this lower flow, the river continues to fish quite well. There are some decent midge hatches from 11 am till around 2 pm and they seem to get going again around 4 pm and you can find rising fish right up until dark, provided one of the afternoon thunderstorms we've been seeing a lot of, doesn't blow up and spoil your evening. Small midge dry imitations like fore and afts and black adult patterns on 7x tippet are the go to flies for the risers. I've been getting a lot of questions about when and if the so called "epic" ant fall will happen here. Believe me, if I could pinpoint a date on the calendar for you I would. I can tell you that it usually happens somewhere from mid-July to early August after we have had a long dry spell and we get a good overnight soaking rain that produces the warm, humid conditions that trigger the nuptial flight of the ants. It can be river specific, that is, occurring more heavily on one place on the river than another. This particular species of ant is oligogynous meaning that they can have multiple fertile queens in the nest that can participate in extensive mating flights, with numerous winged males, thereby creating greater odds of success for procreation. The males are attracted by pheromones released by the queen and fly off in swarms to mate, much like a drunken college sophomore chasing after the prom queen during spring break all slathered up in Victoria Secret Supermodel Perfume and Hawaiian Tropic Suntan Lotion. The only difference is that the male ant dies after mating and becomes fish food, although it has been noted that some of the male college students have wished for death the next morning, given the severity of their hangovers. Anyway, if you're not lucky enough to be around, if and when the ant fall happens, don't fear, you can still entice quite a few fish up on the bigger stuff right now, like ants, hoppers, and beetles, if you are willing to burn a little shoe leather and put your offerings in front of a lot of fish. The earlier and later hours of the day seem to favor the big stuff, when the sun isn't so bright on the water. So all is not lost, there are still plenty of fish to be caught here, it will just demand your best drifts and presentations—your A game, so to speak. Work a little harder at it, the rewards are there. Or to use another Yogi-ism, "It ain't over till it's over. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more info, give us a call at 505-632-2194.                                              

Report by Jay Walden

New Fishing License Required April 1       
Reminder - time to purchase new Fishing Licenses:  The 2014-2015 Fishing Season will end March 31, 2015 and a new NM Fishing Season will begin April 1, 2015 and end March 31, 2016.  New NM 2015-2016 licenses will be required beginning April 1, 2015.

NM Fishing License Info

 Spring High Flow 2015

Bureau of Reclamation
San Juan Flow Info
Snowpack for the 2014/2015 winter season has been below normal, unless signifiicant moisturre comes into the system in late spring it is not expected that there will be a 2015 High Flow which normally occurrs in late May to June. 

The San Juan features year round consistent temperatures out of Navajo Dam providing a fabulous Four Season Fishery!  Water temps are in the low 40's near the dam providing a consistent environment for insect growth and development.  Fish have access to midges and annelids year round in addition to more seasonal mayfly, caddis, terrestrials and golden stonefly nymphs and adults.


NM Free Fishing Days:  You may fish without a license on two scheduled Saturdays/year as part of National Fishing Day & National Hunting & Fishing Day -- generally the first Saturday in June & the last Saturday in September. Please consult the NM Fishing Proclamation for exact dates &/or changes.  
NM Fishing Proclamation

 Link to Restaurant Page

Restaurant - El Pescador is Open for the 2015 Fishing Season

Hours:  Wednesday - Saturday 6:30 am-9:00 pm,  Sun 6:30 am - 2:00 pm    Closed Monday and Tuesday



BOR Stream Improvement Project - Project Completed Jan 2012  Beginning Oct. 10, 2011 the BOR will begin a $300,000 habitat improvement project on the “ Braids” section of the San Juan River. The first phase of the project will encompass changes to the Rex Smith Wash and address the silting problems associated with that area. During this time, the trail to the upper reaches of the river will be inaccessible from the berm area of the Texas Hole parking lot. In order to reach those areas of the river, you will have to access them by wading upriver from the Kiddie Hole Area, or from the BOR parking lot, located near the dam. The second phase of the project will begin sometime in November and the “Braids” area will be closed to fishing for about 30 days, until early December. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by January 8, 2012. There will still be plenty of water to fish during this time and upon completion, this project will add more fishable water and improved habitat for the trout in that area. We will be posting further information via our weekly fishing reports on our website.

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As always, we truly value our faithful customers and look forward to meeting new fishers daily to the San Juan -- Please stop in for a visit and share your fishin' stories. We'll be scoutin' and fishin' the river to provide you with the most current river info.

  2015 and 2008-2012 Historical Flow Data for the San Juan River

   San Juan Flow Graph

** On April 23, 2015 the Bureau of Reclamation announced that the flows published by the USGS for the Archuleta Site (09355500) were approximately 135CFS higher than the actual Flow.  The flow above and for the San Juan Flow Graph have been adjusted beginning 1/1/2015 using new data available from USGS on or after 4/24/2015.  Data for years prior to 2015 has not been changed. 

  San Juan River estimated Flow Data 2008 to Current

San Juan Flow Graph 2014
San Juan Flow Graph 2013

The San Juan Flow Graph data above are provided by Abe's Motel and Fly Shop and Aspire Computer Solutions, LLC as information to fishermen/women and other interested parties.  The data are drawn from the USGS public records, some of the data are provisional and may be subject to change.  In some cases CFS values were missing and estimated CFS Average values were substituted based on available Gauge readings. 

The flows in the San Juan river below Navajo Dam are controlled by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) in compliance with existing law and authorized purposes.  As is the case with many other western waters, some flows are influenced by system wide efforts to protect endangered species.  Water is naturally limited and always in high demand  in the Southwest, many competing entities are present staking claims to San Juan water and by complying with previous agreements/laws,  the BOR has limited flexibility in how flows are maintained. 

The reservoir at Navajo Dam was constructed from 1958 to 1962 as part of the Colorado River Storage Project.  There were two important provisions to the congressional authorization to build the dam, one included a substantial diversion of water from the San Juan Basin through the continental divide to the Chama river in northern New Mexico to supply additional waters to New Mexico cities along the Rio Grande.  These flows are not shown on the graph as the San Juan Chama Project water is drawn from the system before it enters Navajo Reservoir.  The second provision set aside a substantial amount of San Juan water to provide for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project (NIIP).  The NIIP project is intended to irrigate approximately 110,600 acres of Navajo farmland south of the San Juan River.  The water for the NIIP project is drawn from the reservoir through a diversion headworks near the south side of the dam and moves water to the NIIP Project through approximately 60 miles of tunnels and canals south of the river,  bypassing the river.  As a result of the San Juan Chama Project and the NIIP Project waters no longer being present in the main river channel,  the San Juan has been a smaller river since the dam was constructed.   

In recent years flows on the San Juan have been significantly influenced by the San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program (SJRIP) which recommends minimum flows (500 - 1000 cfs) in a targeted critical habitat downstream for two endangered species,  the Colorado Pikeminnow and the Razorback Sucker.  The critical habitat area is between Farmington and Lake Powell.  When sufficient water is available a short period of high water (5,000 CFS) is delivered to the river in spring to mimic historical flows in the interest of improving downstream habitat for the Endangered Species.  The main contributors to flow in the Endangered Species Habitat area are the San Juan and the Animas rivers.  As the Animas is a free flowing river, flows from the San Juan are adjusted up and down to try to meet the recommended flows in the Critical Habitat Area. 

For fishermen/women the lower flows of 2015 provide access to more of the river.  For those on Guided Trips, the river still fishes well in drift boats. 

The BOR provides information on the current status of the reservoir at Navajo Dam at the following link:


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