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Phone:  505-632-2194 Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958 Navajo Dam, NM  87419
     
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San Juan USGS River Flow 551 cfs
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Just Add Water    'Just Add Water' is a new book by Jay Walden which chronicles fly fishing the San Juan River through the 4 Seasons.  The book includes Short Stories, Poems and Abe's Weekly Fishing Reports combined with Jay's natural humor and fishing insight.  'Just Add Water' is available at Amazon and Kindle on the links below. 
Just Add Water on Amazon.com

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Fishing Report
Sep
14
, 2014



San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
I know I have addressed this issue before and this may seem monotonous for those to whom it does not apply, but bear with me here; I feel it is my duty to keep putting the message out and trying to reach as many folks as possible. At issue, is the topic of properly releasing fish, and the duty of all of us, as catch and release fishermen, to be good stewards of the river. For me, it's important, first and foremost, because I love to catch beautiful, healthy trout. Secondly, I rely on this river and it's piscatorial occupants, for my livelihood. To begin with, I'll go on record as saying that I feel catch and release fishing, is a great policy---it allows you, and others-- to catch more, and larger trout, by sustaining healthy fish populations and allowing the fish you put back, to live longer, and thus, grow larger. The caveat, however, is that unless its practiced properly, it doesn't function to its full potential. As with everything else in life, there's a right way, and a wrong way to do it. All of this became glaringly apparent to me, once again, when this past Monday, I watched two chaps in the Cable Hole, net fish, walk 30 feet upriver with their nets and the fish, out of the water, place net and fish onto some dry rocks, and proceed to try and wrangle the hooks out, in a process that kept these fish out of the water for a matter of minutes, not seconds. It was horrifying to watch, and I left the area in disgust, without saying a word, which was a mistake on my part. Now, I don't want to come off as the River-Cop here, but I have the duty, as well as you, to step up and say something--in a nice way--when such activity is observed. Even though these fish may have eventually swam away and didn't die at that exact moment, the likelihood of them surviving their mishandling, was undoubtedly, slim, which only means that they died a more torturous, agonizing death. These are two fish, that you and I will never have the pleasure of catching. So, here's the deal--there rarely exists a time where you should actually have to touch a trout with your hands, in order to release it. Just get the damn thing in the net, place your rod under your armpit, keep fish and net in the water, allow fish to calm down, then pull your tippet taut (to see where the fly is), and reach down with a pair of sharp nosed, smooth jawed hemostats, and pop the hook out. There's no need to make a big production out of the process, and there's really no need to take the fish out of the oxygen-rich, life sustaining water, where they live and breathe. Done, end of story. I feel more compelled than ever to take the time to address this now, as we begin to head into our busy season here, with more anglers on the water, thus more fish being caught and released. Now that we're done with that, let's get on with the fishing conditions. Presently, we are at 600 cfs, for flows on the San Juan. The Animas is presently dropping and there is no rain predicted in the immediate forecast, so we could see the BOR make a move to bump up the flows later in the week, possibly to around 750 cfs. That's just a guesstimate, so take it for what it's worth, but it really won't have an effect on the quality of the fishing here. As in the past few weeks, the focus has been on midge activity, with hatches occurring throughout the larger part of the day and intensifying around 3:00 pm. The water is extremely clear and the fish seem to be keyed in on the midge bite, so keep your flies and tippets small, and work on getting your presentations, natural and drag free. Upstream mends and presentations, to keep leaders and indicators ahead of the fish will up your catch rates. Crystal Flash and Bling Midges in darker colors, have been good producers, and Fore and Afts, and size 26 black adult midges, for the dries. For Texas hole and below, add in some chocolate and grey Foam Wings and that should about do it. Expect more company on the water, than in weeks past, so try to practice good stream etiquette and stay out of reasonable casting distance of the next guy, as a general rule. There's enough water and enough fish for us all, so let's keep it civil, out there--we're all here to have a good time. It's a great time of year to be on the water in northern New Mexico and the San Juan is fishing really well right now, so hopefully you'll include it on your list of places to visit, before the snow starts to fly. If you would like more info, or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.                                           

Report by Jay Walden


                             The NM 2014-2015 fishing season begins April 1, 2014 and ends March 31, 2015.    NM Fishing License Info

 Spring High Flow 2014

Bureau of Reclamation
San Juan Flow Info
The Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services has made a decision to prioritize Reservoir Storage over a Spring High Flow, so without unexpected precipitation there will not be a Spring Release for 2014.

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 2014 Fishing Season

Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday 6:30 am-9:00 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.



  2014 and 2008-2012 Historical Flow Data for the San Juan River

   San Juan Flow Graph

  San Juan River estimated Flow Data 2008 to Current

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 2014 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:


http://www.usbr.gov/uc/water/crsp/cs/nvd.html

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