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

San Juan USGS River Flow 562 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
Oct 4, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Jay Walden
Good, better, best. Outside of two times per year— that I can think of— (when the lake turns over in the winter and on years when we have high water releases in the spring) you can pretty much sum up the fishing on the San Juan with those first three words. Right now, I think "best" would work to sum things up, especially if you like dry fly fishing. Apparently, and somewhat unfortunately, there's a consensus among the fly fishing community about that fact, based on the number of fishermen, I've been seeing in the last couple weeks. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with the time of year—great weather, the kids are back in school and dad can get away, and for many, it'll be the last chance to get in a trip before the snow starts flying. My friend who is making a tour through some of Colorado's more popular waters tells me it's no different up there, everywhere he's been, there's been a lot of people. On the upside, due to the accessibility of a lot of water here and the fact that there are fish in just about any spot on the river, the San Juan still isn't a bad place to be in October, but just don't expect to be the only one out there. This past week was so busy, I swear I saw El Chapo fishing with Donald Trump in the Texas Hole. Aside from that, what you can expect this coming week are some great midge hatches that last throughout the better part of the day and a bunch of hungry fish fish that are taking full advantage of a food source that seems to just keep on giving. The flow was bumped on Friday by another 100 cBad Day at Texas Creek Imagefs and presently is around 600, and most likely will stay in that range for a while. The water clarity is gin clear, which demands small tippets and good presentations, despite the fact that one would think things should be easy, based on all the visible signs of feeding fish. The good news is that you have what the military would call a target rich environment. If this isn't your first time reading this column, then you probably know that I'm partial to the dry fly method. You can pick your own poison, and still catch plenty of fish, but you're missing one of the better opportunities of the year, if you don't decide to get in on some of this action. My most recent modus operandi has been to target individual risers earlier in the day when the hatches are a bit more sparse, with small midge dries on 7x tippet. The fore and aft in size 24, on a down and across presentation to keep the leader and tippet upstream, seems to be the ticket for me. Now I'm not one of those "gotta be out there at the crack of dawn, old boys" and about 9:00 am is the best I can seem to manage, so if you're looking for intel on what goes on before then, I'm not your guy, but I can tell you that there's plenty of heads up by the time I get on the water. On most days, around 1:00 or 2:00, you're going to start seeing clusters of midges and a lot of fish gorging themselves like a fat guy at a Golden Corral buffet, and this is going to go on for possibly a couple of hours. I've been using a Brook Sprout Midge pattern, in size 20 for these fish, with a good deal of success, especially if you back off a little where the midges aren't so thick that you can't see your fly—that little white button they tie on top helps a little- but honestly, the profile of the fly is designed so that it rides low on the surface and it can be tough to see. It helps if you drag it a little just as it hits the water and the movement draws your eye to it. Even in the thick of the hatch, I find that it helps to stay with the 7x. After the bulk of the hatch thins out, I go back to the fore and aft. If you're not so sure you want to try this dry fly thing and just can't part with that thing-amabobber, note that most of these fish are still feeding in the upper 10 to 12 inches of the water column throughout the larger part of the day, so emerger patterns, rigged short with little or no weight are going to be very effective also. On the weather front, it looks like we have some clouds and possibly some rain, and cooler weather moving in during the first part of the week, so we could see some baetis activity, especially through Wednesday, so come prepared with some BWO patterns like comparaduns and sparkle duns. Baetis nymphs like RS2s, rootbeers, WD-40s and Johhny Flash are all good choices for Texas Hole and below, since there are a lot of those nymphs present now and they are beginning to drift a little more. Anyway you slice it, the fishing is great right now, despite the number of people you'll have to share the water with. If you would like more information or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. 
Report by Jay Walden

NM Fish and Game LogoNew 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. 
Motel Info

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.

Born 'N' Raised Info 

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


RV Slot Info 

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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