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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 - Closed for Winter Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 353 cfs Water Clarity:   1' - 1' 1/2 Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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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.

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Fishing Report
Feb 22, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
He palmed the small glassine envelope and surreptitiously reached across the counter, and placed it in my hand, a scene reminiscent of some back alley heroin deal straight out of The French Connection. " I got 'em from my brother who knows a guy, that knows a guy—he say's they'll work." I slowly unfolded my fingers and stared at the tiny contents, now in my upturned palm. They were small and unassuming, but I was desperate, and in need of relief. I'd try anything. If I had to resort to using these, I was ready to go the distance and assume any responsibility that might go along with their use, consequences be damned. It was our shared secret, my pact with the devil— desperate times had now called for desperate measures. Of course there was my reputation to uphold, I knew that, but a man can only bend so far before he breaks, and the man across the counter knew my weakness, it was palpable, he'd probably smelled it on me for weeks. After he left, I walked to a corner of the shop, and turned my back to shield the view of the small package from the prying eyes of anyone who might try to learn my secret. You could never be too careful with such things. I fought back the tide of emotions that had begun to roll over me like a wave— shame, guilt, the fear of disgrace if I was found out, and an unabashed self-loathing that I would stoop to such depths of the degradation of my character, all for the sake of pleasure. I looked again at the contents of the package, the tiny sparkle and the dull, dun colored mixture of the slight pelage, stared straight back into the eyes of my soul. That's how it happens they say, an acquaintance slips you the first one for free and says, "Here try some of these," and the next thing you know you're hooked. You start out small with a streamer or a leech, then one of those small pinch on indicators, and before you know it, you're swinging a Thingamabobber the size of a beach ball in the Texas Hole, just like every other average Joe. "Oh, the humanity. It's-it's—I-I can't talk ladies and gentlemen," to quote the announcer Herbert Morrison on hisBad Day at Texas Creek Image coverage of the burning of the Hindenburg. Unless you think that I have slipped into the belly of the underworld of drug dealing, just know, that ain't so. I'm one of those snooty dry fly purists that a lot of other fly fishermen love to abhor. I work in a fly shop and as a result I get a lot of patterns passed on to me from customers, that really mean me no harm. Most of them know I avoid nymphing like the plague. But things have been tough lately on the San Juan, for fans of the mosca seca. My friend mentioned above, knew that. He knew I was suffering and he was prepared to lead me over to the dark side. Oh well, " When in Rome...." I'll let you know how his secret leech patterns work, next week. And now for the nuts and bolts of this column. The flows here are still around 350 cfs and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future. The water clarity is about a foot to a foot and a half in most places, thus the need to now nymph and throw streamers. The fishing is what I would call okay for what you should expect in February with off-colored water conditions. The best results that I have been hearing have come from folks fishing the bigger, brighter stuff. Egg patterns, red larva, princess nymphs, sparkle worms, that sort of thing. That, and streamers, and small sparse leech patterns in natural colors, like the mystery man slipped me the other day. Unfortunately, the weather has taken a slight turn for the worse from the balmy spring-like conditions of weeks past and it doesn't look like we'll top the mid 40's for the next ten days, or so, but it's winter so what do you expect, besides, we could use the moisture that supposed to come along with it. Ever the eternal optimist, I heard that there were some rising fish yesterday, during the cloud cover, but I'm really a skeptic deep down when it comes to second hand fishing reports, so I'll wait and see about that for myself. I'll take my dry fly box, but I'm gonna have those double-top-secret leech patterns handy, just in case. Overall, the Juan's still probably your top go to place right now for the Western U.S., especially since this weather blew in yesterday and pretty much eliminated the possibility of fishing anything north of here in any degree of temperate comfort. 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

                             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 closed for the Winter season

Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday 6:30 am-9:00 pm,  Closed Monday and Tuesday - closed for the winter



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

  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 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:


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