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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 2014 Fishing Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 348 cfs
Water Clarity:   2 1/2'  Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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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

Just Add Water on Kindle
Fishing Report
Nov 16
, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later, although that fact doesn't do much to soften the blow. After enjoying a month and a half of unseasonably warm weather, I awoke to a balmy high of 18 degrees here this morning. Monday's high will be 40, and the rest of the week doesn't look to be much better. On the bright side, at least we're not experiencing single digit lows with highs just under 20, like a bigger part of the nation. As far as fishing goes, 40 is doable for me, though just barely. I've fished in much colder weather after all, even though it wasn't as enjoyable as I would have preferred. So, I guess the time has come to break out the wool cap and all those extra layers I know I have stashed somewhere in the closet. All of that wintertime regalia includes a pair of those fingerless gloves, the kind that has the fold-over mitten part that's supposed to keep your hands warm when you don't need to keep your fingers exposed, which is about— never, if you're fly fishing. Now, I've tried about every kind of glove on the market, and despite all of their clever advertising claims about having the latest super technological breakthrough in the most advanced field of micro-fiber applied science, none of them really work all that well for a sport where you really need to use your fingers a lot. I guess that the whole idea behind that fingerless design with the fold-over mitten flap, is that it allows you to have your digits available when you need to tie on a size 24 or 26 dry fly with 7x tippet. I've tried that, and maybe I'm missing something, but I usually end up with the hook embedded in the fabric of the glove and having to dig the fly out with a pair of hemostats, so now I just take the damn things off if I need to tie on or do anything else that requires any level of skillful manual dexterity. And those flaps work great if you're walking from one hole to the next, and keep your hands shoved deep into the pockets of your wading jacket, but if you're trying to reel in a fish, then you might as well be wearing a pair of boxing gloves, not to mention the problem of your fly line always getting tangled around them if you decide to fold them back. We've come a long way as species on this earth, and I just saw where we landed a space probe on a comet that's 300 million miles away that was moving somewhere around 84,000 miles-per-hour, but I still have my doubts that I'll see a solution to this fly fishing/glove conundrum in my lifetime. For now, I guess I'll just have to settle for having my hands cold throughout the biggest part of the winter and try to keep them in my pockets as much as possible, if I decide I want to fish. It still beats staying cooped up in the house all day. So, if you're gonna brave the elements on the San Juan this week, you can expect very clear water conditions with flows around 350 cfs. Outside of the weather changing a bit, things are pretty much the same as far as the fishing goes. The midge hatches are still going strong and there are lots of rising fish throughout most of the day, so the dry fly fishing has been pretty good if you don't mind fishing the tiny stuff on small tippet. If you're a nympher, small midge pupae and emergers are still working well all over the river, and there are great opportunities to sight fish to a lot of targets, given these clear water conditions. There still hasn't been much of a BWO hatch, to speak of, and all this blue sky that we are supposed to see this week probably won't do much to better our chances in the near future. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (which is something else that's difficult to do with gloves on) that this colder weather might be enough to get the Baetis hatching in the next few days, but we'll just have to wait and see. It sure would be nice to fish some dry flies that are easier to see than these tiny midges I've been throwing, so I've got the Comparaduns in my box at the ready, if it happens. If you're planning to come out this week you can expect some good fishing, and not a lot of company on the water. Just be sure to bring your gloves. 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 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:


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