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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 344 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
Dec 21
, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
   To quote one of my favorite writers, Jim Harrison, "We are all standing on a trap door, with wobbly hinges." That's what I've been thinking about lately while I've been wondering how much longer these good fishing conditions are going to hold out. Given my pessimistic nature, I'm the first one to stand around waiting for the other shoe to drop, when things appear too good to be true. I'm talking about clear water conditions, warm weather, and good hatches, but mostly clear water. For those of you who may not be familiar with winter fishing on the San Juan, we have a thing here called lake turnover, that is the scourge of dry fly fishermen, the world over. It happens every year when the upper level of water in the lake becomes colder than the water beneath it (and thus denser and heavier) and sinks toward the bottom, displacing the warmer water near the bottom. The end result is water moving around on the bottom, stirring up silt, sediment, and other (crap, if you will) which gets flushed into the river. The intensity and duration can vary, but it's generally not a good thing if you like to do your fishing in clear water, which I do. I was out on the river this past Monday and Tuesday and there didn't appear to be any discoloration in the water to me, in fact, I had some pretty phenomenal fishing on Tuesday, but I heard from a few people that later in the week that the visibility was slightly decreasing. At present, I don't think it's anywhere close to affecting the quality of the fishing any, trouble is, there's just no way to predict, if and when that will happen. About the only advice I can offer is to get out there every chance you get and take advantage of the great conditions we have at the moment. Outside of Monday, which looks to be windy, the rest of the week looks to be pretty nice, weather-wise, for winter fishing on the San Juan. The midge hatches are still good and I've been having some great dry fly fishing between the hours of 9:30 am and 3:00 pm. After 3:00 pm the hatch seems to shut off like someone has flipped a switch somewhere, and you'd swear you're fishing a different river. I guess that's alright by me, since the sun has already started to dip in the west and the temperature begins to take a dive, and it's about time to pack it in anyway. If you're one of those die-hard types, I suppose you could still stick it out and catch enough fish on a nymph rig or streamer, too keep things interesting, but really, how many fish do you need to catch in a day to consider it a success? If you're not the dry fly type, the action has been good  for the indicator guys and gals, as well. Small midge larva, pupa, and especially emerger patterns have been producing lots of fish. With all the fish on the midge feed lately, it won't be hard to figure out where to fish. The entire Quality Water section is fishing well and I honestly don't think you could pick a bad spot if you tried. I know that Christmas is coming up this week, so it's going to be pretty quiet around here, until the weekend, when everyone has had about all they can stand of Bing Crosby music, and the in-laws, and needs to get out of the house, before someone gets hurt, so plan accordingly. Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday season. Abe's will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, this year, so if you need to book lodging accommodations for those days, please call us in advance. Happy Holidays, and let's keep our fingers crossed for a few more weeks of clear water.                                 

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.

  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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