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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 562 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
, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Around this time of year, I always find myself thinking about guides, probably because I've seen most of them about every day, since the busy season started, back in early spring. By now, I see the weariness in some of their perma-tan faces, brought on by waking long before daylight, hitching up the boat again, packing lunches, and heading out to meet their clients. Despite the physical and mental wear and tear of rowing a boat every day; for months on end, in sometimes triple digit heat, and dealing with the expectations and myriad of personalities of the folks they spend the better part of eight or nine hours with, few of them never leave without a smile. It's noble work, and challenging work; no doubt, to act as psychiatrist, teacher, coach, to any number of the general public, day in and day out, without a break. Most clients will head back home with that glamorous eight hour snapshot of a day in the life, spent in a beautiful place, of someone doing a job that sure looks like a lot of fun. The guide will hurry home, maybe wolf down some leftovers from the fridge or his guide lunch, tie a few flies for tomorrow, shotgun a few beers, and set the alarm clock for some ridiculously early hour, and try not to fall asleep on the couch again tonight-- then get up the next morning and do it all again. The writer Jim Harrison says that all the guides he knows are alcoholics that are behind in their child support; a statement that has a certain ring of truth to it, but probably an over-generalization, in most cases. In any event, it's a job that certainly goes under-appreciated. The best of these guys and gals, have an intimacy with their home water, that the casual visitor could never garner in a lifetime of once-a-year, full day floats. They offer precious inside intel and technique, they make better fishermen out of the people they meet, and occasionally send them home with pictures of a fish of a lifetime. And they offer them more; as well--sometimes a different way of looking at this world, in which we all share. Try and remember that next time you reach into your pocket for the tip at the end of the day. I've never had the desire to guide, partly because I'm selfish and I could never give up my own time on the water; that, and also because I'm just a poor teacher. But, I know the value of hiring one of these folks, especially on technical rivers like the San Juan, when you don't have the luxury of spending numerous days on your own figuring things out. I recommend it a lot to people who are fishing here a few days, especially to first timers. "It'll cut down the learning curve dramatically," I say. "It's gonna make the rest of your trip a lot more enjoyable, if you do it on your first day here." Sometimes they listen, sometimes they don't, lots of times they come back a day later and ask if we have a guide available, in an attempt to salvage their trip. If you don't fish here a great deal, or are looking to up your fishing game, it's something you ought to consider. As far as the weekly update goes, we presently have flows in the 750 cfs range, with crystal clear water conditions. Tiny midges and tiny tippets rule the day. There's a midge hatch around 10:00 am that lasts for a few hours, that will have a few heads up. Most of the risers that you'll see during this are targeting single midges, so it's best to go with dries in the size 24 and 26 range. 7x tippet will help--a lot. Around noon, the hatch generally shuts down, and it's time to go standard San Juan nymph stuff, like red larva, zebra midges, and crystal flash. Once 3:00 rolls around, you're likely to see the midge hatch start up again, and once it gets going, and you start to see some clusters, you can get enough fish to eat some bigger (size 20) Griffith's Gnats. That'll go on for a while, depending on the wind, that also likes to start around that time, during this part of the year. As this hatch wanes, the fish will start getting a little more picky about bigger patterns, and you'll have to go back to the smaller imitations and the 7x. It will become obvious that the time has come to make the switch, when these fish that were all over your larger presentations, moments ago, now ignore your every drift. If the weather holds out, you can stick to this setup until dark. In the past few days, we have also started seeing some BWOs on some afternoons, below Texas Hole. Not a lot, yet, but enough to get some fish interested. The cooler, overcast days, seem to be the most likely candidates for this. If you're nymphing in that area, note that the BWO nymphs are present and becoming more active, so bring along some RS2s, Johnny Flash, and Fluff Baetis patterns. The days are starting to become noticeably shorter, the temperatures are cooling, and I've seen a few yellowing leaves on the cottonwoods already. There's lots of great times to be on the water out west, but fall is by far the best, in terms of natural beauty and great fishing conditions. If you would like to book a guided trip or just 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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