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

San Juan USGS River Flow 366 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
June 28, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Well, here we are. It's summer, it's hot, just what you would expect for New Mexico this time of the year, not that atypical stuff we saw in May and early June when it rained every day and was much cooler than normal. The fishing is good on the San Juan and about the only thing that could make it any better is a little more water being released to open up some more fishable spots and spread the crowds out a bit. Under normal conditions, in the past, one of the added benefits of being able to fish this river in late spring and throughout the summer was the opportunity to see it at different levels. It was like being able to have a different river to fish every few weeks, adjusting to water fluctuations, current changes, different fish moving into different spots to follow the changing habitat and the food that came with it. But, due to several years of back to back low snowpack, we've been a long way from normal for a while. If you look at the graph of this past year's flow and compare it to the historical average for 2008 through 2012, you'll see what I mean. 2015 and late 2014 look more like a heart monitor readout of a patient that had gone "code blue"— flat-line, stuck at 350 cfs. Now that doesn't mean this river and it's great trout fishing are dead— far from it. But, if you're one of those folks that has been around for a while and remember  the days of fishing the back channels and so many other places that held fish that it was difficult to decide where to begin to fish, you know what I'm talking about. So, it is what it is for now, a great trout fishery that is about stretched to it's limitations, given the number of anglers on a given beautiful New Mexico summer day, with a minimum flow of 350 cfs to support them all. That's an unpopular opinion in a community that butters its bread from visiting fishermen, but it's the truth as I see it. Unfortunately, there's no one to blame. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature and no one that I know, foresaw all the late season rain and snow in the San Juan Mountains that has the Animas still running at over 3,000 cfs, and keeping the San Juan in a holding pattern until it all drops enough to reduce the combined flow of these two rivers out of its target range of 500 to 1,000 cfs between Farmington and Lake Powell. I think that the best we can hope for in order to see any changes, is several  more weeks of hot, dry weather that tap out the ABad Day at Texas Creek Imagenimas' snowpack and trigger a higher release from Navajo Reservoir. The good news is the Animas has dropped around 1,000 cfs over the past seven days, the bad news is, at 3,000 cfs it still has a considerable way to go. That said, the fishing here is still good, if you don't mind a little company. All of that chocolate milk looking stuff, flowing down the Animas, is exactly what most of our neighbors to the north are looking at on their own home waters right now and the San Juan is one of those few rivers within a days drive that has fishable water right now, so don't expect to have complete seclusion on the water if you decide to come. As far as what's happening, not much has changed in the past few weeks. There's still fish rising to midges throughout the bigger part of the day, with 11:00 am till about 2:00 being the bulk of the earlier hatch. Around 4:00 they get started again, especially anywhere above Texas Hole, and there's fish rising until you can't see your fly on the water anymore. If you're nymphing, larva in red and cream, and pupae in black, grey, and olive are working well in the early morning hours. Keep 'em small. Late morning and early afternoon, emerger patterns, like crystal flash, foam wings, and ju-jus are good go to flies. If you're fishing Texas hole and below you'll want to have some baetis imitations like Johnny flash, RS2s, and rootbeers, or small pheasant tails. There's still fish to be had on bigger terrestrial patterns, although those fish in the heavy traffic areas are getting wise to that game, but you'll get a lot of heart-stopping looks. Your best bet for success on the big stuff is to try and put as much distance from a parking lot as you can find. Barring any major weather changes, we should have more water in a few weeks and the whole river dynamic will change, which will be a relief to those who have been fishing it at 350 cfs, since back in the fall of last year. In the meantime, be gentle with the fish, they are under some pressure right now, and be patient, it'll get better, it always does. 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

New 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. 

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 2015 Fishing Season

Hours:  Wednesday - Saturday 6:30 am-9:00 pm,  Sun 6:30 am - 2:00 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.

  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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