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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 
Other than the fact that you're no longer supposed to wear white after tomorrow, not much has changed on the San Juan. The flow did drop from 750 to 550 cfs on Tuesday, but it didn't affect the quality of the fishing. If you haven't been here in a couple of weeks and you're wondering what going on, I could probably sum it all up for you in one word--midges. Yep, midges in the morning, midges mid-day, midges in the afternoon, and midges in the evening. Now, I could probably go on and on about what patterns to use at certain times of the day, and get into the minutiae about the particulars of the superiority of one over the other, but that's just one man's opinion and everyone out there has their favorites, anyway. Really, all you need to know right now is to keep 'em small and dark. If you feel cheated by reading that, I'll offer that you can probably boost your catch rates by sticking to the following formula: larva and pupae patterns in the early hours, emergers a bit later, then small dries throughout the afternoon and evening. Or, you could just do what I've been doing for the past couple of weeks and get yourself some 7x tippet and a bunch of small dry fly patterns, like Fore and Afts in size 24 and Black Adult midge patterns in 26, and just fish those all day. If you want to go a little crazy and mix thing up a bit, you can throw in a few size 20 Griffith's Gnats and start fishing those around 3:00 pm, when the hatch gets going in full swing, and the fish start keying on midge clusters. If the wind comes up and you're not ready to give up the dry fly thing, you can tie on a big size 12 Dead Chicken and still stick a good number of fish, if you're willing to move around a bit and put it in front of a lot of different targets. I know there are a lot of folks out there that bemoan this time of year when the midge hatches really pick up and these San Juan fish seem to ignore any offerings, other than these near- microscopic pieces of thread and feather we're now reduced to fishing, but actually what you're experiencing is truly a blessing in disguise. Sure, I too, like nothing better than fishing big hopper and ant patterns to gullible trout, but one of the benefits of having these fish that are so focused on one particular tiny insect, all day, is that they have to eat them continuously to get a meal, and right now there's plenty of them available to keep the fish interested. For me, that's a glass that's more than half full. As far as any changes for the coming week, I don't think we're likely to see much. There is a possibility of some rain and cooler temperatures this weekend and early next week, that could possibly get a few BWO hatches stirred up; but outside of that, I think it's more of the same for the fishing picture. There could be another water change by the BOR, in the upward direction, if the Animas continues to drop dramatically this week, but even if that happens, it's not likely to be enough to change the fishing dynamic. These yo-yo water releases and reductions are going to probably going to be the new normal throughout the remainder of the summer and fall, as the BOR attempts to stay one step ahead of rain predictions and maintaining the required flows downstream for endangered species, balancing the need to conserve water in a reservoir that has been at below normal levels for the past few years. To sum it all up, this will be a great week to be on the Juan, great weather, with cooler temperatures, the feel of fall in the air, lots of hungry, feeding fish, and lots of tiny black bugs to keep them all interested. 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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