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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 361 cfs
Water Clarity:   1'  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
Jan 18, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Sixty one days, that's the number of days until the official start of Spring. Sometimes, that doesn't mean much as far as weather and fishing conditions go. If you've spent some time in Northern New Mexico around that time, then you know that the calendar doesn't just roll over to March 20th and the weather immediately turns balmy, the birds start singing, and big fish suddenly appear to eat big dry flies. No, sometimes Mother Nature totally ignores this man made chronological reckoning of time and just goes on about her business of Winter for several more weeks, seemingly thumbing her nose at the mere notion of the change of seasons. But if you've toughed it out and slogged through the short, dark days of the dreaded period of the colder months, knocking ice out of your guides, then March 20th can be a symbolic victory of sorts. It's a time of hope, a reassurance that there are better days ahead, something that's occasionally hard to grasp, when it's still cold outside, the water is turning murky, and the fish won't rise. Like now, in mid-January, when you've got at least two more months of this and you're already tired of it. As far as winters go, this one hasn't really hasn't been a bad one. We've been blessed with lots of days where the temperatures have been in the 50's and mid 40's and we've seen our share of sunshine. The water has remained clear, up until now, which is more than you can say for last year, when the lake turned over very early in the season and remained at zero visibility until May. So I aim to count my blessings, bide my time, and keep marking days off on the calendar. At least I can still get out in the fresh air, wet a line, and although the fishing may not be stellar as compared to summer and fall conditions, that's more than a lot of the folks that live in colder climes can boast about for this time of year. With that in mind, here's my rundown on present San Juan fishing conditions. After being dropped to 300 cfs for a few days, due to increased rain and snowfall in the area, the flow has been moved back up to around 330 cfs. My guess is that it will stay in that 330 to 350 range for a while, since there is little or no precipitation in the near forecast. The clarity has diminished considerably over the past week and I would put the visibility at about one foot to eighteen inches in most places. The midge hatches we were experiencing over the past month, have really weakened in intensity and duration. There's still a few fish up on dries from noon till 2:00, but for the most part, that's about it. The water clarity issue isn't going to do the dry fly fishermen any favors, any time soon, is my bet. To sum things up, tough, just got tougher. It pains me to say it, but I think your best option is to dust off that nymph rod and maybe try to dig out that streamer box you put away somewhere last season. Ladies and gents, I think we are headed down the road toward "junk flies" as I like to call them, especially if the water continues to increase in turbidity. For now, you can still fish the standard Juan midge patterns with decent results, but it's not a bad idea to throw a little bigger and brighter stuff into your repertoire. Red larva in larger sizes like 18, princess nymphs, eggs, and even (gulp!) San Juan Worms, there I said it. White and black Bunny Leeches will also produce, especially when fished on a dead drift. I find fishing them underneath an indicator, keeps them out of the gunk on the bottom, and it helps keep them in the fish's feeding zone— works pretty good for me. Most of the time, I'll trail them with something like a red larva or princess nymph, which can be effective, too. Lest you think that the quality of fishing has gone to hell in a hand basket, just know that ain't so. Truth is you can still catch fish here, you just have to change your tactics a bit, and don't expect to go out and have a 30 or 40 fish day on dries any time soon. There's plenty of sunshine and some warmer weather, by mid-January standards, ahead this week, so it's not a bad time to be on the water, if you're a winter fisherman. I plan on being out there on Monday and Tuesday, and that's two more days I can mark off my calendar. 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 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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