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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 484 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 
Baby's back in town! I'm not talking about the woman I love; although, that too, would be cause to celebrate. (Sorry honey, don't take offense, I've missed you, too.) No, I'm referring to my Sage Circa 3 wt., that just arrived back home, after spending 2 months at the manufacturer's plant on Bainbridge Island, Washington, for repairs. Now, it's not like I've been forced to fish with a willow branch for the past few months; I own lots of other rods that I like, some that have been able to fill the void, while this one has been away. It's just that this particular little stick of graphite, is really something special. Those of you who read this column, know that I rarely, if ever, promote one individual product over another; but this thing is such a beautiful thing of dry-fly sweetness, I just have to sing its praises. I've cast a number of rods in my time; but this one has such butter-smooth action, it can make even an average caster, like myself, actually look like they know what they're doing. And talk about the perfect blend of tip flex vs. backbone, this rod's got it--enough that you could probably have  a bass fisherman use it all day with 7x tippet, and still not break off. Well, that last one was probably a stretch, but you get what I mean. Anyway, I'm overjoyed at having this rod back in my hands, and it couldn't happen at a better time, as small flies and small tippets are the equipment de rigueur, here on the San Juan. As in weeks past, the news is midges, midges, midges. While some may lament these late summer hatches as a scourge to western tailwaters, and scoff at our minuscule fly offerings, I see a blessing in rising fish that must eat all day, in order to consume enough calories for their survival. Throw in some crystal clear water, and some heavily pressured fish, and you've got yourself a fishing challenge that will either frustrate, or bring out the best, of most fishermen. If you're looking for easy, the San Juan's not your place right now. If you're looking for challenging and rewarding, you've picked the right spot. There are fish rising all day long to tiny midges, so if you're a dry fly fisherman worth your salt, you are going to be blessed by a target rich environment. If you're a nympher, you can sight fish to feeding fish, until your eyes cross. One word of caution is that this can all become addictive--I mean addictive like the stuff they put in Doritos, to get you to eat the whole bag--addictive--like all you can eat shrimp at Red Lobster. Don't worry though, the worst that can happen is that you'll go a little coo-coo, and end up getting all sentimental over things like the your return of your favorite fly rod. As for words of wisdom, probably the best that I can offer, is keep your fly selections small and dark and in the midge genre. Size 26 olive, and black midge pupae and emerger patterns for the nymphs, size 24 Fore and Afts in gray and black, or size 26 Adult Black Midges for the dries. 6x for the nymphs, 7x for the dries. Drag free drifts, with your leader and tippet upstream of the fish, is a must. The numbers are there to be had, if you do it right. It will help tremendously to pick out an individual, active, feeding fish and work him. Blind casting and watching an indicator or fly will get you a few fish, but your chances will improve if your offerings are more pinpoint, since there's a lot of natural food to compete with out there right now, and a fish doesn't have to move very far to find a meal. If you're fishing tiny dries, it helps to get the light in your favor, so above, across, and downstream presentations are your best bet.(Not the San Juan Shuffle)--above and across. Keep your casts short, to help control drag and to keep the fly closer and easier to see. These fish aren't spooky, especially when they are feeding like they have been for the past few weeks, so there's no need to make Gary Borger casts of 90 feet and try to follow a size 24 midge on the water. The flows here are around 500 cfs and will probably stay in that range for the rest of the week, especially if we get the rain that is predicted for mid-week. Water conditions are extremely clear and there are lots--I mean lots--of midges. There has been a few BWO sightings on the lower river, but no real heavy hatches. I think we are still a few weeks away from that hatch and need some cooler weather and fewer of these very warm, bluebird- sky days. Overall, the river is fishing great right now and it's probably only going to get better as we head into fall. If you would like more info, or need to book a guided trip 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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