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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 322 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 
I saw it from a distance. Up there, faraway, a grove of yellowing aspen, No Country For Old Men. After today's weather, the ground will, no doubt, be covered with snow, that will likely stay in place till next June. In a little over a week, I'll be up there, walking among the trees, peering into dark timber, looking for the Wapiti that call that place home for now. Already, the season has changed at that altitude, the leaves tell it. Tomorrow's white mantle, amid burnished quaky medallions, will yet stir the biological time clocks of the beasts of the field and make haste their plans to procreate and propagate their species, telling them that winter and the harshness that comes with it, is well on its way. Some of the old will give way to age, hunger, cold, and weakness; in spring, their progeny will replace them and carry on their order. It is the way of life, for both man and beast. Fall is a beautiful time in the west, perhaps because it stirs in us our feeling of mortality, the vibrancy of life, the green leaves and grass, the warmth of sunshine, slowly replaced with the softer tones of gold and crimson. It gives us pause, by its demand to be noticed. A memorandum that our time here is fleeting, and that we, like the elk, must take note of it, and make the best of what remains. So get out, place yourself amid some rushing stream, or among the pine scented winds, of mountain evergreens. Stretch out beneath the vast arms of a yellowing cottonwood, with the autumn sun on your face and drift off into dreams of rising trout. Listen to the sounds of a bugling elk. If your travels bring you to the San Juan River, here's what you can expect in the short term. First of all, lower water levels, with flows presently at 350 cfs, will probably be in place for the coming week. Recent heavy rains have peaked the Animas River flows to over 2,100 cfs, resulting in less need for water downstream, by the Juan. If anything, this river is more likely to go lower in the next few days. Don't be discouraged, however, as the fishing is still good, and will likely stay that way. With the rain gone, the discoloration from runoff in the upper river river we saw on Monday, will dissipate rapidly and we will see very clear water conditions by Tuesday. If you plan to fish below Simon Canyon, I would give it a few days, or avoid it all together, since it has silted in badly, below that point. As always this time of year, we experience a major rain event and the weather cools afterward, and it turns from summer to fall the next day. Today was that day and the mid-80s temperatures we were seeing are now replaced with pleasant mid-70 days and lows in the mid 40's at night. It's a great time to be on the water. Expect some company--unfortunately, you're not the only one that likes to be on good water, this time of year. Still, there's plenty of water to fish, where you won't be elbow to elbow, if you don't mind walking a bit. Midges are still the choice of the day, with great hatches from dawn to dusk, peaking around 3:00 pm. Small midge dries in size 24 and 26 on 7x tippet for the dries, and midge larva, pupae, and emerger patterns in size 24 and 26 on 6x for the nymphs. Focus on great drag free drifts and you won't need to use a lot of weight in most places with these lower flows. Check and clean your flies often, there seems to be a lot of floating moss and didymo lately and the fish won't eat what they can't see. We haven't seen much in the way of baetis hatches yet, but with cooler weather on the way, we should be getting close, especially if we see some overcast skies. I prefer CDC olive comparaduns in size 22 to match the adults, once they start showing up. There are lots of feeding fish to be seen all day, but admittedly, they are challenging when they are solely keyed in on tiny midges. I find it helps tremendously if you pick out an actively feeding fish and work them into submission, or until your nerves fray so badly, you're forced to move on to another. You can expect good numbers for your efforts, but small bugs and picky fish are going to demand your best efforts. Hope you can get out this week and enjoy some beautiful fall weather and good fishing in the great Southwest. 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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