|To book a Motel Room, Boat Storage or Born "N" Raised Guide Trip call 505-632-2194|
December 8, 2013
usually never one to advocate not fishing, but the early part of
this week looks pretty extreme, weather wise, and I'm personally
going to draw the line on participating in said endeavor, until
things warm up a bit. The high for today is supposed to be a balmy
21 degrees and tonight is showing a low for 2, with the mercury
climbing all the way up to 19 on Monday. Now I've fished in nastier,
colder stuff than that, but I was a bit younger then, and apparently
a little less wiser, as well. Besides, I was unduly influenced at
the time by my former fishing partner who always seemed to come up
with these crazy, extreme ideas, which I never seemed to disagree
with and I'm going to blame him for any poor decisions I made at the
time. So if you've gotta do it, I'm not going to tell you not to do
it, I'm just saying that you're probably not going to see me out
there this time. I will; however, offer what advice I can, based on
my personal experience, for such conditions, but I also hereby
disclaim any personal responsibility for any negative consequences
which may result in any type of personal injury thereby, both
present and future. The first is a no brainer--dress warmly. This
kind of stuff calls for breaking out the big guns from the closet.
Layer up my friends. Include some wool in those layers and top it
off with goosedown of the 600 to 700 fill variety. Keep your head
and neck covered. I like those double layered "turtle fur" fleece
neck gaiters and I have a wool cap with a fleece interior that I
bought in Alaska that is getting along in years, but it is
priceless. Wear gloves and keep your hands dry. The fingerless
gloves that have a folding flap that allows you to convert them to
mittens when necessary to regenerate some heat, are the best in my
opinion. As for keeping your hands dry, my best advice on this is to
carry a net and don't touch the fish. Net the fish, allow it to
settle down in the net, place the rod under your arm, gently pull
your tippet taught and you'll see where the fly is located in the
fish's mouth, reach down with your free hand and with a good pair of
hemostats pop that barbless hook out. All you have to do now is turn
your net upside down, and your fish is released. I catch my fair
share of fish and it's a rare occasion when I ever have to touch a
fish. Invest in one of those nets with a rubber net bag--especially
if you nymph a lot and use two flies-you won't have to touch a wet
net to dig out that second fly that's caught in the net and you'll
break off less flies in the net if the fish thrashes or rolls in the
net. Consider swinging streamers for the day. Tie on a streamer with
at least 3x tippet so your chance of breaking off and having to
retie with cold, stiff fingers is an unlikely event. I've done this
in cold weather and have been able to fish the same fly all day.
Strip out the minimum amount of line you need to make your cast,
make the cast slightly upstream and across, stay tight to the line
through the swing, at the end of your drift with your line still
tight, haul that sucker like a spey rod and deliver your next cast.
If you strip it back it and recast, your gloves are going to get
soaked in a matter of minutes and then you're screwed. When you want
to cover new water, just re-position your feet, still using the same
amount of fly line. It's "chuck and duck" for sure, but I've moved a
lot of big fish like this in the winter, and it one of the few ways
I've found to keep my hands dry. If your guides freeze up--and they
will-don't try to pop the ice out with your fingers, just dip that
portion of the rod underwater for a few seconds until the ice melts,
keeping the handle and your hand dry. Bring along a thermos with hot
chocolate or coffee that you can take a few hits on when you get
chilled. Rig up your rod before you leave the comfort of your warm
domicile. If you forget there's always this option--place your rod
and reel under the windshield wiper of your car while you're in the
parking lot, roll the driver's side window down just enough to pass
the flyline through, then with the heater going full blast, sit in
the toasty confines of your automobile while you get your flies,
tippet, indicator, etc., all lined out. Ok, this next one is a real
doozy, but don't knock it until you've tried it--my buddy came up
with this one for fishing the Taylor River in Colorado and that's
one of the coldest places on planet Earth, so it's Taylor tested and
approved. You know those heat wraps designed for relief of back
pain? The kind that Shaq advertises, that wrap around your
midsection? Well, get yourself one of those and just before you get
on the water, put it on and activate the thing, then cover it with
your clothing. Crazy, huh. I don't know how he ever came up with
that one, desperation I guess, but it will help keep your core warm
for several hours. Lastly, and this is important---keep an adequate
supply of good, quality whiskey on hand for medicinal purposes for
when you arrive home. If this does not help relieve the pain and
stiffness from the cold at least it will help to dull the memory of
why you subjected yourself to such punishment in the first place.
Apply liberally. On the bright side of things, the fishing is still
good right now and the temperature for Thursday looks to be the high
for the week at 37 degrees, so we go that goin' for us. If you would
like to book a guided trip or need more info, call us at
The NM 2013-2014 fishing season
begins April 1, 2013 and new fishing licenses are required.
NM Fishing License
Bureau of Reclamation
San Juan Flow Info
At the public meeting in Farmington on
4/23/13 the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) announced that it is very
unlikely that a Spring High Flow will take place for 2013. The
current low status of the reservoir and the immediate weather
forcast indicate a probability of a Spring High Release to only be
about 10%. Info from the meeting is at the BOR website below:
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.
Restaurant - Closed for the Winter - Re-Opening Spring 2014
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.
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.
2013 and 2008-2012 Historical Flow Data for the San Juan River
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 2013 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:
|Abe's Motel & Fly Shop has been an Orvis Authorized Dealer since the 1980's|
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|Abe's Motel & Fly Shop, Inc.|
|Phone: 505-632-2194||Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958||Navajo Dam, NM 87419|