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Phone:  505-632-2194 Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958 Navajo Dam, NM  87419
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For Lodging or Guide Service call 505-632-2194
The Restaurant - El Pescador -  Open   Wed-Sun 6:30am - 9:00pm

San Juan USGS River Flow Flow  650 cfs
Reduction to 650 Friday, 7/22/16
Water Clarity: 
Very Clear
Abe's 50 Year Celebration

Latest from the BOR (Bureau of Reclamation) on the San Juan Flow Schedule - 7/21/2016

"As a result of increasing river flows and a forecast wet weather pattern in the San Juan River Basin, the Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a decrease in the release from Navajo Reservoir from 800 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 650 cfs on Friday, July 22nd starting at 4:00 a.m.  Releases are made for the authorized purposes of the Navajo Unit, and to attempt to maintain a target base flow through the endangered fish critical habitat reach of the San Juan River (Farmington to Lake Powell).   The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program recommends a target base flow of between 500 cfs and 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat area.  The target base flow is calculated as the weekly average of gaged flows throughout the critical habitat area

The San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program recommends a target base flow of between 500 cfs and 1,000 cfs through the critical habitat area.  The target base flow is calculated as the weekly average of gaged flows throughout the critical habitat area.

Bureau of Reclamation public releases on San Juan Flow
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                   Bad Day at Texas Creek Cover                                                                                         

Jay Walden's Bad Day At Texas Creek takes you down dusty, gravel roads, with a fly rod under the wiper blade, and a dog's head out the side window. His irreverent view from the windshield, that occasionally appears more like a fun-house mirror, makes you glad you came along for the ride. Whether you're a fly fisherman, dog lover, or none of the above, you'll enjoy this collection of short stories about life and adventure in the Rocky Mountain West.

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Fishing Report

July 17, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report  Bad Day at Texas Creek Image
Jay Walden
Gin clear water, bluebird skies, fat, healthy trout, rising fish, and hatches that last throughout the larger part of the day. If that sounds like the perfect recipe for a fisherman, then the San Juan is the place to be. Currently we are experiencing consistent flows around 800 cfs and with the hot, dry weather, those flows are likely to remain at that level for the near future. If you haven't fished the San Juan recently, you're going to notice a few changes on your next visit. Changes that have made a great river, even better. Those high spring flows have done wonders for the health of these fish—they are noticeably heavier, more muscular, and full of fight when you hook them. And the river itself looks more like the San Juan of old, like back when we had these spring releases on a consistent basis and we had a beautiful cobbled bottom, and all the silt, and didymo weren't around. It's like fishing a whole new river, and I'm loving it. As for the "how's it fishing?" part; well, it's great. I'll begin with saying that when it was between 3,500 to about 2,000 cfs the quality of fishing on big terrestrials like ants and hoppers was off the charts good. That method of fishing; at least for me, has slowed a bit since the drop down to 800 cfs. At those higher levels we weren't seeing the kind of hatches we are seeing now and the fish seemed to be much more aggressive on the big dries. Now, I'm seeing some fish in the earlier part of the day that are willing to play that game up until around 11:30 or 12:00, but when the midges get going, it's all about the small stuff. If you're out there, you're going to start seeing fins rolling around mid-day and that's the time to go to your emerger patterns like ju-jus, crystal flash, and scintilla patterns, and fish the film. A couple hours later, you'll start to see some snouts and you can switch to small midge dries like single, black adult midges, Morgan's midges, and fore and afts in sizes 24 and 26. 6x for the nymphing and 7x for the dries, helps, since the water is crystal clear right now. Later when the hatch intensifies, you can use some cluster patterns like the sprout midge or Griffith's gnats, but the clusters haven't been all that large, so I wouldn't go bigger than a size 22. The earlier part of the day, before  you start to see these fish rolling on emergers, is gonna be the time to fish your pupa patterns like mono midges, blings, and big macs. If you are fishing from Texas Hole and downriver, throw in a few baetis patterns like root beers, RS2s, and foamwings into your mix, since there are some active nymphs in there. There are a few slate colored BWOs coming off in the lower portion of the river, even on these bright sunny days, but it's not a blanket hatch, by any stretch of the imagination, but you can probably get a few fish to eat a comparadun or small Adams, if you start seeing enough adults on the surface. The big deal right now is the midges that are plentiful and hatching from mid-day right up until dark. So there you go, good fishing, great weather, what else could you ask for? If you come you'll want to pack lots of water—it's hot—really hot. And don't forget the bug spray— the mosquitoes are getting fired up, especially in the evening hours. 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

NM Fish and Game LogoNew Fishing License Required April 1       
Reminder - time to purchase new Fishing Licenses:  The 2015-2016 Fishing Season will end March 31, 2016 and a new NM Fishing Season will begin April 1, 2016 and end March 31, 2017.  New NM 2016-2017 licenses will be required beginning April 1, 2016.

NM Fishing License Info

 Spring High Flow 2016

Bureau of Reclamation
San Juan Flow Info
The BOR (Bureau of Reclamation) will begin ramping down the flow on the San Juan to 500 CFS over 12 days beginning 7/1/2016.  Lowering flow often stimulates good fishing, good luck!

 The San Juan fishes well from a drift boat with an experienced guide during High Flows, many fishermen do very well during decreases in flow. 
Final Release Schedule Updated 6/30/2016
Motel Info

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.

Born 'N' Raised Info 

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 2016 Fishing Season

Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday 6:30 am-9:00 pm,    Closed Monday and Tuesday


RV Slot Info 

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.

  2016 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 2015
San Juan Flow Graph 2014
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 2015 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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