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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 721 cfs
Increasing to 750 cfs, Monday morning, 8/18/14
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 
Now there's adventure, and there's just plain old tomfoolery. My fishing occasionally borders on the cusp of both. After winding up two good days on the water, earlier this week, I decided to push the envelope, and late into the afternoon hours of the second day, boldly go where no man has ever gone before (at least not on foot, that late in the day.) Why? Because everyone knows that the grass is always greener on the other side--that there's always bigger fish rising, just a little further on, or along the "other" bank. So I broke one of my own cardinal rules of fly fishing to "never leave rising fish to find rising fish" and ventured onward into the heart of darkness, despite that little voice echoing in the back of my mind telling me not to do it. Onward I went, ignoring the voice of reason, drawn deeper and deeper into the belly of the best, drawn by my insatiable lust for "more" fish. And for the larger part of the next two hours, I actually convinced myself that I was so much smarter than the average bear, as I landed numerous, midge gulping fish, without another fisherman in sight. "What a great idea this turned out to be", "How cool is this?", I told myself, and it was, until--never one to leave well enough alone--I stayed till I couldn't see my fly anymore and had to walk out in the dark. As I began to make my way back, slipping and sliding over rocks that seemed more like greased bowling balls, all the doubt and second guessing I'd so conveniently pushed aside earlier, began to creep back in and the whole thing didn't quite have the air of certainty it had taken on earlier. But I stumbled on, and clawed at the willows, the tenuous plant matter now becoming my fragile lifeline that kept me connected to terra firma and from being swept away toward certain death. In between swatting swarms of mosquitoes, I lumbered and lurched forward in the dark, relying on experience and "dead reckoning"--dead reckoning--because I reckoned if I slipped, I was dead. At length, I thought about Brad Pitt going down the rapids of the Blackfoot in "A River Runs Through It." Now I know I'm no Brad Pitt, but it did console me a bit at the time, to think about beautiful Angelina Jolie, standing there crying, pining away on the banks of the San Juan, for me, as I was swept away in the rushing current, having given my all, for the sake of a few fish. Ah, “The course of love never did run smooth.”  My near Sisyphean task of wading against the current now complete, I slogged my way across a back-channel filled with primordial ooze that smelled like rotten eggs, then on to my lone car, in the parking lot. The only other form of life present was a forsaken looking coyote, who looked at me, then glanced at his watch, and just shook his head. If you're planning a trip to the San Juan this week you won't need to go to such lengths to catch fish. There's really no reason to anyway, there's plenty of fish in much more accessible places. On Monday the BOR will increase the present flow, upward to 750 cfs, due to declining flow levels in the Animas River. Most likely this won't make much of a difference in the activity of the fish and the predictable midge hatches we've seen around 10:00 am and then later at 3:00 and 4:00 pm, will probably continue, unabated. Small red midge larva, and pupa, and emerger patterns, in darker colors, are still your best bet for nymph patterns. 6x fluorocarbon tippet will help with these fish that tend to get a little selective around this time of year when the bugs are small and the fishing pressure from summer anglers has increased. Size 24 Fore and Afts and size 26 single adult midge patterns are a good choice for dries, when the fish are rising and the hatches aren't heavy. 7 xs will make a difference for your hook-up rates with these dries. Once you start to see clusters on the water, you can fool a lot of fish with bigger patterns. Tav's Griffith Gnat in size 20 is a personal favorite of mine, when the hatch gets heavy. For Texas Hole and below, I would throw a few Baetis nymph patterns into the mix, like Foamwings, Johnny Flash, and Fluff Baetis. The area below Simon Canyon is still pretty silted in from the storm we had a few weeks back, so keep that in mind, if you plan an adventure down there. Overall, I'd give the quality of fishing here, a two thumbs up, and the likelihood of a big change in that from a 100 cfs bump in the flows on Monday, is slim at best. 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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