Abe's Motel & Fly Shop Logo Abe's Motel and Fly Shop Home Page Born "N" Raised Guide Service Logo
Phone:  505-632-2194 Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958 Navajo Dam, NM  87419
Abe's - Large Rainbow Trout
Abe's Motel Fly Shop Guide Service Things to Do The River Area Links History Fishing Information Contact Us
Abes Home Page Flies
For Lodging or Guide Service call 505-632-2194
The Restaurant - El Pescador - Open for the 2014 Fishing Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 729 cfs
Water Clarity:   2 1/2'  Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
Sign Up to receive the Abe's 4th Quarter 2013 Newsletter by email                  Weather Forecast - Navajo Dam, NM  (87419)

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
July 27, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
It has been said that "Variety is the spice of life."  That phrase has been attributed to the late English poet and hymnodist William Cowper. He also coined the phrase "God works in mysterious ways", which is a clever idiom in its own right.  You'll have to hand it to Ol' Will that he had a way with words, despite the fact was locked up for a spell, way back when, in the loony bin. But, I'll be the first one to cut Will a little slack on his mental state, as most writers (present company included), and especially poets, all seem to have a screw loose, somewhere. Anyway, about this variety thing, I think it's always a good idea to fish some new water when you can. It keeps your skills sharp and allows for a broader appreciation of the sport. And it is an odd thing, how one river can make you acknowledge the differing attributes of others. Last week I did a little day trip up to Colorado, to check out some water that I hadn't fished in a while, because I felt a little change of scenery would do me good and I'd heard rumors about some Green Drake and PMD hatches up there, which is about how most of these trips seem to materialize. Someone sees some bugs, and tells someone else, and they tell you, and the next thing you know, the car is packed. It's a beautiful stretch of water, that I had all to myself, one of those big western rivers, bordered by big Ponderosa Pines and tall granite peaks. And the bugs were there, and I caught some fish, although they were brown trout that don't always play by the rules, and are never easy. So I accomplished what I'd came there for, getting my dose of new water, and new country, fishing size 10 Green Drake dries all day, and landing a fish now and then, although the quality of fishing wasn't "lights out", like you always expect it to be. I left the water at near dark, satisfied, and a better man for my efforts, but decided one day would be enough, because despite my proclivity for aesthetics, I'm a numbers guy, so I headed back to the San Juan. It was a treat to find that the water level had changed and the variety thing started all over again. At 500 vs. 350 cfs, I found new fish in new places, and the river took on a whole different character. On Friday at 11:00 pm the BOR bumped it up again to 650 cfs, so I expect to see a few more changes, when I head out this Monday and Tuesday. It's what a lot of us here have been waiting for, for a long while--a little variety. Overall, for fly patterns, things aren't any different. Midge patterns (the smaller the better) fished under an indicator will keep you into fish throughout most of the day. Throw in some Baetis nymph patterns for Texas Hole and below. There's been some midge adult activity from around 11:00 till about 2:00 pm in the upper river, and then again around 4:00 or 4:30, but I don't know if that will continue with the water level change, so come prepared with small midge dry patterns, and keep your fingers crossed. The good news is that there is now a lot more water to cover and the fish have acclimated pretty quick, finding their new spots and holding in new water, were they weren't, one week ago-- not to mention that this river just looks a whole lot prettier with a little water in it. I fish this river a lot, but I'd have to say that 500 to 650 cfs, is my favorite water level. How long it will last, depends a lot on the weather, and how well the level of the Animas holds up. We're getting close to that time when that drainage normally sees a lot of monsoon activity, that yo-yos its water levels, but this year's weather has been anything but normal, so far, so we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, get out and enjoy the new variety that the San Juan has to offer, you won't regret it. 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.

Request to be put on the Email List for Newsletters

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:


    Orvis Authorized Dealer Logo         Abe's Motel & Fly Shop has been an Orvis Authorized Dealer since the 1980's
       Copyright © 2010   Abe's Motel & Fly Shop       All Rights Reserved      Phone:  505-632-2194      Highway 173  Navajo Dam, NM  87419