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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 - Opening Friday March 20, 2015

San Juan USGS River Flow 357 cfs Water Clarity:   1' - 1' 1/2 Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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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
March 22, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
In my own defense, there's only a few times out of the 52 weeks each year that I miss out on writing these fishing reports. Last week was one of those rare times. Occasionally, all the stars align, the weather cooperates, and my days off fall on just the right corresponding time when I can head to some of my other favorite water that's generally known for it's inhospitable weather and big fish. This was one of those attenuated set of circumstances where it all came together and I had to seize the moment and do it, while I had the chance. And it paid off too, I caught fish, some nice big fish, and I didn't freeze my butt off this time. I apologize if you felt slighted because last week's report was missing, but I justified it all by rationalizing that not much had changed on the San Juan from the previous weeks and most people that read this column would probably figure that out on their own. The fact that I had some pretty good fishing myself, helped to dispel a greater part of my guilt. Anyway, I'm back and here's what's happening on the San Juan. First of all, the water conditions are pretty much the same as they have been for the past few months with flows of 350 cfs and visibility of about a foot to maybe a foot and a half in some places. Some folks are saying that the conditions are clearing, but honestly, I'm just not seeing it. It's just like the Amish Mafia—just because some people say it exists, that don't necessarily make it so. When we'll see clearer conditions, is anyone's guess, but if I were a betting man, based on what the water in the lake looks like, I'd say probably around late April or early May until it's back to those gin-clear conditions you're accustomed to seeing in summer. While we're on the topic of water here, I think you can go ahead and writBad Day at Texas Creek Imagee off any chance of a Spring flush of water from the reservoir. Those last couple of storms that dumped some good snow in the southern San Juans aren't going to be enough to get the job done, and we would have to get snows of biblical proportions between now and mid-April when the snowpack begins it's decline. The next 10 days of mid-60 temperatures aren't going to help, so it looks like it is what it is. As far as the present quality of fishing, I would rate it as good, but not great. It's still pretty much a nympher's game out there, with a few opportunities to take some fish on dry flies. The brighter stuff like eggs, red and cream larva, princess nymphs, desert storms seem to be working best. There's a few midges on the water around 11:00 am, but not a lot of heads up during that time. Later in the afternoon, around 3:00 pm seems to be the better hatch, and I've been able to take several fish on small midge adult patterns up until 5:00 or 5:30. My best results have come from targeting fish in skinny water, near the edges, sometimes in water that is so shallow that their backs are barley covered. My theory is that a lot of this is tied to the visibility issue and the fish in the shallow stuff are getting a better look of what is floating over their heads. Whatever the reason, that just seems to be where all the rising fish are hanging out these days. There's a few BWOs here and there, but I haven't seen or heard of an appreciable hatch, unless there's some heavy overcast weather and it doesn't look like there'll be any of that this coming week. Add to all of this that we're likely to see some of that springtime wind that we are famous for this week, which can put the rising fish down, so nymphing and streamer fishing are going to be your most likely method of catching fish. Overall, this is still a good place to visit for your spring fishing fix. Admittedly, I've seen better conditions on this river and times when the fishing is on fire, but overall I don't think you'll leave disappointed if you decide to make the trip. Expect a little company on the water, especially if you decide to come on the weekend. All this nice weather, combined with a lot of folks on Spring break have quite a few people stirring about, but there's still plenty of water where you won't be shoulder to shoulder with the next guy. Lastly, at a 350 cfs flow, there's a good portion of frog water out there, so concentrate your efforts where there's more current, thus more food and holding fish. 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

New Fishing License Required April 1       
Reminder - time to purchase new Fishing Licenses:  The 2014-2015 Fishing Season will end March 31, 2015 and a new NM Fishing Season will begin April 1, 2015 and end March 31, 2016.  New NM 2015-2016 licenses will be required beginning April 1, 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 will be opening Friday March 20, 2015 for the 2015 Fishing Season

Hours:  Wednesday - Saturday 6:30 am-9:00 pm,  Sun 6:30 am - 2:00 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.

  2015 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 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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