Abe's Motel & Fly Shop Logo Abe's Motel & Fly Shop, Inc. Born "N" Raised Guide Service Logo
Phone:  505-632-2194 Outfitting Fishermen for the San Juan since 1958 Navajo Dam, NM  87419
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San Juan USGS River Flow
353 cfs  
Water Clarity:   1'  Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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Just Add Water    'Just Add Water' is a new book by Jay Walden which chronicle's 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
April 13, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Some of the fondest memories of my past, have been centered around fishing trips. I have been fortunate, in that there are many of them. Just the other night, the howl of coyotes outside my bedroom window, brought back sentimental recollections from a summer trip up in Montana and the late dusk howling of the Lamar Canyon Pack of grey wolves, way back in the middle of nowhere, that left the hair on the back of my neck, standing on end. This was also the summer that I decided to take; my then, 15 year old nephew along on my outdoor excursions and to this day, I can still recall that look that he gave me, when we heard that first lonesome howl, deep in the backwoods, along Pebble Creek. We had fished a long way from camp and darkness was coming on, too far back; actually, too make it back to the tent without a flashlight, even if we had left at that precise moment, which we didn't. The fishing was just too good and even though I was the adult in the group; I was the wrong one to look to for rational decisions, when a stream full of willing and eager cutthroat rising to dry flies were part of the equation. So, we stayed too late and I ended bushwhacking back to camp, with the aid of a mini-mag light and an adolescent in tow, while carrying a few fish for dinner, in grizzly country. My sister still doesn't know about any of this and would have; no doubt, skinned me alive, had she known that I had exposed the baby of her family as bear bait. Thankfully, she doesn't read my reports and unless someone decides to rat me out, I feel pretty safe that this is one of those stories I can take to the grave with me. If I end up going before she does, perhaps someone can include this in my eulogy, when I'm safe from any reprisals. Anyway, I guess there's some truth to the old epigram attributed to Otto von Bismark, that "There is a providence that protects idiots, children, drunkards, and the United States." If you're looking to make some memories on the San Juan, we don't have wolves or grizzlies, but the angling part of it all can make for some momentous recollections, right now. There's great springtime weather, fish in big numbers and scenery that can't be beat. The flows here are around the 350 cfs range and the crowds are relatively sparse by San Juan standards. We're still dealing with the poor visibility issues that we've faced since back in December, but if you don't mind nymphing or fishing streamers, you won't be disappointed from a numbers standpoint, when it comes to fish in the net. Overall, the entire river is fishing well and the same fly choices that we've been using for the past few months are still effective. Princess nymphs, red larva, chamois leeches, chocolate and gray foamwings, disco midges, and desert storms, are your best bet. Dead drifting smaller bunny leeches in white and black will also get you into fish, especially when fished with a trailer. There's some dry fly opportunities, but the're very limited and I think that's going to remain the case until this water clears. If you're planning a trip, but worried about high water releases this spring, I think you can put your mind at ease, as it is extremely unlikely to happen this year. The BOR should be making an official announcement on this any day now and as soon as we receive an official confirmation, we'll post it to our website. In the meantime, memories are waiting to be made on the San Juan, so I hope you can make it out soon. 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
Early indications for 2014 indicate that there will be insufficient runoff in 2014 to support a Spring High Flow, although a decision hasn't been reached yet.  A decision may be able to be annouced at the BOR Operations Meeting April 22, 2014 in Farmington. 


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 - 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.

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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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