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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 2015 Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 592 cfs    ** 
Increasing to 1300 CFS Friday, Aug 7 and decreasing to 650 CFS Monday Aug 10
Water Clarity:  2' 1/2  - 3' Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
** On April 23, 2015 the Bureau of Reclamation announced that the flows published by the USGS for the Archuleta Site (09355500) were approximately 135 CFS higher than the actual Flow.  The flow above and the flows for the San Juan Flow Graph toward the bottom of this web page have been adjusted using new data available from USGS on or after 4/24/2015 resulting in a CFS value approximately 135 CFS lower than before.
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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.

Bad Day at Texas Creek on Amazon
Bad Day at Texas Creek on Kindle                                                        

Fishing Report
August 23, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
"Abdulla, get out the Springfied—and the solids." That's a line from the character Helen in the movie adaptation of Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, played by Susan Hayward. The line doesn't actually appear in the original short story, but it's one of those lines that work, as far as movie adaptations go. Helen needs to go out and get some meat for camp after she and her husband become stranded on the African plains due to a broken down truck and his injury. Helen knows she's up against big game and apex predators out there on the plains and she knows she's gotta break out the big guns and the heavy ammo. Anyway, I was thinking about that line the other day while I was fishing here on the San Juan and the wind kicked up and the conditions for fishing size 24 midge dry flies on 7x tippet got a little crazy, blowing my hair around so that I started to look like Donald Trump. I could have packed it in and gone home, I'd already had a good day, caught plenty of fish, and I was tired anyway, and who likes fishing in the wind? But there's a rule that I have—Never leave rising fish. And they were rising, rising to tiny midges, rising in a 20 mph windstorm, rising down in the troughs of the whitecaps, rising, and I couldn't just walk away. Now, I knew that those fish would still eat that small fly and that you really don't have to be able to see the tiny thing as long as you can still get it in front of the fish with an accurate cast and have a general idea if you're in the ballpark of the rise. But, with a 20 mph wind, that's a pipe dream. Try as you might, in that kind of wind, your fly will rarely land where you want it to. So, like Helen, I had to break out tBad Day at Texas Creek Imagehe Springfield and the solids. I clipped off that 7x stuff and tied on some 6x and a size 16 foam ant and I whacked 'em, whacked a bunch of big fish that had lost their cautious sensibilities to the wind. Remember that the next time the wind goes nuts and everyone else heads to the parking lot. Get out the Springfield and the solids. Well, that crazy wind we saw all week looks like it may take a break for the bigger part of this coming week, but the ants will still work, just stick to the shallow, riffly water. If you want to fish dries in the flat and slick stuff, you can't beat a size 24 gray fore and aft on 7x tippet. And nymphing? Well, if you want to do that, you can catch plenty of fish right now with that method, too. Just keep 'em small and dark–size 24 and 26 midge pupa and emergers and add in some baetis patterns if you're fishing anywhere from Texas Hole and below. Speaking of baetis, I've been seeing some pop off in the lower river in the afternoons, and with the cloud cover that is supposed to show up between Tuesday and Thursday, that could be a good opportunity to toss some BWO dry patterns to some rising fish in any of the lower sections of the river. Overall, the fishing is really good right now, especially the dry fly part. The flow is right around 600 cfs, with spring creek clarity and good presentations are a must for good results, so focus more on getting your drifts right and less on what fly to use. If you're using the standard small stuff that works here, you'll catch fish if it's drag free and they're not seeing leader and fly line first. As far as what the longer picture looks like here on the flows, I'd say we're on the borderline of possibly seeing another bump in the flows, depending on if we get any of the expected rain later this week. The Animas River has been dropping steadily and the combined flow for the Juan between Farmington and Lake Powell is just holding at it's minimum 500 cfs requirement for the endangered species of fish in that section of the river. So, depending on what happens with the weather, the BOR could make a move within a week or so, to maintain the flow down there. In the meantime, this 600 cfs flow is pretty sweet—lots of new water to fish, with plenty of fish feeding throughout every part of the day. 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 2015

Bureau of Reclamation
San Juan Flow Info
Snowpack for the 2014/2015 winter season has been below normal, unless signifiicant moisturre comes into the system in late spring it is not expected that there will be a 2015 High Flow which normally occurrs in late May to June. 

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 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

** On April 23, 2015 the Bureau of Reclamation announced that the flows published by the USGS for the Archuleta Site (09355500) were approximately 135CFS higher than the actual Flow.  The flow above and for the San Juan Flow Graph have been adjusted beginning 1/1/2015 using new data available from USGS on or after 4/24/2015.  Data for years prior to 2015 has not been changed. 

  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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