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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 for the 2015 Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 469 cfs ↑
Increasing to 500 cfs Friday, 4/17/15
Water Clarity:   1' - 1' 1/2 Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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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
April 12, 2015

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
"April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain..." from the poet T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland, encapsulates my feelings about this month which brings the promise of hope along with an eagerness to just get the thing over with and get on to what we're all waiting for—summer. After abiding months of winter, that seem to grow longer as I grow older, it's a month of almost. Almost there, but not quite— a tease, if you will. Leaves, flowers, and blooms that appear to give you a taste of what is to follow, yet won't fully show themselves in full form and declare true change, longer days, with a warming sun, that makes you want to drag out the shorts and t-shits from the bottom dresser drawer, with still enough chill in the air to give you pause. For an impatient man, such as myself, it can be a long 30 days. But it's all coming my friends, it's all coming soon and along with it, clearer water and more of it, and a dramatic change in the fishing dynamic of the San Juan, after months of just making due with the leftover conditions of winter that seemingly hang on with unyielding tenacity. A friend of mine recently sent me a hat from his hometown fly shop in Oregon with their logo embroidered on the front—The Patient Angler, it reads. It's a nice hat and I like the way it fits and looks, but I refuse to wear it during the month of April. It somehow seems wrong and disloyal to suggest that I am something that I am not, and patient, I am not. InBad Day at Texas Creek Image the meantime, I'll bide my time with the rest of you and swing my streamers and toss my nymph rig into murky, low water and tell myself I'm having the time of my life. Sorry, when anticipation of glory appears close enough to be palpable, I tend to lean toward the dramatic. In reality things aren't as bad here as I make them out to be, but it's hard to settle for less than wonderful, when you know how great things can be on this river and it's standing there at the doorstep. So for the here and now, and probably for the next few weeks to follow, it is what it is, fishing that's o.k. to good, in conditions that could be a sight better. That said, here's what I'm talking about. Presently, the flows here are at 350 cfs, just as they have been throughout the winter and early spring. The clarity of the water is still around a foot, or so. I'm being told by others that it is improving, but I can't see that for myself, perhaps because I am myopic in my outlook from staring at it for months trying to find a silver lining and naively thinking that I can magically make it happen through sheer will. Contrary to the belief of some, there are still fish to be caught with a success rate enough to make it interesting and qualify as sport. The hatches when they have happened, have been sporadic and sparse, which doesn't bode well for those of the dry fly ilk. There has been a smattering of BWOs in the lower river on some days, but there seems to be no regularity to their emergence just yet, so you'll just have to come prepared and hope that fate smiles on you. This Friday would be a good bet, with some cloud cover moving in, cooler weather, and a good chance of showers. The midge hatches of mid-morning haven't been anything to write home about, but there are some decent showings on some late afternoons and some fish to be taken on small midge dries, if you target the risers that all seem to be in the skinny water. Outside of that it a nympher's game with small, dark patterns in size 24 and smaller. That, along with the usual suspects common to this time of year and water conditions, of red and cream larva, and desert storms. For Texas Hole and below, add in some Baetis patterns, like root beers, RS2s, and foamwings, as the nymphs have seemed to spurred into greater activity and begun their drift. Streamers in olive and black are still producing, especially when retrieved ever so slowly. Smaller sizes seem to be the better producers, where these are concerned. Overall, this is still a good place to spend a day on the water, and you'll catch fish if you decide to come, but the real fishing is still a few weeks out in my opinion. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more information, 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 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

  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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