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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 2014 Fishing Season

San Juan USGS River Flow 361 cfs
Water Clarity:   2 1/2'  Visibility Abe's 50 Year Celebration
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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
Oct 19
, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
I guess a little humility from time to time is good for a man. Lest one become a bit too cocky, it's up to Mother Nature to remind us of our place on this big green planet that we call Earth. After months of physically training for the rigors of climbing the rugged mountains where I elk hunt, after spending time at the range and working up the perfect hand-loads for my favorite rifle, and after carefully packing and repacking every conceivable supply and device I could possibly need for a successful hunt, I spent five long days, humping countless miles and never saw a single Cervus canadensis. Based on my past success in harvesting said Wapiti from this same area for the past 20 plus years, it was a bit hard to take, especially after burning up all that shoe leather in No Country For Old Men, with that heavy pack on my back. My hunting partners had plenty enough theories to explain the anomaly, ranging from lack of snow in the high country, fewer hunters than years past to move them around, or perhaps someone had built a new subdivision in the migration route and altered their path, but in the end, I think those all boiled down to bunk; they just weren't there-plain and simple. In the end, Mother Nature just does what she does, and there's nothing you can do about it. Anyway, it's good to be back home to focus on my fishing and lick my wounds until my deer hunt comes up in November. After five days of rest, my sore feet and my back almost feel normal and there's nothing like some good fishing to take your mind off your troubles. If you haven't been on the San Juan for a few weeks, you've missed a busy time on this river. If you're planning a trip here from now until the end of the month, expect a good deal of company when you arrive. Great fall weather and good fishing conditions aren't secrets that stay secrets for very long in today's fly fishing community. Still, there's fish to be caught and you can still find some water to cover, especially if you are willing to walk a bit. As far as conditions go, the releases here are still around the 350 cfs range and the water clarity is great. The 350 cfs flow will likely stay in place for at least a week or so, based on what happens with the Animas River, which is now flowing around 600 cfs, near Durango. Once that river drops and holds steady, I expect we'll see the BOR drop levels here to around 250 cfs throughout most of this winter, to conserve water in the reservoir for next year. The midge hatches here are still hanging on strong and the dry fly fishing has been great on small midge dries. The usual San Juan midge patterns have been producing for nymphers, especially in darker colors. The Baetis hatch from Texas Hole and below is just kicking off and there have been some adults on the water from early to mid- afternoon on those stretches of water. The earlier part of this week is supposed to be a bit cooler and overcast, so this could be a good week to target that area with some BWO dry patterns. If you plan to fish that area, I would plan on trying some olive and grey RS2s, Rootbeers, and Foam Wings, if there aren't rising fish, as these nymphs are present in good numbers and beginning to become a little more active. 6x tippet for the nymphs and 7x for the small dries, is a good rule of thumb, especially given the water clarity and recent heavy pressure from an increased number of anglers. Despite the increased company on the river, it's still fishing well, and if you don't mind sharing some water, it's a good time to be on the San Juan. 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.

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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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