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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 348 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 26
, 2014

San Juan Weekly Fishing Report 
Splendid fall weather, giant yellow cottonwood trees that line the banks, a sky so blue that it appears to have been painted on the roof of the world, and lots of hungry fish that rise all day to dry flies—it's no wonder that October has become the busiest month of the year for the San Juan. If you fish, you know this. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. The genie is out of the bottle on that one, and there's no putting him back. Fortunately, things are about to get a little more manageable. After this weekend, the Disneyland of guides playing bumper boats in the Texas Hole will diminish somewhat, and a lot of those big groups that make their annual fall pilgrimage to this trout Mecca, will head back home. If the weather stays nice, it'll stay a little busy for another week or two, but nothing like it's been earlier in the month, when you had to bring your own rock to stand on. I'm not really complaining. I'd be naive to think I could have this all to myself 365 days out of the year. Besides, it helps to pay the bills, so it's a necessary evil. Anyway, it looks like the weather is going to hold out for this coming week, the crowds will attenuate a bit, and I'll have a little more time to spend out on the water. With flows around 350 cfs, crystal-clear water conditions, and rising fish everywhere, the big question is—Just where do I want to fish? I'm sure I'll figure something out. Right now, if you choose anywhere in the Quality Water section above Simon Point, you can't go wrong. That said, expect to see fish feeding on midges from the time you hit the water, until it's to dark to see anymore. There'll be lots of fish rising to tiny dries, and eating emergers throughout the day. If you go the dry route, Fore and Afts, Griffith's Gnats, and Morgan's Midges in size 24 will be the ticket. Your percentage of hookups will increase with the aid of 7x tippet, on the dries, and it will help tremendously to keep that leader upstream of these fish that have seen a lot of pressure lately. Start out by fishing to those feeding fish that are closest to you and work into position on others as you exhaust your supply of willing participants. It will help you control your drifts better and improve your casting accuracy, which is a must right now, as your fly has to be right on the money to compete with all of the available food supply. At 350 cfs, when you can wade just about anywhere, there's no reason to be making 60 foot casts, especially when there are fish feeding at your rod tip. It's also a lot easier to see those tiny patterns, and the take, at shorter distances. If you are having trouble seeing the fly, you can always resort to the Zen method of fishing tiny dries that goes something like this: Calculate the distance between you and the rising fish, false cast and measure out just enough line to put the fly 2 to 3 feet in front of the rise, drag the fly into the feeding lane of the fish if the cast was even slightly off course, now extrapolate the speed of the drifting fly, times the distance traveled to the ring of the rise and watch for a protruding snout or a dimple on the water. If the speed of the fly, times distance traveled, equal location of snout or dimple, then divide your shoe size by 5 (this is the amount time you should wait to lift the rod tip)—use the number 6 if you have big feet—and wala!— a trout will magically appear on the end of your line. Try this a couple of hundred-thousand times and that little microprocessor between your ears will automatically make all these calculations for you effortlessly. If you plan on nymphing this week, I would recommend size 26 and even 28 midge emerger patterns, like Ju-Jus, Scintillas, and Crystal Flash midges, fished in the upper water column with only a tiny bit of weight—like a number 9 split shot. There were a few Baetis coming off during some of the overcast, cool parts of the day, last week. They were tiny though, like size 24, and the hatch only lasted for about an hour, from about 1:00 till 2:00. Once the sun came back out, that was the end of that. This week looks like lots of bluebird sky, so I doubt we'll see any appreciable hatch of BWOs, until we get some cloudy, cooler weather. There are some active nymphs in the Texas Hole and below, so add some Baetis patterns to your arsenal if you plan to fish there. There's still a lot of fishing to be done until the weather turns cold, so 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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