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Frequently Asked Questions

+ May I have general info on San Juan River?

Ranked one of the top five tail water streams in the U.S.-- widely considered top ten in the world.  New Mexico’s mild weather makes for great fishing year round.  When fishing nymphs, one may use flies between sizes 22-26. Dry fly fishing is best during the summer & late fall + when ants &/or hoppers and other terrestrials are naturally available. Keep in mind, midge clusters and baetis dry fly patterns can be used almost all year round with estimated 80,000 trout within the quality water section.  The San Juan is home to truly hefty rainbows & browns.


Can I get a Fishing License at Abe’s Fly Shop?

Yes, fishing licenses with all validations needed for fishing the San Juan can be purchased at our shop or online with the New Mexico Dept. Game and Fish.

-1 Day Fishing License -- $17-$22  Note: Price varies depending on the areas fished - BLM or State Park.

- 5 Day Fishing Licenses -- $29-$34  

- Season Fishing Licenses -- $35 NM Resident - $66 Non-Resident


+ Do you have fly fishing guides availible?

Yes, Abe's son, Tim Chavez, was 'Born N' Raised' on the San Juan and began his guide service in 1986. To book your guided fly fishing trip with Born N' Raised give us a call at (505) 632-2194. Rates and other info can be found on our guide trip page.

+ Do you have accommodations for large groups?

Yes, we host several large groups each year; from fishing clubs to corporate groups. We have a 55+ unit motel with various options and a restaurant that is open spring, summer & fall.   Newly available is a 7 bedroom vacation lodge/home that can accommodate up to10 people  but, still cozy for 2.


+  What do I need to bring for fly fishing the San Juan?

Between our fly shop, motel and restaurant there isn’t a whole lot you need to bring. Our fly shop stocks everything one would need to fish the San Juan, plus we rent waders, boots, reels and rods and offer up to the minute fishing advice to each of our customers. Most items, however, include rod, reel, waders, boots, rain gear, sun protection, variety of tackle, camera, day pack, etc..


+  What size rod should I bring?

Best fly rod for the San Juan is a 9' 5 weight with floating fly line (DT:  double taperered/-or- WF: weight forward).  On a float trip, it's good to have a second rod ready for either streamers or dry flies depending on time of year, weather, etc...  Most fishermen use

7 1/2' to 9' tapered leaders with 5x or 6x tippet.


+  Which flies are best?

Midges (natural colors) in size 24 or 26 and baetis may flies (mostly olive) in size 20-22 work year round (varies in nymphs, emergers and dries).  Besides midges & baetis, some infrequens (PMD's), leeches, annelids, chironomids, aquatic worms, caddis, terrestials, ants & crane flies.  Favored colors are black, chocolate, olive gray, red and cream.  During summer months, also use PMD's, caddis, ants and hoppers.  Eggs and San Juan worms work well year round & specifically during certain conditions such as a change in river flow or rains.


+  What is the best time of year to fish the San Juan?

Due to consistent water temperatures, fishing is generally stable year round with sporadic hatches during all months. Keep in mind, the Bureau of Reclamation may change river flows in any given spring. Generally,the best fishing weather is from the end of April through November. Water is generally very clear with some off color flows typically in December and for some spring releases. Winter fishing is also great when 'fair weather fishers' are not found on the water and the fish are active as usual.

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