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  • Jay Walden

Almost November

Almost November already, hard to believe. Just the other day, one of my friends was mentioning that turkeys should be going on sale, soon. He plans to buy a bunch of them and load 'em up in his freezer, likes to inject them with Cajun marinade and deep fry them, says that they're tastier that way. I've sample a few of them, I think he's right. Someone, as a joke I guess, subscribed me to the Martha Stewart Living magazine and the issue I got the other day was really pushing the latest new Thanksgiving craze of squash stuffing, I'll think I'll pass, the Green Chicken-Enchilada Pie on page 48 is more my speed. The playoffs have already started, the Cubs could end up going to the Series. El Nino is supposed to be big this year, which brings the possibility of lots of snow. That could mean that the river here gets a good Spring flush, the only reason I'm interested. The world is still going round and round. It'll be Christmas before you know it, I'll do all my shopping on Amazon, avoid the nut-cases at the big box stores. Somewhere around that time, the lake will turn over and I'll have to nymph and throw streamers for a few months, maybe skip a few days of fishing on the colder days, get some writing done. Until then, I plan to fish as much as possible, make the most of the good weather we have left and the great dry fly activity, like we have right now. It'll be good, but even better in November, when all this crowd is gone. I'm the Greta Garbo of the San Juan, I just want to be left alone. If you're planning on coming out in the next couple weeks, expect lots of company. The fishing is good right now, about as good as it gets, but it's also the busiest time of the year, busier than summer. A lot of people that come here in October for their first time, are surprised to find that out, but it's a fact, Jack. On Friday the river was lowered to 400 cfs and the BOR plans to keep it at that level until the end of this month, when they'll lower it to 350 and probably keep it at that level until next Spring. The water is gin clear with lots of good midge hatches throughout the biggest part of the day. On cooler, overcast days like we are going to see through the early part of the week, the BWOs have been popping off in enough numbers to get the fish interested again, and my experience tells me, now through the time the lake turns over, later in the winter, you'll be able to fish some baetis patterns to rising fish in the afternoons, especially on the lower river. Earlier, before the hatch starts, a mix of small midge patterns in dark colors, along with some baetis nymphs—like rootbeers, RS2s, and foamwings will be great fly choices. But the real draw, especially for guys like me, is the exceptional dry fly fishing right now. If you read this column enough, then you already know my recipe—start with a size 24 fore and aft on 7x earlier in the day when the hatch is sparse, switch over to a midge cluster like a Sprout midge or a size 20 or 22 Griffith's gnat once the clusters start to form and the fish key in on them, then back to the old fore and aft when it tapers off. Depending on where you are on the river, you may have to throw on a olive or gray comparadun or an Adams pattern if the BWOs come off. Mix well, serve immediately, just like Martha's squash stuffing. If you decide to give it a go, you won't be disappointed with the quality of the fishing, just be prepared to share some water and plan on using your best fishing etiquette, whether it's offered in return, or not. There's still enough fish and enough water out here for everyone, no need to crowd your neighbor. If you would like to book a guide, or need lodging, my suggestion is to call now, they're filling up fast.

Jay's Fishing Reports

Books by
Jay Walden
Can be purchased on Amazon or in our fly shop.

Jay's Fishing Report  

To our faithful fishing report readers, 

Here's a way to get your rainbow trout fix 'til you are able to hit the San Juan again-- available online only

Check each style out--there are a variety of colors, fabrics & sizes to enjoy.

Special thanks to designer & artist, Matt Zudweg 

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As a small aside and attempt at shameless self-promotion, there was an article featured  on Flyfisherman Magazine's website written by yours truly about the 60th anniversary of Abe's Fly Shop that can be accessed through the following link: Abe's Anniversary. Hope you can make it out this week. If you would like more information or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. 

Abe's Fly Shop Turns 60 -

Watercolor by Tim Oliver                                          Photos Courtesy of Abe Chavez


Jay's Past Reports:  

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