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  • Jay Walden


"There are few things in life that are dead center. Three of them are: 1955 Ford pickups, B.B. King, and dry-fly fishing."—John Gierach. I gotta say, he pretty much nailed it. In my opinion, it doesn't get much better than right now on the San Juan if you're looking to fulfill the third part of that quote. There's midge hatches that are going strong throughout the biggest part of the day and some fine BWO action starting around 1:00 pm and lasting until evening. That, and lots of fish on the rise. Oh yeah, and did I mention that the fall crowd of fair-weather fishermen, has pretty much thinned out, as well? This past Monday and Tuesday I got to experience a bit of it for myself, that is until I was struck by that old Walden curse, which guarantees that the windiest days of the entire week will always fall on my days off. If you don't believe me just track it for yourself on any weather website, you'll always see that squiggly wind icon next to a Monday or Tuesday (sometimes both)—my days to fish. If you're looking for good advice on when, and when not, to come out and fish, just avoid those days, and you'll be fine. Still, I caught fish, when I could manage to get my fly in front of them, and occasionally see it in those semi-hurricane conditions, but I couldn't help thinking of how much easier it would have been if the wind hadn't been blowing 30 miles per hour. Anyway, I'm resigned to the fact that, that's just my lot in life, some bad fish karma that's coming back in spades, for something I've done in life that apparently can't be changed. For the upcoming week, expect the gin clear water conditions to continue. The flows are around 430 cfs, and although the BOR has said they should be dropping anytime now to 350 cfs for the winter, I haven't seen an e-mail from them yet on just when that will happen. I wouldn't expect much impact on the fishing conditions, if and when that happens, if it's only an 80 cfs drop. The weather is supposed to take a change toward the cooler side mid-week with a chance of rain on Wed. and Thur. and temperatures in the high to mid- 40's, which should make for some fantastic baetis hatches, provided the rain isn't to heavy to fish the hatch. The only day that looks to be on the difficult side, looks to be Tuesday with winds around 25 mph, which should come as no surprise, to yours truly. Oh well, at least Monday looks nice. As far as fly choices it's the usual suspects with small dark midge patterns and baetis nymphs mixed in if you're fishing Texas Hole and below, if you prefer to fish under an indicator. For drys, I've been fishing Morgan's midges earlier in the morning, when the rises seem to be more on the emerger side, then going to the Fore and Aft in 24, once I start to see snouts instead of fins. Around 1:00, which will now actually be 12:00 with the time change, I've been heading down river to fish the baetis hatch and fishing comparaduns and cut-wing baetis patterns to rising fish until the late afternoon, when the hatch dies off, and the fish are back on the midges. I would suggest 6x fluorocarbon for the nymphs and 7x for the dries (mono should be fine in my opinion.) Well, time's a wastin' if you're not taking advantage of the last of this fall weather before winter arrives. If you need more info or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.

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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