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  • Jay Walden


I don't know how this whole business about fishermen being liars got started, but it's been around long enough to have worked it's way into modern folklore and literature enough, that it seems to have now passed from the theory stage to unmitigated fact. So much so, that one of America's top writers of the sport, recently named his latest book along the same lines of this, so called, doctrine. Now I'm not here to defend my fellow practitioners of the sport. I've spent enough time working in a fly shop to know that position is positively, untenable. I've heard my fair over whoppers, over time. I would suggest; however, that the phenomenon is not limited to the sport of fly fishing alone, but rather applies to any contest where the success, or lack there of— for that matter, is proportionably related to numbers or size. Politics and golf, come to mind. Succinctly, anywhere bragging rights and men are involved, the truth, can generally be called into question. With all that and my reputation in mind, I'll attempt a fishing report with as much candor as possible, which is another way to say that it's easy to write about things when they're great, and not so much, when they aren't. And right now, they aren't. For starters, I'd like to say that the fishing is a bit tough, just now. Not impossible, not cataclysmic-gone to hell in a hand-basket tough, but tough. The kind of tough, where winter finally breaks and the sun comes out all warm and you expect the quality of fishing to match the weather, and it doesn't. So here's the deal— there's a few more bugs moving around out there, but not a lot. Not enough for good dry fly fishing, so that part's out for a while. As for the nymphing—meh, it's okay. Most of the fish seem to be laid up right now, hanging in deeper water, unwilling to move much for the few bugs that are moving through the water column. It's a sort of focus mainly on larva pattern kinda thing and get your drift as near as possible to perfect, time. Red and cream larva in sizes 22 to 18 seem to be the big producers, and midges in dark colors from size 22 to 26. I think the more important part of the equation right now is putting your fly on the nose of a fish in a fashion that looks realistic. Anything less, is subject to refusal. A lot of times this river can be overly generous and hand out rewards and consolation prizes that don't equate to the amount of effort involved. Now is not one of those times, you're gonna have to work for your fish. It'll change, it'll get easier, I just can't tell you when. As far as conditions go, the water level was just reduced down to 450 cfs, but there has been no appreciable change to the quality of the fishing. The visibility is about two-and-a-half feet, not great, but not bad for February, either. The best fishing seems to be coming from the hours between 11 and 3:00 pm and the slower part of the day, before and after those times, lending itself to fishing streamers on dead drifts for results. As the days become longer and the temperature warms, that window between 11 and 3 will widen. Overall, the fishing isn't that bad, but just because the weather suddenly feels like April on some days, you should know that no one has seemed to convince the fish of that, just yet. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more information, 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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