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  • Jay Walden

T - 1 month...

Buckle in friends and neighbors, it's gonna be a bumpy ride. We've got about one month left of fishing here, before the water goes to 5,000 cfs for the big spring release that will start sometime around early May. This interim period is going to be fraught with all the foibles that normally come with early spring weather in the Rockies which create less than favorable conditions, much to the chagrin of fishermen. It's just the way it goes, no amount of complaining or whining about it is going to change Mother Nature. You don't necessarily have to like it, but the time has come to "shut up and fish." The wind is going to blow and the water is a little murkier than it was a couple weeks ago and it looks like those two things aren't going to take any dramatic changes toward improvement any time soon. If the San Juan is your destination, you're going to have to make some adaptations. The conditions I'm referring to are double digit wind speeds every day for as far as my weather app can see into the future and water clarity that has dropped down to about two feet, possibly due to more runoff entering the lake, and a consistent chop on the water, caused by said wind. That said, the best times to fish in the upcoming days are going to be during the earlier part of the day before the wind comes up and the best method to catch fish is going to be with nymphing techniques and dead-drifting small streamer patterns. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the brighter, flashier stuff should work a little better right now, due to the decreased visibility, and most of the fishing reports I am hearing seem to bear that out. This means a size 22 or 18 red larva or a princess nymph, trailed with a cream larva or a pupa pattern like a bling midge. There will be some opportunities to go to some smaller emerger patterns fished in the film on some days, when the wind permits, especially around mid-day when the bugs have become more active and you start to see some fish rolling on the surface. Fortunately, the hatches have begun to pick up in intensity, even to the point that there are some midge clusters out there, but this has generally happened from noon till about three o'clock when the wind hits it's peak, so the dry fly fishing has been a bit tough for the past couple weeks. Lest I sound like it's all gloom and doom out there, just know that it ain't so. There are still plenty of fish being caught, it's just that this unsettled spring weather isn't going to be your friend and make things easy. The good news is that even on the worst of days, the San Juan generally fishes better than most rivers in the west, this time of year. That, and it's likely to be about 10 to 15 degrees warmer here, than anywhere else you could go. If you fish this river a lot, then you know that there are days when things seem almost too easy. I imagine if it were always that way, then I'd consider this whole fishing business thing, less than challenging and probably become bored with it. All waters have their less than stellar moments, where paying your dues from time to time is required, and really, I wouldn't want it any other way. 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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