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  • Jay Walden


''April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain"— T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land. I stood outside in the darkness last night, staring at a crescent moon hanging just over the northern horizon, thinking of just those words. It felt comfortable out there in just a t-shirt, something I hadn't been able to do in a while. Spring can have that effect on you; give you hope for things to come, lighten your spirits from the languid days of winter that can be as dull as dishwater. For me it is a way-station in that netherworld that is neither winter nor summer, though—a passageway to the brighter, warmer days I love so well. I know enough about the weather out here during this time of year to view the first few blades of green grass or the appearance of a budding tree, with cautious optimism. I've had my heart broken and my hopes dashed one too many times by getting myself too caught up in it, so I've learned to take the good days it has to offer; all the while knowing, that it can turn on you like a jilted lover and only make summer a thing too distant to comprehend. This week, I'll take those days that bounce back between 50 and 70 degrees and try to make the most of them, but my heart will be with the days that I know are bound to follow, the days when I'll be able to cast big terrestrial patterns to hungry trout in crystal clear water. In the meantime, here's what you can expect for the short term. The present flow is 474 cfs with visibility of around 2 feet or so. There are some so-so midge hatches on certain days that seem to have no rhyme or reason other than if you are going to see them at all they are going to happen between the hours of 12 and 3 pm. The latest, and the big news has been the appearance of some decent baetis hatches, especially on the overcast days, which, it appears, we will see several of this week. This has been generally confined to the lower section of the river, meaning from Texas Hole, down to the takeout at Crusher. Based on my recent experiences, it's an afternoon thing that gets going around 1:30 or 2:00 and lasts for about an hour and a half, although you can stretch it out and still fish BWO dry patterns for a while after the hatch dies off, as long as you target whatever fish you can find in shallow water that can get a good look at a size 22 comparadun or a parachute Adams. If you are out earlier in the day, the good old tried and true combo of red and cream larva, teamed with a midge pupa pattern is hard to beat. With the increased activity of the baetis, it's a good idea to have some RS2s, foamwings, and rootbeers if you plan to fish anywhere in the lower river as these nymphs start their drift out of the riffles to heard toward their emergence stage. Late afternoons, if the wind cooperates, I have seen quite a few fish rolling on midge emergers and have been able to take several fish on Morgan's midges, although I imagine the more productive way to fish this activity would be to put a midge emerger like a crystal flash emerger just under the surface to a working fish. I'm just partial to fishing anything that can still be considered a dry fly and will do about anything it takes to keep an indicator off my leader, but that's just me. The way the Morgan's midge rides in the water with trailing shuck just below the surface seems to work well enough. As a side note, the latest word from the BOR is that the spring high water release will most likely begin in mid-May, although that date is not definite yet and they have promised to have a more clearly defined timetable in a few weeks. Overall, the fishing is pretty good right now on the Juan and I think it just gets better with each passing week, although the best is yet to come. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more info, 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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