- Jay Walden
First day of Spring
Look at that—the first day of spring, and only a few weeks ago, we thought it would never get here. It's been a long, tough winter—we're ready. For the next couple of weeks, this river is going to see some increased pressure from more fishermen. Spring break and temperatures that are 10 to 20 degrees higher than what our neighbors to the north are experiencing, are gonna drive some people out of the woodwork with the San Juan as their intended destination. You can't blame them. Factor in the start of a little runoff in some of those freestones up there and they aren't left with a lot of choices. It's okay, we've got enough water and enough fish to go around for everyone. As far as conditions go, flows here are in the 400 cfs range and are likely to stay at that level for the near future. The visibility is three feet-plus, which is about as good as it gets for this time of year. If you're coming in the next few weeks, expect the company of the wind, it's also that time of year again, as well. More than likely, that's going to last right up until we see high water in May, it's just an unfortunate by-product of spring in New Mexico. The quality of the fishing is what I would call average to good, with the majority of fish being taken by nymphing and dead-drifting streamers. The hatches haven't been anything to brag about for sometime now, consisting mainly of a few midges around mid-day that produce a few rising fish on days where the wind isn't too bad to put those fish down, and those sort of days have been far and few lately. Ordinarily, this is about the time of year when we start to see some BWOs start to show up, but so far they've been about as scarce as hen's teeth. I imagine all these bluebird skies we have been experiencing, hasn't helped their cause. I'm not writing that one off, just yet, and I'm still carrying a few olive bodied comparaduns around in my box, and will continue to do so for the next month. For the rest of your fly selections, your first choices should be larva patterns in red, orange, and cream. You'll also want to have a few pupa patterns, like mono-midges, bling-midges, and zebra-midges in size 24 and 26. I wouldn't hesitate to throw a few small egg patterns into the mix, as well. Small streamers, in black, olive, and tan with a larva or pupa pattern as a trailer can also be effective. In the event that you do catch the conditions just right and find some rising fish, you'll probably find that they are pretty selective feeders right now, probably due to the scarcity of bugs on the surface. Size 24 fore and afts work most of the time, but I have had to resort to size 26 black adult midge patterns for the really tough ones. 7x is a must for the dries. Well, hope you can make it out soon. Expect some company on the water, especially on the weekends and some wind that can get downright ugly on some afternoons. Still, the San Juan's not a bad place to be compared to a lot of other places you could fish this time of year. If you would like more information,or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.