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  • Jay Walden


It all starts with the rain; that's how it starts. One day it's blazing hot summer and then sometime around the first or second week of August it rains. I'm not talking about a passing thundershower, I mean one of those slow, steady, soaking rains that can last for 24 hours. The kind where you never see the sun for the entire day. It rains and the temperature drops ten degrees and never makes it back again, and the light now becomes more softer, the sun less harsh. I rains like that and you know that summer is on it's way out; the seasons have begun to change and there is reflection on how you have spent those days, and regret if you have squandered any of them. There is a renewed sense of urgency in man, beast, and nature for accomplishment before it changes yet again. For me it is a clarion call to spend more time on the water as the geese begin their flight, honking with a different resonance, a more insistent tone of purpose that reflects transition, as the chamisa blooms to cast about it's seed to propagate its species, as the elk and mule deer form their bachelor groups before the next season arrives and they become mortal enemies- all of us feeling, knowing, there is an imperativeness in our needs. So with a renewed sense of purpose I go fishing as each day grows shorter; if only by seconds, each one counts more to me now, somehow. If you're planning on spending some time here on the San Juan you can expect to reap some just rewards for your efforts. The flows have been lowered to the 400 cfs range and the water is crystal clear. There are some good midge hatches that start around mid-day and last throughout the late afternoon and evening. With the decrease in flows expect to see more water open up for sight fishing opportunities, when the deeper runs where fish have been holding become shallower, exposing more targets. August generally translates to the more technical aspects of fishing the Juan. Most of these fish ave been fished over quite heavily by now and the bugs are small which means those fish aren't the easy pushovers they were earlier in the season with higher water, more cover, and less pressure. Still, they can be had with lighter tippets, smaller flies, better presentations, and smaller indicators. I like it because it becomes more of a challenge to my skill set. If you're looking for fly advice, think larva and pupae in the mornings in size 24, around 11:00 in most parts of the river you'll start to see some emerger activity pick up that will last throughout the rest of the day and you'll want to add ju-jus, scintillas, and crystal flash midges in size 24 and 26. Once you start seeing snouts and the fish are on the dries, try fore and afts and Morgan's midges in size 24 and black adult midges in size 26-7X tippet helps tremendously. Unless we get a cool, overcast day, I wouldn't expect to see BWOs become any part of the dry fly equation any time soon, although the nymphs are present and shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you are fishing anywhere from the Texas Hole and below. Hope you can get out and experience the remaining part of summer and remember that fall is also a great time to fish the San Juan. If you have questions or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. Report by Jay Walden

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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