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  • Jay Walden

Just one more cast...

Just one more cast. I can't tell you how many times I've said it. Sometimes it's because the fishing is just too good to leave and you feel like you'd being doing a disservice to the fish gods, to just walk away. Even after catching fish after fish for hours, there's still that one fish rising on the next run over that you just can't get out of your head, and maybe; just maybe, while there's still barely enough light to possibly see your fly or your indicator, there's still a chance you could land just one more fish before calling it a day. And sometimes—that happens. And then there's the other scenario where you're struggling and couldn't buy fish to save your life. You're desperate, you've gotta do something, no matter how foolhardy it seems, because you can't reel up and go back to the car with that smell of skunk permeating through every pore of your skin. One more cast—when you need it the most, that's when it rarely works. My friend and I were fishing the Taylor River years ago and I was having a particularly hard day. If my memory serves me right, I don't think I'd hooked a single fish all day and to add insult to injury, I'd watched him catch and release several fish in the pool just above me. It was getting late, the light was fading from the canyon, I could smell a faint odor of skunk wafting through the air. I was about to concede to defeat as I walked up to where he was fishing and he asked if I was ready to leave. I thought about it—I thought about it hard, really hard, and then I stepped up on that rock—the one with the top barely sticking out of the water, just below the bridge, river right, the one that's hard to stand on with cleats on your boots because part of it is shaped like a pyramid but if you balance yourself just right, you've got a good vantage point for a cast and good drift into the hog trough. I stepped up on it and I said. "Just one more cast." My friend, being the skeptic that he always is, and no doubt based on my earlier performance that day, said, "That never works!" As my indicator drifted down the run and reached the drop-off just past the rock, it made a sudden, violent, surge toward the bottom of that abyss that I have never been able to determine in depth, and I came tight to, and landed, one of those Taylor hogs. "I don't believe it," he said. After I released that fish, I stepped back up on the same rock and said, "Just one more." The cast was the same, the drift identical, and in that fading light, just as my indicator reached the exact spot as before, it went straight for the bottom, and it was— fish on again—another big fish, really big fish, that I landed. I grinned as I released it and told my friend, "See, sometimes it really does work." Now if you're coming to the Juan this week, you're more likely to experience the first scenario, where the fishing is just too good to leave, that than last one. There have been some phenomenal midge hatches, especially in the upper river that begin around mid-day and last right into the point where it's too dark to see anymore and will have you saying, just one more cast. I've been fishing size 24 fore and afts and Morgan's midges as the hatch warms up and the fish are picking off single adult midges, them switching over to a solid black sprout midge in size 22 and 20, once the clusters start to form, and going back to the small stuff later in the evening when the clusters taper off. It has been nothing short of fantastic. Earlier in the day there's not a lot of surface activity, so if you're out there then, you're better off with pupa and larva patterns in dark colors, size 24 is pushing the upper limits for hook size. Around 11:00 you'll start to see some fish working subsurface and that's the time to start working some emerger patterns like crystal flash, ju-jus, and scintillas, size 26s and even 28s are not going to be considered too small. Painful, I know, but they work. The water is crystal clear and the flow is just under 400 cfs, so 6x fluorocarbon for the nymphs and 7x for the drys will help. Some of the fish that are cruising in the skinnier water before the hatch starts are showing some interest in terrestrials; mainly ants, but once the hatch gets going, it's all a midge game. My best fishing has been in the afternoons and evenings, so pack a lunch and some bug spray, if you come. If you would like more information or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. 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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