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  • Jay Walden


I had an old aluminum driftboat that I bought from a friend for 50 bucks, after her neighbors moved out and abandoned it in her yard. My best friend Andrew and I used to row it up to the north end of Vallecito Lake during late spring and fish the shallows up there for pike, mainly because we had nothing better to do with our spare time when all the rivers were too blown out with runoff, for trout. We caught fish up there tossing big streamers, and it was fly fishing; although, just barely. Anyway, it was getting on toward dusk one evening by the time we took the boat out and headed back to my house in Bayfield. We hadn't gone a mile or two, when I spotted a guy walking with his back to us, down our side of the highway, so I cut over to the middle to give him some room along the shoulder, in case he hadn't heard us coming. As we passed alongside him, Andrew and I both got a better look, and the conversation stopped, and both our jaws dropped. Now, to this day, I don't really know what this guy was doing, but I swear to you that he wasn't wearing a stitch of clothes, other than a pair of tennis shoes, and he was walking at a pace that suggested that this wasn't his first time out in public sans clothing; or at the very least, he wasn't aware that he'd forgot to put on his walking shorts before he left home. A minute or so went by before I'd regained my composure enough to manage any attempt at speech and all that came out was, "What the—did you see that?" Andrew, equally flabbergasted, replied, "Yes, yes I did. After a few more miles with only silence between us, I looked over and asked him, " What do you think that was, Skinwalker?" "Guy must have lost a poker bet," was all he said. I don't like to think of myself as really being that old, at least, not yet; but I have seen some things in my time. I've seen a lot of things and I don't tell you this to impress you; but rather to impress upon you, that if you're looking for adventure in your life—you gotta get out, it ain't gonna come and find you on the couch. Which leads me to a fishing report. At present, the flows are just over 400 cfs, with gin clear water conditions. It's still the small midge game here, for the most part; although, I have been able to pull up some fish before and after the hatch on some bigger terrestrials like smaller versions of Chernobyl ants and PMXs, by targeting fish that are holding in shallow water. As the hatch gets going, my repertoire has been Morgan's Midges, Fore and Afts, then Sprout Midges, in that order, adjusting to the intensity of the hatch. My best fishing has been in the afternoons, up until late evening; but then again, I've only been fishing dries. If you know me, then you already knew that. Based on the bug activity, I gotta think, that the same principle is going to apply to nymphing. From all the reports I'm hearing, it's larva and pupa patterns in the earlier part of the day and mixing in some small (26) emergers once the fish start rolling. Cream and red for the larva, and predominately black for the pupa and emerger patterns. If you are fishing anywhere in the lower river, add some Johnny Flashes, Foamwings, RS2s, and Rootbeers. There are a few, but very few, baetis adults on some days, but not enough, in my opinion, to start fishing baetis dries just yet. The weather Tuesday looks to be overcast and cooler, with a chance of rain, which is perfect BWO weather, so I'd carry a few along just in case. Overall, the river is fishing well right now and outside of a few afternoon thundershowers from time to time, the weather has been pretty fantastic— just right for an adventure. This should be a great week to check out the Juan, especially after Monday, when most of the Labor Day crowd heads home. If you would like more information or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. Fishing 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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