Late October

October 24, 2016

The curtain time of the year, that's how the writer Timothy Egan describes it. Each day I see another subtle, small change signaling the changing of the seasons. Cooler nights and mornings; sunlight, softer now as it comes through my window at the start of each day, the leaves of the giant cottonwoods turning from gold to brown, all harbingers of the inevitability of nature. It's a short season here, fall, but it is; no doubt, one of the most beautiful. I only wish it could last a few months longer. The only recourse, it seems, is to make the most of each of these days we are blessed with, to get out, push all else aside at the expense of immersing ourselves into the macrocosm of the outdoors. Live it, breathe it, feel the cool wind on your face, the warmth of the sun on your back, and hear the sound of water, liquid life, as it passes your wadered legs; hurriedly, toward its final destination. It is yet a moment in time, that cannot be recaptured, unequivocally precious.


If you are looking at making a trip to the San Juan this week as part of your foray into autumn, you are going to be blessed with some beautiful weather. The daytime highs will be in the 70s with lots of clear skies and sunshine. As fall weather goes, you can't beat it. The fishing? Challenging, but good, meaning there are lots of feeding fish out there, but they're not going to just jump into your pocket. First of all, you've got crystal clear water conditions, with flows around 450 cfs. Great for wading just about anywhere you want to go, but also conditions that tend to make the fish a little more wary of brightly colored indicators, and fly lines, and leaders. Bear in mind, too, that these fish have seen more pressure over the past month than probably any other time over the entire year. Therein, lies the challenge. Your presentations will have to be your best, no room for sloppy casts, or poor drifts. Use everything available to you for an advantage—fluorocarbon leaders and tippet, small, white, or muted colored indicators. 6x for nymphs, 7x for dries. No lining fish, keep it across and down.


As far as hatches go, they're not prolific, but they're not non-existent, either. Expect to see midges become active around mid-day, until late afternoon or evening, river wide. There are some BWOs coming off around the same time, with most being concentrated in the lower sections of the river. The intensity varies from day to day and the duration of the hatch doesn't last as long as the midges. For nymph selections, red larva and small midge pupa and emerger patterns in gray and black. Sizes 24 and 26 for the pupa and emergers. The baetis nymphs are becoming more active from Texas Hole downriver, and RS2s, chocolate and gray foam wings, and fluff baetis are working well. If you are seeing heads, it'll be pretty easy to determine if they are rising to midges or baetis, as the BWOs; although small, have that unmistakable profile on the surface. I like fore and afts in gray and black, size 24 and 26 for the midges, and olive Comparaduns or an Adams in size 24 and 22 for the baetis.


The river has been busy over this past month, but the crowds are now starting to taper off, especially during the earlier part of the week. Hope you can make it out while we still are experiencing this wonderful fall weather. Give us a call at 505-632-2194 if you would like more information or would like to book a guided fly fishing trip.

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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 

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:  

December 8, 2019

It was one of those, "Here, hold my beer," moments. You know, one of those things you do that seems kinda dumb at the moment, but actually turns out to be really cool. This past Monday, I caught a bunch of fish on a size 24 gray adult midge on a 7x tippet. There were fish rising to midges all...

December 1, 2019

Everything was going fine until a fist-fight broke out over the last of the broccoli casserole. If you're reading this, then congratulations—you've managed to survive another Thanksgiving dinner with the in-laws and outlaws. And here we are and it's December already— boy, how the time seems to...

November 24, 2019

When was the last time you planned a fishing trip? Well, shame on you. I should probably probably offer you some motivation at this point to get up off of the couch and put the remote down for a moment and start packing your wader bag, that should really be my job here. Maybe what you read bel...

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Call us & book at 505. 632. 2194