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  • Jay Walden

New Year

“When it occurs to a man that nature does not regard him as important, and that she feels she would not maim the universe by disposing of him, he at first wishes to throw bricks at the temple, and he hates deeply the fact that there are no bricks and no temples. Any visible expression of nature would surely be pelleted with jeers,” Stephen Crane, The Open Boat.

I have been attacked by a mountain lion, nearly run over by a charging bear, and almost stomped to death by a crazy cow moose. In Florida, I narrowly escaped an attack from a 10-foot alligator that would surely brought about my end. I have been stabbed once and chased around a kitchen table another time by someone wielding a butcher knife. I have had two loaded guns pointed at me on different occasions, by two separate people who had their fingers on the triggers. I rolled a car one time—end over end, then side to side three times and crawled out while it was on its top with gasoline pouring in, with only a bruise on my shoulder. I have a metal spike that was driven 5 inches into my femur by a hammer, that now functions as one of my hip bones and a piece of plastic mesh in my groin where muscle and sinew used to be, that holds my guts in. I have had the mumps, chicken-pox, whooping cough, rheumatic fever, the flu, and had my heart broken a time or two. Some folks call me lucky, but I believe in God and know that he will eventually take me at a time when he sees fit. I fish every chance I get, like it might be my last day on the water.

Today is the beginning of a new year and a time when a lot of folks reflect on— just what the hell happened with the last twelve months of my life? How did that go by so fast? What did I do that was memorable? It is also a time for resolutions—a vow or vows to do things differently—an occasion to make better use of your time, a conscious effort for creating more of the memories that matter at the expense of those that don’t. For me that is pursuing my passion, fly fishing, with more vigor. A more concerted application of my efforts to expend my time left on this planet, doing the thing I love most. Selfish? Hedonistic? Perhaps, but the last time I checked, the guarantee of tomorrow did not exist, and in the words of that famous fly fishing author Sparse Grey Hackle, “There are no fish rising in the graveyard.”

If you share my passion for the sport, then this week would be an easy week to blow off a fishing trip to the San Juan. The temperature here isn’t supposed to reach the 40-degree mark for the remainder of the week. It’s supposed to rain and snow on several of those days. The water is a bit off color from the lake turning over and the visibility is down to about two feet. And there’s that Christmas tree that you still gotta get rid of. You gotta get caught up on all those important things you pushed aside for the holidays. Don’t do it. Don’t find excuses—don’t look for the reasons you can’t do it—look for the reasons you can. All that stuff, will still be there when you return, it never goes away.

If you’re out, the fishing is still good despite the decreased clarity of the water. There are some fish rising to midges during the middle part of the day, although it’s best to target the ones in the shallower water so they’ll get a better look at your fly. If you’re nymphing, now’s the time to try some of the bigger, brighter stuff like small egg patterns, flashback pheasant tails, princess nymphs, desert storms, and I’ve heard good reports on red larva, and scintilla midges. There’s a lot of little stockers out there right now, so if you’re looking for better fish, target the areas that are further away from the parking lots where the stocking truck has access. Don’t overlook streamers, especially when teamed up with a trailer like a red larva. Sure, there’s better times to fish the Juan, you could wait until it’s 80-degrees and sunny, but all that time in those months in between, is time that you will never see again. Do it—there will be no regrets— this is the year of Revolution, not Resolution, take no prisoners. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more information, give us a call at 505-632-2194.

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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