• Jay Walden


I don't know if this happens to everyone, but I imagine it probably happens to most. I just turned sixty recently and was struck by the odd fact that I'm not going to live forever. Maybe sixty seemed more like some kind of milestone because it's a nice, even, round number, but it certainly seemed to pack much more of a wallop to my psyche, than say, fifty-eight, or fifty-nine, for some reason. Anyway, it got me to thinking about a quote from "Shawshank Redemption," by the character Andy Dufresne, " I guess it all comes down to a simple choice: Get busy living, or get busy dying." Now I've been busy the last couple months raising a new pup and I haven't had a lot of time to devote to fishing, but he's coming along pretty good right now and needs a little less of my time, so just last night I came to the conclusion that I'm going to try to make this a break out year for me on the fishing front. I'm going to try and make the most of it, I'm going to try to come out of the chute this spring like one of those pissed-off rodeo bulls, I'm gonna fish every opportunity with an aggressive attitude like the Guns of Navarone, I'm gonna make the most of every day on the water and fish like I mean it until I'm exhausted. This is the year of the Triple Lutz—hell, maybe even the Triple Lindy off the high dive, no quarter will be given, no mercy will be shown. I intend to" Not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light." Fish be forewarned—I'm not gonna end this year with the thought that, "I could have been somebody, I could have been a contender." I bringing a new attitude every time I string up a rod this year—watch out. Whew! I feel better already, just talking about it.

Now that I've got that off my chest, here's what's happening on the San Juan. Other than a couple of windy days (two of which happened to fall on my days off) we had more warm weather here, just like we've seen for most of this winter. This coming week it looks like it will still remain warm, although there's a chance of showers on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, still, temperatures in the 50's and near 60's in February are a pretty sweet thing. As far as flows go, we're at 364 cfs and likely to stay at that level for a while, so the wading and boating access is still great. The water clarity is fair for this time of year, with visibility to about a foot-and-a-half, so, not fantastic, but better than some years past. The good news is that it is good enough for some dry fly fishing, so that's good enough for me. Maybe it's because the water has cleared a bit, but a lot of fish seem to be off the bigger, brighter, "junk" stuff and back onto the normal, smaller San Juan patterns—24 and 26 midge patterns and 24 baetis patterns. The best fishing has been from around 11:00 to 3:00 with some decent midge hatches that have some fish feeding on top; as well as, higher in the water column on emergers. On the overcast and rainy days (if we get them this week) I wouldn't be surprised to see some BWOs coming off.. There's still a lot of stockers around, so be prepared to catch some smaller fish along with the ones you've grown accustomed to landing on your San Juan trips in the past.

As an update on the Simon Canyon/Crusher Hole stream improvement project, it looks like things are moving along nicely. The boat ramp area is nearing completion and outside of some rock work that should wrap up this week, it's all but done. The in-stream work from the canyon down to Crusher is done and the heavy equipment is out of the water. Tree and shrub plantings should begin this week, followed by seeding the next, and word has it that the area should be open to traffic by March 1st. The boat ramp and parking improvement slated for the Rainbow Lodge area just began this week, so that will probably be one of the last areas to finish up. I'm excited to take the new area for a test drive; it'll be interesting to fish some new water—maybe try out my new attitude stuff down there— and I'm sure a lot of folks are gonna appreciate a much needed improvement to the takeout at Crusher Hole. Well, let's get out there this week folks and take advantage of spring-like weather in February. If you would like more info or need to book a guide, 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 - FlyFisherman.com

Watercolor by Tim Oliver                                          Photos Courtesy of Abe Chavez


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