Growing up, I had a neighbor that was so ugly that his mom had to tie a pork-chop around his neck, just to get the dog to play with him. That's kinda how the weather's gonna be this coming Monday and Tuesday for my days off. Now we've gotten a little spoiled so far this winter, as far as the weather goes— with lots of days of sunshine, little or no wind, and temperatures in the 50 and 60 degree range, so I guess a little bit of real winter weather isn't going to kill us. It is still February, by the way. The first two days of the week are going to be the worst, which stands to reason, because I'm off from work and I really want to fish, but I think I'm going to have to draw the line on thirty-three mile per hour winds and rain, and snow on Monday and that high of thirty-two degrees on Tuesday. It seems we all have a line which we will not cross, even in pursuit of a passion we hold so dearly.
As far as the rest of this month goes, it's going to be cooler that what we've become accustomed to, but doable from a fishing standpoint, although it doesn't look like we'll cross that fifty degree mark for a high, until March arrives. Besides all that, here's the rest on the fishing conditions for the San Juan: As of Tuesday, this past week, the flows were dropped to around 300 cfs, no doubt in a effort to conserve a dwindling water supply in our reservoir that has only seen a trickle of inflow during a very dry winter, not to mention the beginning of water now being drawn off for irrigation to fill Cutter Dam for the NAPI Project. I would venture to say that unless there is some cataclysmic rain or snow event from now through this summer, we are most likely going to see the flow levels here hold between 300 and 500 cfs throughout the biggest part of the year. I'll add that the chance of a release of high water this spring is hovering somewhere around that proverbial snowflake in hell analogy. At present, the snowpack level in the San Juan Mountains is at thirty-one percent of last year and forty-nine percent of normal. It would take snowfall of two hundred and twenty-nine percent of normal between now and April 6th, which is the peak date—just to get us to average. To give you some perspective—Lake Powell is projected to receive less than half of it's average inflow this spring due to low snow levels in Colorado. Anyway, it's not the end of the world yet, so don't panic—the San Juan fishes just fine at 300 and 500 cfs— it won't be time to really worry, unless we have another winter like this one, next year. As far as water clarity goes, it's not too bad compared to normal winter standards; with visibility somewhere around two feet or so, I would say. Good enough for some fish to rise to midges, which has been happening most days, between 11:00 and 3:00. If you are nymphing, red larva and desert storms are two must have patterns right now. Beyond that, the standard San Juan midge patterns like mono-midges, blings, and crystal flash, all in black, are going to put fish in the net. If egg patterns are your thing—go with white. Be prepared to catch a lot of fish in the 10 to 13 inch range, because there's a lot of them out there right now. If you're looking for size vs. numbers, you'll stand a better chance of getting into some bigger fish by bumping streamers and small bunny leeches in black, white, and olive, off the bottom. As a final note, it looks like the stream improvement project from Simon Canyon to Crusher Hole will be wrapping up in a couple weeks and that area is probably going to be opened up, along with the new boat ramp, by March 1st. Hang in there folks, spring is on the way. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more information, give us a call at 505-632-2194.