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  • Jay Walden


There was a book by the author Stephen Covey making the circuit in the late 80's and early 90's that was required reading in a lot of corporations out there, called, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Now I've never been one of those people that goes in all that much for the self-help genre; although, lord knows, my life or lifestyle makes me a prime candidate for about all the help I can get, no matter where it comes from. Anyway, I read it because I was told to do so by the folks I worked for at the time along with everyone else in our management team, which came as a relief, because I figured that at least they weren't singling me out as the only one that might possibly need a little help in the effectiveness category. It actually turned out that the book wasn't really all that bad, and compared to some of the few, other, self-help books I've read—informative and useful. As a matter of fact, now that I'm thinking of it again, I don't think it would hurt me one bit to give it another read. One of the main takeaways for me was Habit #7 : Sharpen the Saw, and I started think about this the other day whilst trying to decide whether it would be a good use of my free time to go out and fish in less than perfect conditions (wind)—maybe throw a few dry flies to some fish that may or may not be rising and knowing that a lot of the fish I have been catching lately seem to have be on the rather, smallish size—overall, about every reason I could think of not to do it. That's about the time I started thinking about Habit # 7. Now if you've ever read this book or plan to read it in the future, this particular part of it will probably mean a lot of different things to a lot of people, but what I took from it was, that sometimes it pays to back away from what you're doing—stop sawing with the same old dull saw and take a little time away to "sharpen" it, so you can return later for better results. In other words, work on another particular skill set that will invigorate and inspire you that will give you more balance and self-renewal, that will; in turn, translate to more effectiveness in other areas of your life. Like pretty much everything else for me, all aspects and all roads lead me back to fly fishing—so I started thinking: So what, if you're fishing to little fish? You need to keep your skills sharp; if you can catch little fish now, you'll be more adept when the big fish opportunity arises later—if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. And so I went and sharpened the saw. All this; notwithstanding making myself a better fly fisherman, there's just something about being focused on the water and just one particular moment in time that makes everything else that may be troubling your mind melt away, and that's good for the soul; as well as, your noggin. Sharpen the saw.

Okay, here's the latest on the river. The current flow here is 356 cfs and the water visibility is around two feet, or so. While not prolific, there are some midges coming off from around 11:00 till 4:00 with some pretty decent dry fly activity. I've been using Morgan's midges in size 24 in the early and later stages of the hatches when most of the fish seem to be focused more on emerging insects, then switching to Fore and Afts during the heavier part of the hatch when they begin to focus on adults. While I'm on the topic of dries—there's been some pretty good hatches of BWOs lately in the lower river that begins around 2:30 with fish rising to them till around 4:00, but, as with most BWO hatches here, it takes about 30 minutes or more of a good sustained hatch of these until the fish seem to take interest of the adults on the water, so you won't likely see many fish rising to these little sailboats until around 3:00. This has always puzzled me, since these fish seem to eat the first little midge that seems to pop off, but my theory is there must be too much of a supply of subsurface BWO nymphs coming by to bother with the adults on top during the early part of the hatch. Perhaps when the supply of adults on top surpasses the easy pickins' down below, their interest is piqued. Like I said, it's a theory—and I've got a lot of them on a myriad of other subjects, as well. Anyway, the fishing has been pretty good lately and if you're nymphing, the standard San Juan patterns of midges in larva, pupa and emergers will serve you well, just keep them small-— size 24 and 26. Much of the baetis activity is confined to the lower end of the Quality Water section, so if you plan on fishing anywhere below the Texas Hole have some RS2s, Johnny Flash, Fluff Baetis, or Flashback Pheasant Tails. I like olive bodied Comparaduns in size 24 for the dry imitations of the BWOs. 6x tippet for the nymphs and 7x for the dries. As with every March here, expect to see the return of the wind on most days and with the exception of Monday (one of my days off) the temperatures will be in the 50s with a high of 64 on Thursday. The new boat ramp at Crusher Hole is completed and open; as well as, wade and boat access from Simon Canyon down to the takeout. Our restaurant is now open from 6:30 am till 9:00 pm every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. Later in the season, we'll most likely be open on Wednesday, too. Hope you can make it out this week. 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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