Late March

March 25, 2018

     "Well, I'll be damned. " Those were the words of John Dillinger, as he was surrounded by Tucson lawmen after being forced from his hideout in the Hotel Congress by an accidental fire that started in the basement and spread to the third floor, where he was staying. I had the same reaction the other day when I looked at the calendar and noticed that the first day of Spring (this past Tuesday) had already come and gone. Seems Dillinger and his men were laying low in the Southwest after robbing a string of banks in the Midwest and Dakotas. Everything was going well until the fire broke out and a couple of his men tipped the firefighters twelve bucks to retrieve their luggage from the third floor. Turns out, twelve bucks in those days translates to about  two hundred and sixteen dollars in today's money, which is a pretty generous tip if you're trying to fly under the radar. Anyway, the tip aroused the firemen's suspicion and one of them remembered the gang member's mug shot from a detective magazine. In a matter of a few days, the whole group was rounded up. "Well, I'll be damned."


     So the fact that Spring had officially arrived without my lack of preparedness to formally usher it in, caught me a little off guard, but it did start me thinking about some important, early season fishing rituals that I need to start preparing for, before; they too, sneak up on me—like the caddis hatch on the Arkansas, warm enough weather to fish the Taylor, and the arrival of some big fish in the feeder creeks on some lakes just over the border. And then of course, there's the San Juan (my home water) and fish that begin to respond to big dry flies. Funny how you can spend all winter waiting around on things like this to happen, only to find they've snuck up on you. I guess, it's as good problem as any, to have. 


     Here on the San Juan this week, we'll have the typical mix of spring weather, which means sunshine, probably a day of rain, temperatures near seventy by the weekend, and; of course, some wind. The flows are around 350 cfs and the water clarity is about two feet. The fishing has been good, with some decent midge hatches from around 11:00 till about 4:00 and some BWOs showing up downriver in the afternoon. Nymphing with the typical small midge patterns like red and cream larva, bling and mono-midges, and crystal flash and ju-jus has been very effective. As a general rule, the larva and pupa patterns have been working better in the earlier part of the day and the emergers in the early afternoon until late afternoon when the water warms and the bugs become more active. Add in some baetis patterns like rootbeers, Johnny flash, W-d 40's and the like, if you plan to fish the lower quality water. I like Morgan's midges and fore and afts in size 24 for the midge dries, CDC olive body comparaduns and cut-wing baetis in size 22 and 24 for BWO imitations. 6x tippet for the nymphs and 7x for the dries will put you into more fish. The wind can be a spoiler on some days for the dry fly fishing and usually comes up in the afternoon just as the hatch seems to get going, so bring along some weights and indicators if you want to keep fishing for the full day. There are a few people fishing out there, so don't expect complete solitude. Warm weather in spring brings folks out of the woodwork, myself included. Hope you can make it out this week to give it a go. If you would like more information or need to book a guide trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.


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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 

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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:  

August 2, 2020

August, arriving hot and sultry like some Tennessee Williams play. Close your eyes and Navajo Dam seems to have been transported back to '47, to the French Quarter, Brando screaming from the street. Stella!! After a brief respite from the sweltering weather of early and mid-July where the tem...

July 26, 2020

Okay, I know, I skipped a week. Honestly, there was a good reason. Friday night before last, we finally got our first good rain here in months, and up until then, day after day, it had been nothing but hot, dry, and windy out here. Now, if you've been around the San Juan for a while, you know...

July 12, 2020

Well, here goes: As of tomorrow, July 13th, New Mexico's latest Public Health Order will take effect, and as a result, out of state visitors will no longer be allowed access to State Park property. Unfortunately, that means that unless you can demonstrate proof of New Mexico residency, you wil...

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Call us & book at 505. 632. 2194