A friend told me recently that all you have to do to be a successful writer is, "Drink a lot and feel sorry for yourself." She's never struck me as the type to be intentionally virulent or cruel, but she is, at times, brutally honest, so I guess her point wasn't totally lost on me. All in all, she's probably on to something, there. With the recent warming trend we're seeing, there has been a return of my old nemesis and scourge of dry fly fishermen the world over—the wind, so on certain days when the air is filled with dust and the tumbleweeds are blowing by, and I'd rather be out fishing, it's easy to find myself sliding down that slippery slope of self pity. The drinking part always seems to take on a life of it's own irrespective of the weather; however, I have found that the not fishing part seems to only exacerbate the issue. There is; of course, a certain amount of gratification that comes with overcoming the elements; or for that matter, any obstacle in life, so catching fish in the wind, can, on occasion, leave you with that satisfied feeling that you have poked your thumb into the eye of your opponent. However, having your ass battered by an incessant foe and untangling wind knots, and retrieving your flies from the willows all day, can seemingly negate all that, which is why I have adopted a strict policy of not going out on days when the weather report shows wind speeds over twenty miles per hour— unless I have traveled a good distance to fish somewhere; in which case, you just have to suck it up. I have no doubt that my adversary and I will continue to be at odds for the duration and wouldn't rule out the option of his spoiling my grand departure from this world, by blowing over the funeral tent, upon my demise.
The good part of this week on the San Juan is that it's going to be warm. The bad part will be the wind, especially on Monday and Tuesday, and again on Sunday, which should come as no surprise, as two of those days are my days off. Anyway, it's April and the wind always blows here in April, so I'll let you decide how you want to deal with it and establish your own guidelines and protocols concerning thresholds you will not cross. My advice is to get out early when the wind is generally calmer and make the call later in the day as to what you will, or will not, tolerate. As for the fishing—it's been pretty good lately. The flow was bumped to 400 cfs here, which was hardly noticeable from it's 350 cfs level. The water clarity is around two feet or so, plenty clear enough to sight fish in some places and also clear enough for rising fish. There's been some midges coming off around 11:00 and lasting throughout the afternoon and some BWOs in the lower river around 2:30, however that's about time the wind gets going so fishing dries can be spotty, so you may be better off with some emerger patterns and an indicator, depending on what the weather does. If you are nymphing, larva and pupa patterns are working best in the earlier part of the day—red and cream on the larva, and switching to olive and black emergers in 24 and 26 as the fish move up in the water column later—around lunchtime. If you fish the lower sections of the river—Munoz, Durangler's Corner, Last Chance, you should have some RS2's Johnny Flash, Rootbeers, or other baetis imitations. One last thing I'm going to throw out there is that if you are feeling experimental, we're coming up on that window when these fish will begin to take some bigger terrestrials, so it may behoove you to toss some ant and hopper patterns, especially if it's windy—which more than likely it will be. Hope you can make it out this week. If you would like to book a guide or need more info, give us a call at 505-632-2194.