Early May 2018
There's a book out there called, All Flyfishermen Are Liars, that should be on every fisherman's reading list. The writer, John Gierach, has always been one of my favorites and I love his writing style and wit, but he really nails it with this one. I must admit though, that I'm a little jealous I didn't think of the title, first. Now, I really have never been one to stretch the truth when it comes to size and numbers—I went to an engineering school for my higher education, and although I graduated with a business degree, I gained a respect for the discipline of mathematics — that numbers don't lie—they are what they are. I have; however, on occasion, waffled on a few facts when pressured to reveal certain specific fishing locations, having felt completely within my rights to do so because there are just some things that are no one's business but my own. Besides, being evasive or elusive about secret fishing spots, doesn't seem to rank up there on the hierarchy of the whopper scale like adding three or four inches to every fish you catch or stretching your daily catch numbers by ten fish or so— that's just out and out messing with the exact science of numbers and it just ain't right. Perhaps, the Good Lord will share my distinctions on degrees of "untruthiness" when it comes my time to give an accounting of my misdeeds, although based on my Christian upbringing, I'm pretty sure he's the type that sees things in either black or white and doesn't deal in levels of dissimilitude. I guess my only hope is that my turn comes right after the guy that told me he caught fifteen fish in the Texas Hole, all over twenty inches, or the one that said he caught two rainbows at Munoz over thirty inches in the same afternoon, or at least maybe after the one that said he used to work for the CIA by sitting in rooms adjacent to detainees and reading their thoughts— that way my little waffle on the exact location of my last outing seems to pale in comparison. All in all, compared to some of my other shortcomings in life, answering for a slight prevarication to protect my sacred, special fishing locations, is likely going to fall in the category of misdemeanors and at least I didn't waltz into a fly shop and offer them willing like some of the guys I mentioned above. Apparently, having your favorite run all to yourself comes with a price.
If you are coming to the San Juan this week, here's what you can expect. First of all,the flow here is at 678 cfs. If anything, there could be a slight reduction in the flow as the weather warms and runoff in the Animas picks up. I wouldn't say that it's highly likely, but it could happen. Right now the Animas is running just over 345 cfs, below Durango, when the average for this time of year is around 1,600 cfs. If the level does drop here this week, it won't hurt the fishing any, it most likely will only improve it. One thing you won't see on the San Juan this year is a high water release where the water gets bumped up to 5,000 cfs for a month or more—we just don't have the water in the reservoir to do that this year. There will be a short bump to 2,000 cfs for a few hours on June 6th to help flush out the silt left behind from the stream improvement project below Simon Canyon. Mark that day off your calendar for fishing the Juan. The visibility right now is around two feet. Not great, but not terrible either. The fishing has been good for nymphing and streamers—not so good for dries after the water level went up from its previous 500 or 550 cfs level. I'm not so sure what happened with the bug hatches or if the increase flow is to blame (remember I said I went to an engineering school, but majored in business) but ever since the flows increased here, I've only seen a few rising fish and very few holding in shallow water or higher in the water column to target with a dry. That said, most of the fish seem to be holding and feeding deep. Target the current seams and the thalwegs of the runs with your offerings—this may require you to use a little more weight than you are accustomed to while fishing here. Larva patterns, especially in cream have been very effective. There also seems to be a lot of movement of Baetis nymphs right now, although there are not a lot of adults hatching. Grey RS2s, chocolate and grey foam wings, and rootbeers are all working well. In the upper sections of the river, mix in some standard San Juan midge patterns like mono-midges, blings, and crystal flash. Overall, it's good fishing right now if you're a nymph or streamer kinda guy or gal—in the meantime, us dry fly folks will have to wait around a bit with our fingers crossed and see what happens. If you would like to book a guided trip or need more info, give us a call at 505-632-2194.