November 18, 2018
Somethings just bear repeating, and the following issue that I referenced a few weeks back, falls into that category. I'm talking about the final vote on Nov. 31st that will come before the New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners on abolishing the two fly limit on the Quality Water section of our beloved San Juan River and I am here to implore you, once again, to make your voice heard in opposition to this ruling. So, if you haven't already, I urge you to email these following people and express your concerns about just what a bad idea this is, regarding their stewardship of this great trout river. Once again, here are the folks you need to contact:
Chairman Paul Kienzle firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair Bill Montoya email@example.com
At-Large Dick Salopek DickSalopek@hotmail.com
Northeast Bob Ricklefs firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeast Chance Chase email@example.com
Southwest Ralph Ramos firstname.lastname@example.org
Northwest Craig Peterson email@example.com
Rock the Vote. Do it, this is important—Very Important.
And since I obviously woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and I am in a "mood," let me share this little gem with you that falls into that same old classification of, "Things that piss me off." I'm talking about the recent expenditure of your hard earned HMAV dollars on all the pretty new signs along the river designating our trout waters with the appellation of of either, Red Chile, Green Chile, or Christmas Tree Waters. Yeah, how about that one? As if the same fine folks that used to ignore the obvious posted regulations and dunk nightcrawlers on a treble hook in the Texas Hole in broad daylight in front of God and everybody and just couldn't get the message, will now be further enlightened by a sign that further confuses them with choices for burrito toppings. I say that practicality always trumps cute where signs are involved and we would all have been better served by a simple sign campaign that just had a worm dangling from a hook with a big red circle and a diagonal line through the middle. Sheesh! It's like we've turned over our pin number to a Nigerian Prince with these people who have been appointed to supposedly keep our best interest in mind.
Okay, I'm alright now, I think—let's talk fishing before my mental incontinence goes leaking all over the rest of this report. So, we've got low flows here now of around 300 cfs that will probably stay in place throughout the remainder of the winter. Not to worry, the river is fishing just fine at this level. Thing is, these fish aren't where they were even a few weeks ago when the water level was at 400 cfs and you are now tasked to to go find them. I'm going to give you the best hint I can here and let you know where they are not, based on my recent outings—they are not in the frog water that has no current, at least most of them are not. Now, at 300 cfs there's a lot of that type of water, so that should narrow things down a bit for you. Concentrate your efforts on main currents, current seams and tail outs where the water is deep enough to offer cover. This is coming from a guy that loves fishing dry flies in frog water—but right now that kinda thing just ain't happening on this river. And the bugs you should be using to fool these fish? Well, glad you asked, that hasn't changed—the good old standard small midge and baetis patterns with a special emphasis on emerger patterns in the afternoons. I will add the caveat that have been able to coax up some really good fish by running some big dry patterns over some fast riffles—big, like size 12 PMXs and—wait for it, wait for it—yes, foam ants. Go ahead and laugh if you will, they laughed at Galileo, too. The best news I have to offer here; however, is that the baetis hatches we saw back in October are still going on in the lower river and you can really have yourself a time with some size 22 and 24 olive comparaduns, if you so desire. In my honest, humble opinion, this has been one of the best fall BWO hatches I can recall in many years, and it is the gift that keeps on giving—a phrase that I just thought I'd throw in there for good measure to festive up the holiday season, although you'll likely hear it enough on TV commercials for the next month and a half. Anyway, I digress. So, the big question I guess, is how much longer do you think this great fishing will hold out on the San Juan? My $64,000 answer is—as long as the water stays relatively clear and the lake doesn't turn over—at which all bets are off and none of this information is useful anymore. That said, as much as I dread it, it could start happening as early as later this week, after Thanksgiving, when it supposed to rain and snow and the nighttime temperatures drop into the teens with daytime highs around 40 degrees. We appear to be standing on a trap door with wobbly hinges, so the best thing is for you to get out there and fish as much as you can right now. Hope you can make it out this week, the earlier part of the week looks like good weather and probably less fishermen, with the weekend getting busier with folks still on Thanksgiving Break, although even at 300 cfs, there'll still be plenty of water to fish for everyone. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and if you need more info or need to book a guide, give us a call at 505-632-2194.