"Houston, the Eagle has landed." Well, it looks as if summer is finally here—it's hot, there's mosquitoes everywhere, and lots of margaritas are being tossed around, at least that's how things are around my place. And fishing. Last night someone was lighting off fireworks—five days before the Fourth of July—Americans, just can't wait or leave well enough alone, gotta put out the Christmas stuff the day after Halloween—sheesh! What's the world coming to? Let 'em have their fun, I say, we've got other things to do. After much consternation over dirty, then, high water, we've earned this—it's finally time to get out and enjoy ourselves.
Here's the deal on the San Juan—the flow is at 600 cfs, with the visibility about where it has been for the last couple of weeks at 18 inches or so—not great, but not bad either. The fishing, however, has been consistently good, especially the nymphing. I'm sure the dry fly fishing would be a lot better if we had about another foot of visibility to create more opportunities to sight fish, but as it stands now, it ain't too shabby, either. You just gotta do a little more walking around and find fish holding in shallow water—most of them are pretty willing to come up to a well presented terrestrial, and you really shouldn't ask for much more than that, unless you're a spoiled brat that wants everything just perfect. You can't have everything—where would you put it? Anyway, the morning scene on the nymphing front is a red larva or firecracker, teamed up with a midge pupae, like a black or olive monomidge—smaller seems better for the pupae selection, like a size 26. If you're fishing Texas hole and below, I'd go red larva to a root-beer or a small pheasant tail. Around 10:00, when the water warms a bit, most of these fish will begin to move up higher in the water column and it's time to start working the emergers, paired up with a pupae pattern—crystal flash and ju-jus for the midges, RS2s and foam-wings (especially gray) for the baetis imitations. That'll carry you through the rest of the day. The streamer fishing has been okay, but nothing really much to brag about; honestly, I think you'll have better numbers if you stick to the nymphing technique. There are a few fish rising on some afternoons, but the hatches has been kinda spotty and of course there's the afternoon wind that can be a spoiler. When there are risers, I've been pretty lucky tossing dead chickens at them. I think given the conditions of earlier this year, these fish haven't seen a lot of dry flies presented to them, so they're really not that educated yet. The actual places where you can sight fish are going to be limited, so be prepared to work some water with the nymphs where you can't see fish—current seams and tailouts are a good start. If you're not picking up fish after a few adjustments to your weight and depth, move on, there's no sense flogging unproductive water if you don't know whether there's fish in there or not. They number in the thousands here, if they're not in one spot, you'll find them in another. FYI, bring bug spray—the mosquitoes are starting to flourish after the high water hasreceded. Overall, things are good here, better visibility would be the icing on the cake, but if you're looking to catch fish, the San Juan should be your destination. Hope you can make it out. If you would like more information or need to book a guide, give us a call at 505-632-2194.