August 4, 2019
"You never know when you're going to get a gig, man." Some of you might remember me mentioning my old friend Bob Keene in one of these reports awhile back. Bob was the guy that got up on stage with a three piece girl band and was bouncing all over the stage like Mick Jagger, belting out his rendition of the Allman Brothers, Rambling Man, when I walked back into the bar from the bathroom, on our college spring break in Daytona Beach. I didn't even know that Bob could sing, but he got a standing ovation that night and brought down the house with applause. One of my other good friends is giving Bob's eulogy today at Bob's memorial service. She called the other night and asked for a few Bob Keene stories. I have a lot, but the first one that came to mind after that Rambling Man one, was one my nephew told me while he and a friend were visiting here on a fishing trip. For some reason, I mentioned Bob's name over dinner one night, unaware that anyone else would even know who I was talking about, and my nephew who is a Virginia State Trooper, told me, "Hey, I know that guy, I pulled him over for speeding once and as I was checking his license and registration, I noticed he had this big clothes rack in the back of his car full of all kinds of crazy, different outfits and I asked him, what's up with all the different clothes, back there?" Bob, didn't skip a beat, and replied, "Hey, you never know when you're going to get a gig, man—you just never know." That was Bob, always ready for the spotlight, loving the stage, playing with his band, Gomer and the Three Pyles. I'm gonna miss that guy. You never know when you're going to get a gig, man—be ready for anything—never be afraid to step up to the plate and swing for the fences. Belt life right in the teeth. The best anyone of us can hope for in life, is a solid swing at the ball. RIP Bob Keene.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world seems to be falling apart at the seams around us this week. They're digging up John Dillinger and Taco Bell is experiencing a tortilla shortage which it's CEO has deemed, "unacceptable." Boy, talk about the understatement of the century. Thank God there is fly fishing as a reprieve to this madness. Here on the San Juan, we still have flows of 1,050 cfs. I had hopes that since most of the snow in Colorado was about gone that we would finally see the inflow into Navajo Lake drop substantially and the BOR would lower the flows on the river, but unfortunately, that's not the case. You see, we are now into our monsoon season here. For you unfamiliar with the term, that's were it's hot as blazes during the earlier part of the day and it rains every afternoon at 3:00, especially in the mountains. The hotter it gets, the more of that moisture is reabsorbed back into the atmosphere through condensation of water vapor, the air hits the mountains, the clouds lift, the air cools due to expansion in lower pressure, and it rains. This becomes a cycle, until the heat finally subsides. Anyway, the result right now is there's more water flowing into the lake because of rain than there was a week ago, so this river's probably not going down anytime soon. Not to worry, though, it's actually fishing pretty good right now, although at a lower flow, of say, 600 cfs it would probably be so good you couldn't stand it. So, there were some improvements here this week that I think that should be noted. First, I think the visibility has improved. I would say it's a good two feet-plus. Secondly, I'm seeing more bugs out there—midges. And third, there's some rising fish. Not a ton of them, but enough to provide some solid dry fly fishing for a few hours, especially in the afternoons that will fill in the gaps between stalking fish in the shallows with big terrestrials, when they aren't rising. And the nymphing is solid. Midge larva and pupae are you go- tos earlier in the day. Red and cream for the larva, mono midges, blings, UFOs, and zebra midges for the pupa imitations in black and dark olive. Later in the day, fish the subsurface with pupa and emerger patterns—scintillas and crystal flash in 24 and 26. Further downstream, you'll need some baetis patterns like root beers, RS2s, and lately I'm hearing more and more about PMD imitations like small hare's ear's and split case PMD patterns. Overall, the fishing is good here, the nymph fishing is really good. Personally I'd like less water, but that's not going to happen until later in the fall, is my guess. Still, you can get in a good day of fishing here with a lot of fish to the net, which is more you can say for most rivers to the north of us that remain unfishable, due to high water and we're in August already. The good news is that this river seems to be fishing better and better each day and we've still got quite a bit of summer still left and a great fall to look forward to. Hope you can come out and join us soon. If you would like more information or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.