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  • Jay Walden

November 3, 2019

Don't kid yourself. Sure, all of of would like to think of ourselves as that magnanimous, good soul, in victory, when the real truth is— deep down, our human nature generally steers us toward that other inner voice of our lesser angels, where a good old fashioned gloat just seems too tempting to pass up. And temptation is hard not to yield to—even when, in the back of your mind, there's likely to be negative consequences associated with your actions—just like when you give in and yield to the impulse to buy one of those gas station hot dogs, you know, the ones that have been rotating around for God knows how long under a heat lamp inside a plexiglass box—no matter if the color of the thing appeared a little "unnatural" at the time. Rotating around on a "spit" I believe they call it— the word alone, when associated with food, should be deterrent enough. But, who here among us hasn't acquiesced to our dark side of an, "I told you so," and felt the warm glow of vindication run through our veins? So, do you remember a few weeks back when I told you that the fishing was going to get real good when they lowered the water? Well, I hate to say that I told you so, but, "I told you so." Some folks just have no shame. Now, not that I am St. John the Revelator here, that was a pretty easy prediction when you really think about it, but low hanging fruit or not, sometimes it feels good to be right about something, for once. Anyway, we've been waiting for this for quite some time now, so now that it's here, you best get out there and take advantage while the conditions permit.

So, at present, we've got clear water conditions with a flow of 315 cfs and some great BWO hatches along with very good midge activity. For the past few weeks, the fishing has been, finally, outstanding. In all honesty, it's been a pretty tough year here, up until now. Yeah, there were some good days in between from late Spring until now, but not the day in and day out, consistent fishing we're normally accustomed to on the San Juan. There were a lot of days where you had to really work for your fish. No doubt, we're spoiled, but murky water and fluctuating water levels with higher than average flows through the larger part of the summer really kept a lot of fishermen on their toes. But, that's all behind us now. I think that from now until the lake turns over, later this winter, we're going to have some of the best fishing of the year. And, after dealing with some crazy polar vortex thing earlier this week that made the weather feel more like January here, we've got some good weather coming up with highs in the 60's. Do note that the water is supposed to go back up to around 500 cfs on Tuesday of this week, if my sources are correct. I don't think that will make much of an impact on the quality of the fishing for the rest of the week, except to maybe stir up some extra moss in the water on the day it happens—since a lot of it is dead and dying—which is typical for this time of year when there's less sunlight for growth, so check and clean your flies often if you're nymphing. As far as fly choices go, small dark midge patterns, size 24 and 26 in the upper river and a heavy emphasis on baetis patterns, downriver, like foamwings, CDC RS2's, fluff baetis, Johnny flash, and rootbeers, all in sizes 24 and 22. Around 11:00 am which used to be 12:00 until today, due to the time change, expect to start seeing adult midge activity on the water and you can start taking fish on size 24 adult midges and fore and afts—I suggest using 7x for your dries, 6x will work fine for the nymphs. About a half hour to an hour later, especially in the lower river you'll start to see the BWOs, my favorite pattern for these, as of late, has been an olive bodied, CDC wing comparadun, in size 24. A size 22 will work okay, but you'll get less refusals on a 24. A good old fashioned parachute Adams will probably work as well for the BWO imitation if you keep it small, I'm just partial to that Comparadun because it looks so much like the real McCoy on the water. I've been able to do just fine on 6x for my tippet on the BWOs, but those tiny midges seem to be a whole different story. You may also see some midge clusters in the upper river later in the afternoon, so it would be a good idea to carry along some cluster patterns, maybe even some dead chickens if the midges start to come off heavy. Well, here's to good fishing my friends—hope you can make it out in the coming weeks. If you would like more info or need to book a guide trip give us a call at 505-632-2194.

Jay's Fishing Reports

Books by
Jay Walden
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Jay's Fishing Report  

To our faithful fishing report readers, 

Here's a way to get your rainbow trout fix 'til you are able to hit the San Juan again-- available online only

Check each style out--there are a variety of colors, fabrics & sizes to enjoy.

Special thanks to designer & artist, Matt Zudweg 

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As a small aside and attempt at shameless self-promotion, there was an article featured  on Flyfisherman Magazine's website written by yours truly about the 60th anniversary of Abe's Fly Shop that can be accessed through the following link: Abe's Anniversary. Hope you can make it out this week. If you would like more information or would like to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194. 

Abe's Fly Shop Turns 60 -

Watercolor by Tim Oliver                                          Photos Courtesy of Abe Chavez


Jay's Past Reports:  

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