- Jay walden
November 24, 2019
When was the last time you planned a fishing trip? Well, shame on you. I should probably probably offer you some motivation at this point to get up off of the couch and put the remote down for a moment and start packing your wader bag, that should really be my job here. Maybe what you read below in the fishing report will be enough to inspire you to leave the comfortable confines of your warm home and subject yourself to the harshness of winter's cold to catch a fish or two. Perhaps, perhaps. But, writers are presumably some of the worst motivational examples of humankind that ever walked the face of this green earth. Now, occasionally, I too, seek out motivation—like when I'm stuck in mid-paragraph on something and my mind seems to go blank—writers block, some call it. I wonder, what would the great ones do? Maybe I should look to what they have to say about such difficulties for inspiration, but then you come across some gems like Terry Pratchett's quote that, "There is no such thing as writer's block. That was invented in California by people who couldn't write," and I realize— you're on your own here, kid. Or Jim Harrison's idea of locking yourself inside a simple room and staring at a blank wall, Bukowski telling you not to do it, unless your heart and guts spill out onto the page in front of you, Hemingway's quote, "There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed," or the great science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein's, "Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards." Thanks, guys—I feel better already. Anyway, all I can offer you here are the facts as best as I see them, the rest is gonna have to be left up for you to decide. "Three chords and the truth," as the great Harlan Howard once said.
Well, if it helps any, the fishing has been good on the San Juan. On Tuesday of this past week, the BOR increased the flow here to around 600 cfs, and as predicted, the water pretty much turned to gumbo for the day, only to revert back to it's original clarity by Wednesday morning. So we had to basically sacrifice a good day of fishing to get to where we are now, a good trade off if you factor in the loss of a bunch of annoying moss and didymo that existed before the increase that gunked up your flies on about every cast. Goodbye and good riddance. Now what we're left with is a nice flow with more open water and a continuation of the good bug hatches we had at the lower flow rate, the ones that remained in question, before the bump to 600 cfs. So, an outcome with the best of both worlds, so to speak, a rare oddity where an interaction from a bureau of the federal government, results in a positive outcome for all parties involved. Viola! So, what's the big secret to catching fish right now? Well, the big secret is that there ain't no big secret. Just do what you would normally do on the San Juan and fish those small midge patterns in the upper river and baetis patterns down below. 6x tippet for the nymphs and 7x for your small dries. I will say that there is a larger part of the day right now where the dry fly fishing is actually better than the nymphing, but then again, I'm a dry fly fisherman, so my opinion might be biased. And I would add that I think the fishing is better in the lower river at his point than in the upper river. Part of that conclusion is based on, what seems to me, an overabundance of small stockers in a lot of areas above the Texas Hole, combined with some prolific hatches of BWOs in the lower river that are superior to the midge hatches higher up. Doesn't always happen that way, but that's the way I see it for now. Now, as always seems to be the case, there's a few other factors you've got to consider and the big one for the coming week looks to be a little bit of inclement weather weather sneaking up on us starting early in the week—that, and your ability to sneak away from grandma's house during the Thanksgiving holiday and get away from that annoying relative you have to endure a couple of times a year. So, if you're willing to put your big boy pants on and brave a little snow and cold, you could be in for some of the best fishing all year. Words of encouragement. Hope you have a great holiday and can manage at least a day or two on the water this week. If not, these good conditions should remain in place for a little bit longer until the lake turns over, then it's a whole new ballgame here. If you would like more info or need to book a guided trip, give us a call at 505-632-2194.