January 26, 2020
Hemingway Never Did This. There's a poem by Charles Bukowski with that name that pretty much explains why there was no fishing report on here last week. You see, I had been working on this short story, on and off for about a year now, and a couple of months ago I just hit a wall with it. Writer's block, they call it. I liked what I had so far, but I just— for the life of me, couldn't come up with the ending. I'd go back and read it from time to time, hoping that something was going to come to me, some great idea was going to pop into my head, but that never happened, so I just left the thing alone for awhile. Then, one night last week, I awoke from a dead sleep around midnight, and I had it. Just like that—I had it! So, I jumped out of bed and hastily scrawled out several paragraphs on a yellow legal pad. The next morning, I could hardly wait to get at it—I pulled up my 26 page Word document on my computer and while sitting there with my first cup of coffee, started typing. Somewhere around the second paragraph, I went to start a new sentence, and when I looked up the whole thing was gone. Vanished, kaput, history, nada. Needless to say, I was crushed. I spent every spare moment over the next couple of days researching how to retrieve lost files and documents, I did searches into file folders, Word auto-save files, recycle bin, C drive stuff, you name it. I called everyone I knew that might remotely know anything about such matters. I even called a Microsoft expert and had him remotely patch into my PC and conduct a search. The best we could come up with was an old auto-save copy from months ago that contained 9 pages of my first rough draft. So, anyway, I spent the next several days revising this old copy and piecing together the rest from old notes, and scraps of paper that always clutter my desk. Let me tell you, that's no way to write a short story and I'm sure Hemingway never did this. I read somewhere that Leonardo da Vinci carried around the Mona Lisa with him during much of his life and continued to work on it up until a stroke left his right hand paralyzed in 1517, just before his death, and he left it unfinished. Outside of a few grammatical corrections and maybe a comma or two, I sure hope I'm done with this story.
Okay, the San Juan. Well, it's really been a pretty good winter here, as far as winters go. The flows have been steady, around 500 cfs or so, and the water clarity has been pretty good with the visibility somewhere around eighteen inches, I would say. And, for January, the weather has actually been pretty mild, with a lot of days where the highs are in the 40s. There has even been several days where we have seen some decent midge hatches and rising fish. Now, mind you, it's still winter, but it really doesn't get much better than that during this time of year. As far as the fishing part goes, it's been consistently good all winter. Not June, July, August good, but good, winter good. And, if you come, you'll have a chance to catch fish by either nymphing, throwing dries, or fishing streamers, or a mixture of all three. For nymphing, stick with the usual, small San Juan midge stuff you'd use any other time of year, sizes 24 and 26 for the most part, with maybe an egg pattern from time to time, for good measure, if things get slow. On the drys you can't beat a size 24 gray adult midge pattern and maybe a Bloody Butcher, or a Dead chicken if you're seeing midge clusters. For streamers, a small bunny leech in olive has been my best producer. So, if you want more good news, January is almost over and before you know it spring will be here. On that note, the BOR just released an email that says there's only about a thirty percent chance of a high water spring release this year, so, outside of some epic snowfall between now and mid-April, it looks like we might just have an extra month of wading and fishing in May and early June, compared to years past when the water was at 5,000 cfs for a month. I really think this is going to be a great year for the San Juan, which is really something to look forward to with eager anticipation, especially when compared to last year, which really left a lot to be desired, for the most part. Well, I hope you'll be able to get out and join us on the water soon. If you would like to book a guide trip or need more info, give us a call at 505-632-2194.