• Jay Walden

February 16, 2020

When I first came to the West, I was fascinated by a strange, new world. After now spending nearly as much of my life here, as my earlier, East coast existence before I arrived, I find it amazing that from time to time, I am, on occasion, as awestruck by its beauty as the day I first placed my feet across the Continental Divide. Now, as then, the thing that strikes me to the heart is the sky, namely the nighttime sky. For me, there is nothing more inspiring, more deeply stirring to all things that make us human than the reflection of a full moon across snowfields as far as the eye can see or millions of stars stretched across an infinite background of darkness when viewed far from the reaches of light made by man. There is something spiritual, primeval, in that sky, that blessed nighttime sky that reminds us of our place in a vast universe, a universe that that has existed, and will continue to exist and get along just fine without the both of us, long after we are gone. It's humbling, to say the least, and in a world where a lot of people tend to get a little full of themselves and measure their self worth by how many likes they have on their most recent Instagram or Facebook post , maybe a little humility isn't such a bad thing. Anyway, I like looking up at the sky. I like that despite the fact I can't name all the constellations or the visible planets, I still have a deep appreciation for the power of something I don't fully understand, something that after all these years still restores my soul, something that captivates my imagination and leaves me awestruck with its power and vastness. I came here for the trout, but I'm staying for the sky.

So last week I did manage to get a day on the water—a good day. I had some impressive dry fly fishing for the better part of the afternoon until the wind came up later in the day, forcing me to the leeward side of the willows where I found a little refuge and a few more rising fish. Not at all bad for early February. I even took a few fish on a size 12 Chernobyl ant. Overall, this has been a pretty good winter for fishing the San Juan and actually I think that the water clarity might actually be a little better than I reported last week, maybe as good as two feet of visibility right now. Certainly better than last winter and it certainly shows in the quality of fishing. Also, worth noting is the fact that the recent flow drop to 400 cfs didn't hurt the fishing one bit, in fact, it may have even made it better. Anyway, the fishing is good here by winter standards and I honestly think it will just continue to improve going forward, especially once we start seeing warmer temperatures. It's still the same game out there with small midge patterns 24s and 26s working best and a mixture of larva patterns thrown in to boot. The best fishing seems to still be from around 11:00 am till about 4:00 pm and you can find fish taking emergers and dries throughout the bigger part of these hours. Streamers are still effective, especially during the earlier and later parts of the day when the fish are less focused on the bug activity. Outside of some possible ugly wind tomorrow, the majority of the week looks pretty good on the weather side of things, with the possibility of some rain or snow on Sunday and Saturday. Hope you can make it out, the river is fishing fine and it's definitely worth the trip if you're wondering whether you should pull the trigger on a trip. If you would like more information or would like to book a guide, give us a call at 505-632-2194. Keep looking up, brothers and sisters!

Jay's Fishing Reports

Books by
Jay Walden
Can be purchased on Amazon or in our fly shop.

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 - FlyFisherman.com

Watercolor by Tim Oliver                                          Photos Courtesy of Abe Chavez

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Call us & book at 505. 632. 2194