- Jay Walden
June 7, 2020
In case you haven't already heard, the Quality Water section of the San Juan is now open for day use from 6 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week.
As far as the fishing goes, it started out spectacular the first couple of days after the reopening, then these fish got wise to the game real fast, and things got just a little tougher, but it still remains pretty great. Still, I was amazed at how soon I had to make the adjustment from a 5x to a 6x tippet. I've mainly been focusing on the big terrestrial thing and it's still working, at least well enough to keep me happy with the numbers. There's good nymph fishing throughout the entire day with the usual, small midge and baetis patterns and you can find fish rising to midges from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, if you're looking for some technical dry fly fishing. I will say that these fish are about as fat, healthy, and happy as I have seen in years. And, they are full of fight. I'm just happy to be out of the house where I have been for too long, listing to old George Jones songs and crying a lot. Let's not even go there with the margarita thing, but I think it's safe to say I'm not going to have to worry about scurvy for awhile, given all the lime juice I've consumed over the past few months. Anyway, the USGS gauge says the flow here is at 509 cfs, but honestly, it looks and fishes more like it's around 400 cfs to me. That said, there seems to be quite a bit of low, slow water that doesn't hold fish—or at least, not ones that I'm seeing. While this makes it easier to figure out where the fish are by knowing where they aren't, it also reduces the amount of productive water you have to fish so it helps if you move around a bit more than usual and target the deeper stuff where there's a current. Another 100 cfs added to the mix would sure open up a lot more productive water, but I haven't heard of any planned changes to the flows, so it is what it is, which ain't really that bad. My best fishing has been from the start of the Quality Water boundry down to the end of Munoz (Baetis Bend.) Simon Canyon up to ET Rock was fishing well for awhile, but a couple of weeks ago they stocked it with a lot of 4 and 5 inch fish which are somewhat of a nuisance. I haven't done too well from Simon down to Crusher Hole since several weeks ago when we were seeing regular afternoon baetis hatches, but then again, I'm fishing dries, so the nymphing could be different. Feel free to check it out and let me know if I'm missing anything. I just think there's too much shallow water at this flow and too many osprey nests down there—another 100 cfs added to the flow would help that section tremendously. Well, stay safe friends and neighbors, I know there's still a lot of uncertainty and concern out there how this whole thing is going to shake out. Be patient and be good to one another in the meantime.