- Jay Walden
December 13, 2020
The State Park recently reopened the Quality Water section of the San Juan to New Mexico residents, after having shut it down for two weeks, which goes to show you that good things can actually happen during a pandemic, if people put their heads together. I am reminded of another action that took place around this time of year, back in Merry Old England in 1598, also in the throes of a pandemic at the time, that ended up with a positive outcome. Apparently, along about this time, a dispute arose between the owners and operators of "The Theatre," (one owner which happened to be ol' Will Shakespeare himself) and the landlord who owned the dirt, where, said theater, sat. The landlord, Giles Allen, claimed that the building was now owned by him, since the lease had expired. Well, Will and his not-ready-for primetime-players and other shareholders, called Lord Chamberlain's Men, weren't about to take this lying down and have Allen messin' around with their livelihood, so they waited until Allen left town for Christmas vacation, and along with carpenter Peter Street, marched over to The Theatre, dismantled it timber by timer, and ferried the whole thing across the Thames, where they used the material to build the original Globe Theatre. The Globe provided a stage for some of Shakespeare's greatest works until it burned to the ground on June 29, 1613, caused by a theatrical cannon during a performance of Henry VIII where no one was injured except for an audience member whose pants caught fire, but were put out with a bottle of ale. It was rebuilt the following year and remained in operation until 1642, until it was closed down by the Puritans, who never wanted anyone to have any fun, ever. Anyway, I guess the gist or the moral of the whole story here is, don't mess with people that are already on edge from dealing with a pandemic, which would be good advice for our present Congress to follow that can't seem to pass a relief bill for their constituents in need. As Mark Twain once said, "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." Okay, the week the Park reopened, we had great weather and good fishing. There were midge hatches starting around 11:00 with a smattering of BWOs around 2:00 in the upper river and plenty of rising fish until around 3:30 or so, until the sun started to set. The lower sections of the river had even more BWO activity that began even earlier, around 12:00. The water was, and still is, around 350 cfs, and gin clear. A few days ago, it got cold here—and right now, it's really cold—like, single digit cold at night and not above freezing for the high during the day. I love to fish and I've fished in colder weather than that before, but I'm older now, and hopefully smarter, and I just don't think I'll be going out there real soon. Not until it warms up a bit. Anyway, if you're a brave soul and want to do it— upriver, fish some midge larva and pupa patterns early in the day, emergers later, and if you like dries, a black or gray adult midge in size 26 on 7x during the mid-part of the day, when there are rising fish. Downriver, I would steer more to the baetis side of things with Rootbeers, Foam Wings, and RS2s. A size 22 olive Compardun or an Adams pattern will work for the BWO dry imitation—6x will work, but you'll catch more fish with 7x, with the water being low and clear. With the cold weather we're about to see for the next 10 days, I wouldn't be surprised to see the lake turn over and the water to cloud up soon. Once that happens, it's streamers and big ugly, bright nymphing stuff, like eggs, annelids, and larva patterns. Well, stay happy, warm, and safe. You probably won't hear from me for a while, until this cold weather passes.