San Juan River Fishing Report Oct. 25

Chris’s San Juan River Fly Fishing Tip of the Week

Fishing is great, there are midges everywhere and they are hatching up and down the whole quality water section. The fall BWO hatch is also coming on strong. Start looking for them around noon. Fishing the midge hatch in the morning with olive, gray or black midges is very good. . The afternoon has been my favorite with lots of fish looking for baetis. Chocolate or gray have been best. The slowest time of day seems to be around 11:00 to 12:00. Cloudy days are the best. As always a large part of your success will be your in ability to move around to where the hatches are coming off the best. Fish near the dam in the best midging waters to start,most of the midges are very small. I have been doing well with a black larvae or pupa to a gray or olive larvae. Around 12:30 move down to where the baetis are hatching, anywhere from lower Texas hole down to the end of bait water. The afternoon baetis hatch is coming on strong. Dry fly fishing is still good. The whole river is fishing well,. Visibility is amazing, you can see the bottom everywhere! Watch out for moss on your flies, you have to keep them clean.

7-Day Forecast

Fall is here! The weather looks great and the fishing has been very good. The upper flats are fishing great! Be there between 6:00am and 1:00pm. Watch out for moss on your line, you need to keep your flies clean. The trees are starting to change colors, they should all be yellow in another week. Good luck to all the Fisheads out there, Chris

Water flow: 500 cfs
Visibility: 60 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 42 Degrees F
Water condition: Clear
Best time of day to fish: All day long, best dry fly fishing from 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Best stretch: The whole quality water section is fishing well! Try out the braids above Texas Hole, its awesome!
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

Midges are hatching all day long. At the moment they are small, midge pupa and larvae, size 22 to 24, olive,gray, black, chocolate, cream and of course red have been my best. The hatch is strongest from 11:30 to 2:00. The midges are clustering so try fishing a cluster to a single dry midge. Black has been best. Try fishing BWO’s from 1:00pm to about 5:00pm. The hatch is best on cloudy days. Dark or light gray, brown and olive have been the best colors in a size 20 and 22. Both dry and wet patterns. Bunny leaches are great attractors! Brown, Black, purple, and white.

Fish species: Rainbow and Brown trout

Fishing season: Year Round

Nearest airport: Albuquerque, NM (2.5 hr) or Durango, La Plata Airport, CO (40 min) or Farmington, NM (40 min)


  1. Greg Weiler - November 20, 2013

    Nice web site. Nice video. Used to fish up there 25 years ago with Andy Bulyock and Curtis Owen from the San Juan fly fishers club. Sure miss that place.

  2. Mike Desing - August 25, 2017

    I love to fish this river. It is one of my favorites. Always met nice people

  3. Greg - March 11, 2020

    I am a beginner fly fisher from lake charles , louisiana. Fished in Colorado and alaska and really want to fish some more. Love the idea of catching such a nice fish on something the size of a mosquito. I bass fish( bait casting reel, not much luck fly fishing)on muddy rivers where I live. When is a good time of the year to fish? I plan on camping in my pop up trailer, hook ups not needed(best area to camp?) Are the free areas to fish or does one have to pay a fee, other than an out of state licences I assume? Appreciate your suggestions.

    • Fisheads San Juan River Lodge - March 12, 2020


      The San Juan is a year around fishery so the best time is the time that you can come. That being said, Spring through Fall is usually good weatherwise. The are two state park campgrounds, one at Navajo Lake and Cottonwood campground on the San Juan River. You can fish at the campground. There is another campground about a mile and a half away named Archuleta’s that has river frontage also. Fees apply to camping. Parking fees are required in the state park which are $5 per day, and you will need an out of state license. If you want to learn more about fishing this river, I would recommend hiring a guide for at least a half day. My husband and I always hire a guide on new water.
      If you decide to come out, stop by the shop and say hello!

      Thank you, Barb

Come enjoy the fly fishing trip of a lifetime on the San Juan River.