San Juan River Fishing Report & News
The BWO hatch is still coming off below T-Hole. Start looking for them around noon. Foam wings and Johnny flash are working great below T-hole. Fishing the midge hatch in the morning with olive, gray or black midges is very good. . The afternoon has been good with fish looking for baetis below Texas Hole. Chocolate, olive or gray have been best. Fishing is great, there are midges everywhere and they are hatching up and down the whole quality water section. The water is clear so no flash on the flies is helpful. . 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, the midge hatch is strong all day long. I have been doing well with a black larvae or pupa to a gray or olive larvae. Around 12:30 the baetis are hatching, anywhere from lower Texas hole down to the end of bait water. You will also see some PMD’s. Watch out for moss on your flies, you have to keep them clean. The winds can be tough on us. The fish are still eating well in the afternoons but you can have some trouble getting a good drift. It is best to shorten up your length between the strike indicator and your weight and add some weight. This will help you get a better drift and see the indicator move when the fish takes. With lower flows the bites will be lighter and you will have to fish shallow rigs to avoid the bottom of the river. There are cicadas hatching. They are falling on both the lake and river. I have seen some that are black with orange segments and others that are white on the bottom and black with white segments on the top. As you can imagine the fish love them. Not every fish will eat them but some will! Whenever the water goes up or down the fish will start eating junk! Try fishing San Juan worms, leaches, red or orange larvae or egg patterns. The PMD hatch is coming off well between Simone canyon and the crusher hole. Start looking for them around 2:00pm; they will hatch until 5 or 6. Fish are eating them both sub surface and on the surface.
Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:
Water flow: 650cfs
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, it’s awesome!
Best access point: Texas Hole parking lot
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 10:30 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. Bright red and orange larvae are also working well. Bunny leeches and woolly buggers are working well either dead drifted or stripping them. Black, olive or cream have been best. Cicadas are falling in the water. Try fishing big black foam bugs!
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)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 5X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 10′ 5 Weight Fly Rod
Techniques & Tips
Fish fluorocarbon tippets at the end of your mono-filament leader when nymph fishing. 5X to the first fly and 6X to the dropper. This will produce more strikes as the fish can’t see the fluorocarbon. Fishing 22 to 24 midges in the slower waters has been great, Fish light weight (a number 6 or smaller) with your strike indicator 2 or 3 feet above the weight. You don’t want to be on the bottom when you are midge fishing. We are finding lots of Baetis, especially on cloudy afternoons. Baetis live in fast water so look for them in the riffles at the top of holes and at the bottom of holes in the tail out. Fish are eating gray, olive and brown nymphs in these places , it just depends on the day so have them all. You may have the chance to see fish on top during this time. A parachute Adams or comparadun should do the job. The may flies are green and are about size 22. Use dark colored wings as the fish are turning away from white wings. If you can’t see this try a marker fly about 12 inches above the Baetis. You should fish mono-filament tippets when fishing on the surface as fluorocarbon sinks. Change back to midges when the fish stop eating your may flies. Try some bunny leaches if all else fails. Dead drift them like the rest of your nymphs. Fish are eating them for moss! They will shake the drifting moss to get the bugs out. Eggs and orange or red larvae are working well.
Bring lots of water, sunscreen and bug spray and try to stay cool. The fishing continues to be very good. The river is at 650cfs. The work on the back channels is finished and has been stocked with 6 to 8 inch fish. It looks awesome and will hold lots of fish! We all have some new water to fish. The weather looks very nice this week. Be ready for the afternoon winds and thunder storms. The fishing is still great even when it gets windy. Try adding some weight to counter act the wind. The ants have fallen. Fish will still be looking for them for weeks so throw them to shallow fish and see what happens. The whole river is fishing very well. Lots of midges in the mornings and evenings and a small baetis hatch in the afternoon. Dry fly fishing is still good in some places if you can get out of the afternoon breeze, look along the banks for fish eating the BWO’s in the afternoons. If you see a big splashy rise try throwing a cicada or grasshopper in that direction! The carp fishing on the lake has been great. Lots of big carp on dry flies! I have also seen a few PMD’S. The hatch is coming on strong between Simone canyon and the crusher hole. They will also be all the way through the bait water. Good luck to all the Fisheads out there, Chris