San Juan River Fishing Report & News
Fishing is great, there are midges everywhere and they are hatching up and down the whole quality water section. 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. 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. 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. 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.
Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:
Water flow: 250cfs
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.
It is starting to feel like fall. It is cold in the morning and will be cold by the end of this week so bring extra layers. The river is at 250cfs until further notice. We have been getting lots of rain which has been dramatically increasing the level of the lake. It sure is good to have a filling lake for a change! The rain has put some silt in the lower sections of quality water but it is still fishing well and should clear up in a day or two. It is still clear by the dam. The weather looks like we are getting some more rain 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 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. Good luck to all the Fisheads out there, Chris