San Juan River Quality Waters Unaffected by Mine Spill

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San Juan River trophy trout quality waters below Navajo Lake unaffected by mining waste spill.

New Mexico anglers will be relieved to know the San Juan River’s trophy trout fishery below Navajo Dam was not affected by the recent mining waste spill in Colorado. The spill occurred in the Animas River, a tributary to the San Juan that enters the river below Farmington. The 4.25 miles of river just below Navajo Dam, known as the San Juan Quality Waters, are above the confluence with the Animas and remain open with clear water and excellent fishing conditions.

Water flow: 650cfs

Visibility: 60 inches

Water temperature at mid-day: 40 Degrees F

Water condition: Clear

Best time of day to fish: All day long, best dry fly fishing from 11:00am to 6:00pm

Best stretch: The whole quality water section is fishing well!

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. There has been a small ant hatch, and the fish are starting to rise. 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 leeches and woolly buggers are working well either dead drifted or stripping them. Black, olive or cream have been best. Streamer fishing has been good. Small streamers size 10 or 12 in olive, black or brown.

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)

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