Fisheads San Juan River Report March 21-26

San Juan River Fishing Report & News


The hatches have been heavy. The midges are small (size 24 and 26) and consistently hatching every morning and afternoon. The BWO hatch is still coming off below T-Hole. Start looking for them around eleven AM. Foam wings and Johnny flash are working great below T-hole, gray has been best. Try midge larvae (olive, gray, black and brown) in the morning, fished with an attractor like a leech or an egg pattern. The afternoon has been good with fish looking for baetis below Texas Hole. Chocolate, olive, or gray have been best. As always a large part of your success will be your inability to move around to where the hatches are coming off the best. Fish near the dam for 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.


7 Day Outlook:

Fishead  (fish-head) n.   A person who spends all their time thinking about, dreaming about, or in the pursuit of fish.

Fishing has been excellent! There is a good blue winged olive hatch coming off every afternoon around 12:00.

Mornings have been around 35 degrees and afternoons in the low 50’s and 60″s. The warm winter weather has melted the snow on the ground and ice along the edges of the river.  Rainbows are feeding from just below the surface so emergers are a great starter.   There have been fingerlings released into the Upper Flats recently so anything white to mimic that little rainbow trout has potential. Red annelids or carrot midges have been working great through the day.

We have about 4 feet of visibility and the lake has turned.  This is great as it creates trout that are less likely to be spooked and we can fish larger bugs and heavier tippet.

The river is at 423cfs. The lake is in great shape with plenty of water still coming in from CO. The lake has surpassed levels from the last several years already. We are finally going to have high water this year – which is great for the health of the river. The river will come up in the beginning of May and go back down in the beginning of June. It is the favorite time of the year for all of the guides. Lots of great fishing. The water is clear on the San Juan when we have high flows so we get to fish right through it with drys, streamers and nymphs. If you have never fished high water now is your chance!  Book soon as all the guides will be working every day during this time! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Just give us a call or send an email.

We were not affected by the Animas River mine spill. It enters the San Juan much further down river.

Good luck to all the Fisheads out there,



San Juan River NM Water Flow CFS