Top 5 Flies for the San Juan River

San Juan River Fishing Report & News


Top 5 Flies for the San Juan River

When regularly fishing in the San Juan River, anglers develop a core set of flies that they always have.  Here are a few of them.  All these patterns can be ordered from Fisheads.


SanJuanWormSan Juan Worm


Everyone knows this fly because it catches fish everywhere.  Named for the San Juan where it originated, this fly imitates the aquatic earth worms (annelids) that are abundant in the San Juan.  Works great in red, tan, orange, wine, purple, and pink, and works as both a top fly and a dropper.


red annelidAnnelid


Annelids are aquatic worms.  The San Juan Worm imitates larger annelids.  For lack of a better term, this fly is just called an Annelid; although it is tied much smaller than a San Juan Worm and wrapped with hollow tubing.  If you pump a trout’s stomach closer to the dam, it is usually filled with these. Works best in red, orange, and brown.



RS2 RS-2 


The RS-2 is pretty much a Colorado staple no matter what river.  It works great nymphed on the bottom, suspended below the surface as an emerger, or dressed with floatant and fished dry.  The RS-2 imitates emerging midges and mayflies very well.  This pattern works great in gray, chocolate, and black with CDC and Foam wings.

flash midge pupa


Flash Midge Pupa

Size18-Size26 – The Flash midge pupa is one of those flies we tie on at the beginning of the day.  With the proliferation of midges on the San Juan, trout are usually eating them.  The flash wing imitates an emerging midge however depending on the mood of the fish it can be cut off to make fish eat.  This pattern works great in about any color, but best in black, gray, and chocolate.


EggEgg Pattern

Size14-Size18 – Everyone has their favorite egg pattern but we just use the standard orange egg.  Thanks to the constant year round temps, somewhere on the San Juan, trout are making babies.  The rest of the trout population has become accustomed to eggs in the water column.  Eggs work best in pink, chartreuse, orange, apricot, and yellow.



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San Juan River NM Water Flow CFS