April Fishing Report

San Juan River Fishing Report & News

Fisheads of the San Juan’s Tip of the Week

The river is running at 290cfs, to meet demands for water downstream of the dam. It is turbid with about 1 foot of visibility throughout the quality. We are still catching fish using large attractor patterns and bright colored larvae. The nymph fishing has been best. Use dark colored leech patterns or large egg patterns as your attractor followed by a red or orange larvae. Keep your flies out of the moss beds by fishing lighter weights and move your indicator closer to your flies. Any nymphs you use should have some flash on them to get the fishes attention. The fish will eat some leech patterns and San Juan Worms, bright colors have been best. Egg Patterns are working well in all colors. Try streamers and jig patterns as the movement will get some attention.

5-Day Outlook


The weather this week is looking partly cloudy to sunny with highs in the 60’s to 70’s. We have had a ton of moisture this year causing lots of water to enter the lake. This is great after years of low snowpack. The river will likely be off color for a while. It is often a good time to catch some larger fish as they are less cautious with the turbid water. The fish are still spitting flies quickly so be ready to set the Hook! Winter water on the Juan is off color due to lake turnover. This makes the fish less cautious as predators can’t see them as easily. Often an attractor fly like and egg pattern, a San Juan worm or leach patterns are beneficial.

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. The fish are eating lots of midges, fish short light rigs. 8-10 size weights with a strike indicator set at 2-3 ft. 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 mayfly 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 blue-gray 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. All this goes out the door when fishing streamers. Get them on the bottom and fish 1X fluorocarbon.

Fisheads of the San Juan’s Recommended Fly Patterns

“Must-have” fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Vernille San Juan Worm Brown, Black, Natura 8, 14
Lynch’s Double Dot Egg Orange Blood Dot 18
Griffith’s Gnat Black, Olive 18
Rojo Midge Gray, Olive, Brown, 20 To 22
Midge Larvae Gray, Red, Olive, Br 18 To 24
Foam Wing RS2 Brown, Black, Gray, 18 To 24
Rosenbauer Parachute Beetle Black 10 To 24
Cartoon Hopper Gray, Olive, Brown Flash! 4 To 8
Bunny Leaches Black, Olive, Gray, Natural, White 6 And 8
Ants Black 12 To 16


San Juan River NM Water Flow CFS