San Juan River, NM

2011-10-26 16:55:09
San Juan River, New Mexico - Freshwater Fishing Report
San Juan river

Water flow: 499cfs

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 9:00am to 11:00am then again from 1:00 to dark

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

Best access point:

Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:

Midges are hatching all day long. At the moment they are very small, midge pupa and larvae, size 22 to 28, gray, black, chocolate, cream and olive have been my best. The hatch is strongest from 10:00 till 1:00. Try fishing BWO's from 1:00pm to about 5:00pm. Dark or light gray, brown and olive have been the best colors in a size 20 and 22. Both dry and wet patterns. Back to midges in the evenings. Black and brown have been killing it! Bunny leaches are great attractors! Brown, Black, purple, and white. If all else fails try fishing big foam patterns especially in the morning. We have been doing well with all colors of Cartoon Hoppers!

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

Fly Name: Fly Color: Fly Size(s):

Birchell's Hatching Midge

Brown, black, dark g 22 to 26

Blue Winged Olive Thorax

cream and gray 22 to 26

Mercer's BH Micro Mayfly

Chocolate 20 to 24

WD-40

Gray, olive, brown 20 to 22

Flashback Baetis Nymph

brown, flash back 20 to 24

Cartoon Hopper

Gray, olive, brown flash 22 to 24

Midge Larvae Gray 18 to 22

Midge Pupa Brown, olive 6 and 8's

Baetis nymphs Gray and brown 18 and 20

baetis dry flies Olive or Dun 20 to 24

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby:

Fisheads of the San Juan

Fish species: Rainbow and Brown trout

Fishing the midge hatch in the morning with gray midges is very good. The afternoon has been my favorite with lots of fish looking for baetis. Again, gray has been best. The slowest time of day seems to be around 11:00 to 12:00. Cloudy days are still very good so look for the thunder storms in the afternoons. 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 to start,most of the midges are very small. I have been doing well with a black larvae or pupa to a gray or olive larvae. Around 12:30 move down to where the baetis are hatching, anywhere from lower Texas hole down to the end of bait water. It has been best to go back to your midge patterns after 6:00. The whole river is fishing well,. The water is very clear, you can see the bottom of the river anywhere you are wading. I am using very natural looking insects, No Flash! You will need to be fishing well to catch a lot of fish as they get smarter with clearer water. Try fishing foam bugs if you are not having any luck.

San Juan River Description

Located in the northwest corner of New Mexico, 40 miles South of Durango Colorado and 30 miles Northeast of Farmington New Mexico. The San Juan River is world renowned for providing some of the most rewarding trout fishing you will ever experience. The San Juan is a consistent producer of both rainbows and browns averaging 16 to 18 inches, with many reaching much larger proportions.

Best Fly Fishing 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 28 midges in the slower waters has been great, I am no longer using any flash, the water is very clear. Sight fishing is very good. 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, again 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 24. 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. Foam flies of all kinds are producing some great fish. You need to cover lots of water hitting all the fishy spots.

7-Day Fly Fishing Forecast

The fish are eating gray and olive midges well in shallow waters, especially over weed beds. I have been fishing very light to no weight with my indicator about a foot or two above my flies. You will see more fish eat your flies than will move your indicator, sight fishing at its best! Keep changing your midges as the fish will get wise to you quickly, dark gray has been my best the last few days. The baetis hatch is off the hook!!! Fish small gray or olive baetis nymphs from 1:00 to 5:00 in the faster water. It is some of the best dry fly fishing of the year! The water is back down to 500 cfs. There are lots of fish holding in the groves in the weed beds eating midges or baetis depending on the time of day. There is some river improvement starting above T-Hole but the river should be the same until sometime in Nov. when the flow will go to 250cfs for the work they are doing. Just so you know 250 fishes great, lots of fish all together. Good luck to all the Fisheads out there, Chris

Fish Species: trout
Bait Used:
Method Used:
Water Depth:
Water Temperature: 42
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About The Author: Chris Taylor

Company: Fisheads San Juan River Lodge

Area Reporting: San Juan river

Bio: San Juan River Fly Fishing San Juan River Lodging Guided Float Fishing Trips and Stay Packages starting at $275 Join Fisheads San Juan River Lodge on the San Juan River for the fly fishing experience of your life! Cast to trophy sized trout 365 days a year with our friendly and knowledgeable fly fishing guides. Fisheads is the premiere fly fishing guide service on the San Juan River Chris Taylor is the founder and leader of Fisheads. Fly fishing since he was a young pup, Chris has fished all over the world, and guided throughout the West, from Alaska to Colorado. A better teacher of fly fishing you will not find. People who fish with Chris are always amazed at his abundance of energy. His excitement about your fishing trip is contagious, and his ability to put you into fish is awe-inspiring.

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