The winter months can be some of the best fishing of the year. Yes, it's colder and the lake will turn over, but not much else changes. The fish hang in the same areas and eat the same bugs. The best kept secret is the unbelievable dry fly fishing that take place. There can be prolific midge hatches during these shorter days and what seams like thousands of fish rising. Use a single dry or a double dry if you have trouble locating the small imitation the water. Another "go-to" setup is fishing various leech patterns. These can be fished under a indicator along with a small midge larva or emerger, or fished alone more like a streamer. With lower flows and much fewer crowds, it's a good idea to explore new water. There is mile after mile of fantastic water to discover and more fish that you could imagine!
|Griffiths Gnat - Dry||12-22||Natural|
|Parachute Adams - Dry||16-20||Natural, BWO|
|Bling Midge - Nymph||20-24||White, Olive|
|Top Secret Midge - Emerger||22-24||Brown|
|Squirrel Leech - Nymph/Micro Streamer||8-12||Natural, Black, Olive|
|Gold Bead Woolly Bugger - Micro Streamer||12||Olive, White, Black|
|Eggs||14-18||Orange, Pink, Chartreuse, Apricot|
The San Juan has been fishing great the last couple of weeks! Red and cream midge larva have been the key in the morning, and BWO patterns like Fluff Baetis and RS2s have been working well in the afternoon. Dead drifting leeches has been effective, I like smaller patters like the Mayers Mini Leech. As far as dries, classics like the Griffiths Gnat and Dead Chickens have been fooling fish during midge hatches, and Parachute Bwo's and Mole flies are working for the baetis. Streamers are a good way to fish too! The water from Cable Hole down to Baetis Bend has a ton of moss floating through the water right now, and keeping your flies clean is a key to success.
|Wilsons Blood Worm||18||Red|
|Mayers Mini Leech||Black, Olive||16|
The flows on the San Juan have dropped down to 593 cfs, and from what we have heard from the BOR they will stay at the flow through early November. There have been great midge hatches throughout the day, and the BWO's have started showing up in the afternoons from Texas Hole and down. Nymphing will be the way to go in the mornings, with the possibility of some fantastic dry fly fishing in the afternoon through early evening.
|Thread Body Fluff Baetis||20,22||Brown|
|RS2 Low Wing||20,22||Black, Chocolate|
The San Juan River is running big with flows around 1650 cfs. The fish have started to settle into the high water and are feeding consistently. Hoppers, ants and beetles have been fooling fish on top. Nymphing is still the most productive method. Take care when wading. The braids can still be fished but the water is pushing. Think longer leaders and a little more weight. Still having great midge hatches daily.
|Larva||18-24||Red, Olive,Black, Tan|
|Golden Barred Hopper||10||Tan|
|Pheasant Tail Nymph||16-22||Natural|
|San Juan Worm||12||Tan, Red, Brown|
Fishing has been excellent on the San Juan. Dry fly fishing has been good and nymphing has been great. Flows are stable at 1070 and trout are eating a steadily on midges. 25,000 fish have been stocked in the quality waters in Mid July and have already put on some weight. Big fish are being caught down throughout the quality waters section.
|Larva||18-24||Red, Black, Olive, Chocolate|
|JuJu Baetis||22-24||Zebra, Olive|
|Low Wing RS2||24||Black|
|San Juan Worm||12||Tan|
|Tav's Fluff Baetis||20-20||Blue Wing Olive, Gray|
|Big Mac||22||Tan, Brown|
The fishing on the San Juan has been red hot! The flows have stabilized around 1000 cfs allowing for the fish to settle into a routine and spread out a bit. As always, annelid and midge patterns are our top producers but as we move further into summer look for terrestrials such as grasshoppers, ants and beetles to tempt fish to the surface as well. Common practice for nymphing this time of year is to trail a midge larva behind an annelid or emerger pattern in the mornings and afternoons with baetis and terrestrial patterns being fished later in the day.
|San Juan Worm||#12-16||Tan, Red, Orange|
|Tav's Big Mac||#20-26||Red, Black, Grey, Cream,|
|Micro Baetis/Fluff Baetis||#22-26||Grey|
|Griffiths Gnat||#18-#24||Grizzly and Peacock|
|Parachute Ant||#16-18||Black/Hi Vis|
The fishing on the San Juan is back to what we would call "normal" here at the shop. Midges have been hatching consistently after 10am and we have been seeing some baetis hatches in the afternoon. Fish are being caught on all of the usual patterns. For nymphing, a midge emerger trailed behind a midge larva has been a great rig for the morning, and I would throw in a baetis nymph/emerger in the mix in the afternoon. Sight fishing with hopper patterns in the afternoon has also been a very good tactic.
The San Juan River has been at high water for more than a week now around 4000 cfs and up, but is on the drop. The fishing during the spring release has been very good. Once the fish settle in and adjust to the flows, they begin to feed constantly. The flows are headed down to normal and should arrive at 500 cfs by Saturday evening. If history proves anything the fishing conditions should be excellent for the next few weeks after high water and the remainder of the season!
|San Juan Worm||8-14||Red, Tan, Orange|
|Eggs||10-16||Pink, Roe, Chartreuse|
|RS2||18-22||Tan, Olive, Chocolate|
|Hippy Stomper||14-18||Royal, Olive|
The water conditions are still poor but fishing has been picking up. Water temps have increased a couple degrees and the fish are becoming more active. Visibility is around 1 foot. Today the flows are expected to increase from 350 to 400 cfs around 9am.
|Midge Larva||16-22||Red, Black, Olive|
|JuJu Baetis||18-22||Natural, Zebra|
|Little Swimmer Articulated Single Hook Streamer||4||Brown, Rainbow|
Fishing conditions are improving up still experiencing dirty water. Eggs, egg sucking leeches, buggers, worms and large annelids seem to be catching fish. The river edge is showing some visibility of 1 ft, but not much beyond that. Anglers have a good change of landing 10+, one fish or just being skunked altogether. It's a roll of the dice and staying positive. Keep casting!!
|Eggs||12-16||Pink, Orange, Chartreuse|
|Egg Sucking Leeches||6||Black, Olive, Purple|
|Woolly Buggers||8-12||Black, Olive, Natural|
|San Juan Worm||10-16||Brown, Tan, Purple, Orange|
The poor fishing conditions that have plagued the San Juan River with muddy cold water should return to normal around April 1st. The Bureau of Reclamation for Navajo Dam Operations is in the final stage of maintenance and is scheduling tests on the main outlet. These tests will take place on Sunday March 31st beginning at 7:00 am and concluding by 7:00 pm.
After this, we expect a normal release and clear water to return. During the past few weeks the water temperatures were colder than usual causing most fish to enter a hibernation state to conserve their energy. Next week when the water temps warm up to normal, the fishing should go crazy! There are 80,000 fish that having eaten in weeks and they will be hungry!
|Eggs||14-18||Orange, Apricot, Pink|
|San Juan Worm||12||Red, Brown, Tan|
|Midge Larva||20-24||Black, Red, Cream, Chocolate|
Fishing is good and consistent, prime winter conditions on the Juan. Water is a little off color with visible of about 2ft. Olive and black leeches sz 8-12 either dead drifted with a twitch or stripped have been producing quality fish. Egg patterns in various colors, red annelids, tan UFO's and chocolate Big Mac's are recommended for nymphing.
Keep your eyes open for fish rising. Dry fly action is hit and miss depending on the weather, but there are always a few good ones. Griffith's Gnat's, BWO Comparaduns, Biot Midge.