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Fishing Report - The San Juan River

March 28, 2021

Conditions have been prime down on the San Juan River. Baetis are coming off mid day into the afternoon. Fishing BWO Comparadun's, Parachute Adams, Sprout Midge/Baetis. Nymphing action has been very productive all day. Target cloudy days with leeches and look out for big midge hatches.


BWO Comparadun - Dry18-22Olive
Sprouts Midge and Sprout Baetis - Dry18-26Black, Cream, Olive
Massacre Midge - Emerger22-26Brown and Olive
Squirrel Leech10-12Black, Olive, Rust, Natural - Nmyph
Big Mac - Larva22Red, Black, Chocolate

As of: September 14, 2021

San Juan near Archuleta
851 cfs

Previous Reports

February 28, 2021

The San Juan Quality Waters in the Land of Enchantment is OPEN once again! Navajo Lake State Park welcomes all visitors to enjoy. The fishing is unbelievable as the water has seen very little pressure. Nymphing small midge and baetis patterns in the morning and looking for a BWO hatch in the afternoon. Leech patterns are a "go-to" fly in the winter months. Covid-19 precautions are being enforced so mask up and go find open water!


Big Mac - Larva22Red, Olive, Chocolate and Black
Massacre Midge - Emerger22-26Brown and Olive
Mayer's Mini Leech12-16Black, White and Rust
BWO Comparadun CDC - Dry20-24Olive
Sprout Midge - Dry22-26Olive, Tan and Cream
Juju Baetis - Emerger22-26Natural, Zebra

November 29, 2020

The San Juan Quality Waters are currently closed with no expected opening date. It's unfortunate, as it benefits mental and physical health at a safe distance. We look forward to getting on the Juan again soon.


September 03, 2020

All New Mexico State Parks are still currently closed to all non New Mexico residents including Navajo Lake State Park. We hope to hear more information around Sept 18th. If your a NM resident, get after it. Fishing reports have been good.


June 01, 2020

The San Juan River is once again open to fishing and guiding. The fish had a nice rest for 2 months and the conditions are excellent. We are finding better than average quality of fish. Nymphing has been most productive with small midges. Dry fly fishing has been good in the afternoon when weather conditions allow. Good numbers and big fish have been the report. Get after it. Call to inquire about our guided trips on the Juan.


Griffiths Gnat18Natural
RS220-24Black, Brown, Olive
UV Emerger20-24Black, Brown
Parachute Ant16Black

May 02, 2020

The Navajo Lake State Park is currently closed and that includes the quality waters section. This only applies to non-residents. Access around Simon Canyon is on BLM land and is open, but it's a small section and you need to know the boundaries. We are still waiting to get the green light to fish and guide. Stay tuned.


April 13, 2020

The river is closed until the end of the month. Get your gear together as the fishing will be dynamite once it opens. Let us know if we can fill any orders for flies or accessories. Email

Thanks and stay healthy.


January 22, 2020

Winter conditions are excellent down on the Juan. All methods of fishing are in play this time of year. For those who like to target rising trout, dry fly action has been consistent. Predominantly midges on the water but you will also see some small blue winged olive Mayflies. Streamer activity has been fairly consistent, at least for a tailwater. Smaller streamers like conehead buggers, bunny leeches, and sculpzilla's fished slowly in deep water have produced quality fish. Nymphing has been most productive with midge larva and midge emerger's patterns. Annelids, eggs and small San Juan worms should also be in your box.


Griffiths Gnat14-20Natural
Thorax Blue Winged Olive18Olive, Brown
Conehead Woolly Bugger12Black, Olive, White
Bunny Leech12Tan
WD-4022Black, Brown, Olive
Bling Midge20White, Tan, Olive

December 13, 2019

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 - Dry12-22Natural
Parachute Adams - Dry16-20Natural, BWO
Bling Midge - Nymph20-24White, Olive
Top Secret Midge - Emerger22-24Brown
Squirrel Leech - Nymph/Micro Streamer8-12Natural, Black, Olive
Gold Bead Woolly Bugger - Micro Streamer12Olive, White, Black
Eggs14-18Orange, Pink, Chartreuse, Apricot

October 28, 2019

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 Worm18Red
Mayers Mini LeechBlack, Olive16
CDC RS2Grey22
Fluff Baetis20,22Chocolate/Grey

September 29, 2019

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.


Big Mac22Black/Grey/Olive
Black Beauty24,26Black
Thread Body Fluff Baetis20,22Brown
RS2 Low Wing20,22Black, Chocolate
UV Emerger24,26Black

August 29, 2019

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.


Larva18-24Red, Olive,Black, Tan
Golden Barred Hopper10Tan
Parachute Ant16Black
Pheasant Tail Nymph16-22Natural
San Juan Worm12Tan, Red, Brown

August 10, 2019

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.


Larva18-24Red, Black, Olive, Chocolate
JuJu Baetis22-24Zebra, Olive
Low Wing RS224Black
San Juan Worm12Tan
Tav's Fluff Baetis20-20Blue Wing Olive, Gray
Pheasant Tail22-24Natural
Big Mac22Tan, Brown

July 25, 2019

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#12-16Tan, Red, Orange
Tav's Big Mac#20-26Red, Black, Grey, Cream,
Micro Baetis/Fluff Baetis#22-26Grey
Griffiths Gnat#18-#24Grizzly and Peacock
Parachute Ant #16-18Black/Hi Vis

July 07, 2019

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.


Big Mac22-24Olive/Black/Grey/Red
Miracle Midge24-26Red/Blue
Fluff Baetis20-24Grey/Black
Parachute Hopper8-12Tan

June 14, 2019

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 Worm8-14Red, Tan, Orange
Eggs10-16Pink, Roe, Chartreuse
RS218-22Tan, Olive, Chocolate
Hippy Stomper14-18Royal, Olive

April 23, 2019

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 Larva16-22Red, Black, Olive
Leeches8-12Black, Olive
JuJu Baetis18-22Natural, Zebra
Little Swimmer Articulated Single Hook Streamer4Brown, Rainbow

April 12, 2019

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!!


Eggs12-16Pink, Orange, Chartreuse
Egg Sucking Leeches6Black, Olive, Purple
Woolly Buggers8-12Black, Olive, Natural
San Juan Worm10-16Brown, Tan, Purple, Orange
Annilids10-18Red, Brown

March 29, 2019

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!


Leeches8-12Black, Olive
Eggs14-18Orange, Apricot, Pink
San Juan Worm12Red, Brown, Tan
Midge Larva20-24Black, Red, Cream, Chocolate
Griffith's Gnats14-20Grizzly
Parachute Adams16-20Natural

February 26, 2019

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.


Leaches8-12Olive, Black
Big Mac's22Chocolate
Griffith's Gnat's14-20Grizzly
BWO Comparaduns18-20Olive
Biot Midge18-20Olive