Great Summer Time Fishing
Wow what a difference this summer compared to the drought of last summer. Water levels are much higher than last year and are higher than the 80 year average. This means that the water temperatures are better for the trout compared to last summer. We can fish all day, without checking the temperature all morning. Last summer we were often done fishing by mid-day. Besides having a great snow pack this spring to help with our current water levels, we have also been getting some monsoonal rains and night time temperatures in the low 40’s to cool the water off.
All of our local streams have been fishing good, as well as both of the Private Ranches on the San Juan River and the Navajo. On the local streams, it has been mostly hopper / dropper fishing. Some fish are looking up, but most of the fish have been on some type of a bead head nymph. On the Private Ranches, standard nymph rigs with indicator, shot, and two flies has been the ticket in the morning and then hopper / dropper rigs. After I spend the morning going upstream, we will fish back down stream throwing streamers down and across the river in the bigger runs and pools. If anglers are good enough to throw streamers, I have had some great success with a Copper John or Lighting Bug trailing about 12 – 15 inches behind.
The Lower San Juan, is now called the “Red Chilly Waters”, instead of "Quality Waters".
Designations of Special Trout Waters Keeping New Mexico True, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has established three designations for Special Trout Waters: Red Chile Water, Green Chile Water and Xmas Chile Water. Each designation is easy to remember, and signs with new symbols are posted at STWs with bag limits and tackle restrictions provided.
Red Chile Water /Catch-and-release
Green Chile Water / Two (2) trout daily bag limit with tackle restrictions with tackle restrictions with any legal tackle
Xmas Chile Water / Two (2) trout daily bag limit
The Lower San Juan fits in with around a dozen other catch and release streams in New Mexico. The flows are still running high for this time of year. The flow is around 1,500 now and is usually around 500 – 650. With that it has made some of the dry fly fishing tough ( the hatches seem to be later) , but in the last two weeks I have had some good action on dries after mid-day. There have been some incredible midge hatches mid-morning, with the midges clustering later in the hatch if the wind isn’t too strong. My best pattern has been Ken’s Crazy Ant tied in a size 16 or 18. In the mornings I have had best luck on Black Beauties, Grey Foam Wing, and Chocolate Krystal Flash.
Here are a bunch of Pics.