Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fly Fishing the San Juan Mountains in Pagosa Springs, CO

           The fishing has been very good the last few weeks. Lots of fish have been looking up for some dry’s or the hopper dropper rig. Some of the fish have been looking up for a while and are starting to get picky. That happened to me the other day on a trip. Generally on the waters near Pagosa Springs the fish are not very selective (save that for the Lower San Juan). There were several species of may flies on the water, some caddis and even a few ants. We threw several set ups at the fish, but didn’t even get any refusals. The fish were high up on the run, and I couldn’t actually see what they were eating. After some more observation and no fishing I noticed some fish were eating on top and others were just below the surface. So we made yet another switch and downsized to 6 x and a #20 parachute Adams that I tie on a barbless scud hook. This pattern tied on the scud hook allows the bottom of the fly to sit below the surface film. I just put a little Gink on the white post of the parachute Adams. That was the ticket. We put several more fish in the net before the afternoon storms came in and hammered down on us. Those were the first tricky fish on the season.

                The afternoon rains have been making for some tricky fishing in certain areas with high muddy water. Then when it starts to clear, boom!! More thunder. The rain is much needed and the water temperature last week hit 70 degrees on the ranch. The afternoon rains should drop the temps and keep the fishing good for the rest of the summer. As always in the mountains, if you find a muddy stream, go a drive to another  drainage. Some days I will drive to 4 or 5 drainages till I find one running clear. It is very rare that we do not have any clear water to fish. And if everything is blown out we can always go below the dam and fish on the lower San Juan that is a tailwater and has consistent flows.


                Here are some pictures that are always better than words!


                The bookings for this summer are way up compared to last summer with the West Fork fire causing havoc in the San Juan Mountains. No smoky mornings now, let’s hope it stays that way. If you are planning a trip to Pagosa Springs and want to fish, don’t wait till you get here. Book early, several weeks this summer are already full.



Scott Taylor

While you are in town make sure that you visit the following businesses!

Need Fly Fishing gear? See Pop's
Let it Fly
 Downtown Pagosa Springs, across from Kip’s

Hungry for Adventure?
Pagosa Outside Adventures - Rafting, Biking, Kayaking, Tubing
Downtown Pagosa Springs



Need Ski Rentals?

Pagosa Ski Rental (PSR)

Downtown Pagosa Springs


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