Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Report Sums Up Shape of the San Juan River

"State Department of Game and Fish Biologist, James Dominguez, 36, of Tucumcari, displays one of many fine trout found in the waters of New Mexico's San Juan River during an electro-shocking expedition in the late fall of 2008. To the right, San Juan River Fisheries Biologist, Marc Wethington,44, of Kirtland, takes note".

Midge clusters on the water

Wading around the corner of a willow choked island at Baetis Bend on the San Juan River recently, I encountered a well-appointed but clearly disappointed fly fisherman.

“This river has gone to hell, “ he complained.

I wondered what the problem was as I looked over the water he was deserting. After all, it was a gorgeous, late fall day, trout were rising and he’d had this whole stretch of New Mexico’s premier trout stream all to himself.

What he was complaining about was low water flows in recent years that he believed had killed off insects that the river’s trout feed upon.

He lamented the loss of the good old days, back when water released from Navajo Dam ran much higher, scouring silt and sediment from the river bottom, producing conditions in which insects thrived, making fishing here a breeze.

He concluded that the river and the fishing had suffered and mumbled bitterly as he shuffled off around the bend.

But within minutes I was into a classic San Juan rainbow, 18 inches of fight, straining mightily against my line, then sailing through the air and making my day.

Because, although some of what the disgruntled angler said may be true, the river’s trout population today continues to thrive and most anglers are highly satisfied with the fishing.

That’s according to a recently released study of the river by the state Department of Game and Fish.

Too Read the full article check out where you can find plenty of articles and great information on fly fishing the San Juan River.

Special thanks to Karl F. Moffatt
Owner operator of


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