Fishing Report / Greg's Blog


July 18 

Flows have been dropped down to 650 cfs and the water is clear.

Taking advantage of getting caught up on orders I headed to the river this morning for a few hours, intending to check out the Upper Flats on down through the Braids. At the last minute I turned off at Munoz parking lot to give the Lower Flats one more chance since the flows are back down to a more comfortable level to wade there.

Unfortunately that area is still fishing tough … there are fish there but not near in the numbers of past years and you have to work hard to get a hookup - a good mended drift with no drag is a must and the takes can be very subtle (by the way not one of the drift boats passing by got a fish in the boat while I was there). Talking with a customer a couple weeks ago about this subject, we both came to the same conclusion: lots of silt and not many bugs present may be a good reason for the lower counts. I spent a couple hours walking around and only got into a few fish, most of them along the edges of the main channel just above Lunker Alley. There was zero in the way of bugs in the morning and I got some takers on a sz 16 curv-e-lid and lost a few on a new sz 18 soft hackle I tied up. By the way, unless you want to San Juan Shuffle to the fish gathering below your feet, work your way upstream to the targets. If you go downstream all you’ll do is gather a crowd below your feet. This is a tough time of year with the clear water and the large volume of anglers wading – the fish are looking for the annelids that get kicked by the crowds and if they spot you they’ll move to you fast (if you can’t resist the temptation to fish at your feet don’t get huffy if a nearby angler takes exception and asks you not to break the rules).

Around 11:30 I ventured down to the little island at baetis bend and there was a little bit of a hatch going on so I switched to a dry leader and got some of the stockers put in this winter to grab a griffith gnat (they’re up to 9 or 10 inches now). But the reason I headed down that way was to fish a hopper along the flats below baetis bend so I switched and worked my way down – didn’t get anything to co-operate though.

Anyway – no such thing as a bad day on the Juan as long as the weather behaves – but if you are headed this way the upper river would be the place to hang out if you want to get into some better action. Personally I’m done with the Lower Flats for the rest of the year (bummer as the Lower Flats has always been my favorite spot to fish on the San Juan).

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