| Area Information
What is the best time of year to visit the San Juan River?
The San Juan River is a year-round fishery. Prime times are February
to April, mid-June to July, and mid-September to mid-November. December
and January are least crowded.
How do I get there?
The San Juan River is located in the northwest corner of New Mexico
about 20 minutes from Aztec, NM, home of the Aztec Ruins National
Monument. Farmington, NM and Durango, CO are the closest airports
with commuter service from the Albuquerque, Denver and Phoenix hubs
on Mesa Airlines, United Express and America West Express. The Albuquerque
Sunport supports all major airlines and is about 3.5 hours from
the San Juan River.
What do I need to fish the San Juan?
We recommend the following when going on a guided trip with Sandstone
Anglers: A 3 to 5 weight rod that is from 8.5 to 9 ft. in length.
Reels should have a smooth drag. Disc drags are best. A 9 ft., 5x
leader would be my first choice for a leader. Breathable or neoprene
waders are recommended. Rental rod/reel and waders are available,
see pricing under guide services.
If you are planning to fish the San Juan on your own I would recommend
the following items: Fluorocarbon tippet is a must for fishing the
tiny flies of the San Juan. You will also need a spool of 5x thru
7x to cover all your needs. Micro splitshot is also a must, sizes
6-10 are used most often. I have found no better indicator for fishing
than poly yarn with white being my favorite color for not spooking
What else shall I pack?
The weather in New Mexico can be unpredictable, so be prepared.
We get 300 days of sunshine a year, so bring plenty of sunscreen,
at least 30 SPF, and polarized sunglasses. A rain coat is essential
anytime of year. And don't forget your camera.
What type of hatches occur on the San Juan?
The San Juan River is primarily a midge and Baetis mayfly fishery.
Summertime does produce varied hatches of caddis, PMD and flying
ants. However, midge and Baetis can be found 12 months out of the
year. These insects are very petite and patterns you fish should
Are there other local places to fish?
The Four Corners region is packed with worthwhile daytrips. Numerous
streams and rivers are within an hour's drive of Aztec and provide
wonderful alternate fishing destinations. The Dolores, Animas, Los
Pinos and Stone Lake are just a few.
What else is there to do?
Southwest Colorado resorts - Purgatory, Telluride and Wolf Creek
- offer great skiing. High desert golf courses - Pinon Hills and
Riverview - will test your skills. Indian culture and history abound.
Aztec Ruins, Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon give you a glimpse of life
1,000 years ago. Nearby Ute tribes offer casino entertainment and
both Ute and Navajo tribes offer cultural programs. Sandstone Anglers
can take you there.
Check availability and
rates on historical tours or shopping excursions.