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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 the fish.

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 reflect that.

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.


Our Clients Say

I've fished with John Tavenner approximately 12 times on the San Juan with great results each time. John in my opinion is the best guide I have ever fished with, including those on the Madison, Gallatin & the Yellowstone Rivers in Montana.

John has the ability for locating Trophy Trout & giving his clients an opportunity to Catch, Photograph & Release Fish that you always dreamed of catching.

If you want the experience of a "Lifetime" call John Tavenner at Sandstone Anglers--you won't be disappointed.

Ray Baker - El Cajon, CA


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Sandstone Anglers, Inc.
505-334-9789

83 CR 2929
Aztec, NM 87410

©2001 Sandstone Anglers, Inc.