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San Juan River Fishing Report

The San Juan River is a year round fishery with something for everyone. Here is a run down month by month so you can choose the time that best suites what you would want from your fishing trip.

January Want to fish the San Juan and not see anyone? This is the month, a great time to escape the crowds, see plenty of wildlife and have some fantastic fishing. The trout in the San Juan spawn during the winter, which means the big fish are very active. The largest fish I have had a client land came during this month. One of the best months to catch a 20+ inch fish. Hatches are still present, and you can even get some excellent dry fly fishing. This is winter fishing at its best, but be prepared for any weather conditions. High temperatures 30's to 50's, lows 0 to 20's.

February Another excellent month to escape the crowds, especially during the week. Fish are still spawning, just not as much. Hatches can still be good enough to have some dry fly activity. We usually see a warming trend by now, although you should still be prepared for winter fishing. High Temps 30's to 60's and lows 10's to 30's.

March Spring breaks increase the number of fishermen, but still far less than what you will see during the summer and fall. Weekdays are still uncrowded and the fishing is very good. Midge hatches are increasing and so are the Baetis Mayflies. Fish are still spawning and big fish are still active. The weather can still be unpredictable, so be prepared. High Temps 40's to 60's and lows 20's to 30's.

April An excellent month to fish the San Juan. Not that there is a bad month, but this is the start of spring here and the insect activity is increasing, which gets the fish feeding better. In this month the spawning is finally about over, and we will start fishing more of the insects that the San Juan is best known for. We start to see larger midges during April, nick-named the Big Mac, and the fish will key in on this abundant food. High temps are 40's to 70's and lows 30's to 40's, but you can still have snow, so you should still be well prepared.

May A very pleasant month to fish our river. The only issue with May is that this is typically when they will increase flows in the river, producing the Spring Run-off. For a person planning a guided fishing trip, we will know when the river will be rising, and other than the day they will be increasing flows, fishing should be very consistent. We will do all of our fishing from the boat, as flows dictate, as this will be the only way to access the river at higher flows. Usually this also means very uncrowded fishing, as there will be very few wading anglers once the flows get above 1500 cfs. On a normal year the river will be at peak flows by Memorial Day weekend(5000 cfs). High Temps. 60's to high 80's and lows 40's to 50's.

June The flows in the river will start to fall in June. This is always dependant on how much snow the mountains got during the winter. On a normal year, the flows in the river will be at or below 1000 cfs by the middle of the month. Once this happens we experience the best fishing of the year for the next month. The hatches will explode, midges, Baetis and even caddis and PMD's will be present. By mid month the Lower San Juan River will be starting to rock, and this section offers the best dry fly fishing of the season. June is also when we have a chance to see our Flying Ant fall. This is not your average flying ant, this is a inch long black Carpenter Ant, and happens with the first good rain shower of the summer. Its a one or maybe two day event, but the fish will still eat them for several months afterwards. The last two weeks in June and the first two weeks of July are our most popular time frame, so you need to book this at least 6 months in advance. High temps are 70's to upper 90's and lows are 50's and 60's.

July One of the best month of the year to fish. Hatches are peaking, Baetis in the upper river and Caddis and PMD's in the Lower river. Lower San Juan has fantastic dry fly fishing, you can literally fish a size 12 dry fly all day, and have a fantastic time. Towards the end of the month the hatches start to taper off, but the first few weeks are spectacular. Water will be gin clear and you will see active fish swimming all over the upper river. High temps are 70's to upper 90's and lows are 50's and 60's.

August A very fine month to fish the San Juan. The Baetis mayfly hatch is over until the fall, but the midge activity is very good. The Big Macs are abundant and the fish will suspend and feed on the rising pupa with vigor. This is also a good month for fishing terrestrials, such as hoppers and ants. Fishing these large dries close to the banks can produce some very fun fishing. People will be heading back to school, so the summer crowds thin out until mid September. High temps are 70's to upper 90's and lows are 50's and 60's.

September Another very fine month to fish the San Juan. The insect activity increase as the month goes on and we will usually start to see Baetis mayflies by the end of the month. By mid month we will see an increase in the number of people, which usually means the start of our fall season, which is our most popular time to fish. Weather starts to cool off and become more fall like. High Temps 60's to 80's and lows 40's to 50's.

October Our most popular month of the year, and just taking one look around you see why. No other month offers the beauty that October does, and by mid month our fall colors are in full swing. The weather is perfect and the fishing is as good as it gets once again. Baetis mayflies are in full swing and dry fly fishing is excellent once again. Fish are feeding like there is no tomorrow, bulking up for the winter. By the end of the month we could have snow, so be prepared. Highs are 60's to 70's and lows 20's to 40's.

November My favorite month to fish. Maybe our best dry fly month. Hatches are outstanding, clumping midges and baetis produce a lot of risers, not to that the brown trout start their spawning during this month, as well as our rainbows. The fish in the San Juan tend to be a winter spawner, due to the lack of change in our water temperature. They tend to respond to the change in daylight more, and after the first full moon phase this month, they will be hot and heavy into spawning. If you know the spawning area's then you will see lots of activity. The crowds of the fall thin out considerably and especially during the week. If I had just one month to fish this river, this is it. Bad weather can happen this month so be prepared. High temps are 40's to 70's and lows 20's to 40's

December Another excellent month to fish the San Juan. This is another month where you could fish all day and not see another fisherman, especially during the week. The hatches are still very good and dry fly fishing is a very good possibility. And the spawning is in full swing. Winter fishing conditions are the norm, but if you have the correct clothing, you will have a incredible day of fishing. Don't hesitate to fish in December, you won't be disappointed! High's 30's to 40's lows 0-20's.

Hatch and fly chart

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Midges
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Baetis
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Caddis
X
X
X
PMD
X
X
X
Ants
X
X
X
X
Hoppers
X
X
X
Eggs
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
Streamers
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
                         

 


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505-334-9789

83 CR 2929
Aztec, NM 87410

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