What are the best flies for the
Flies for the San Juan
The best fly for the San Juan is usually determined by insect
activity at the time and location you are fishing and the insects
available during the last day or two. Midge larva and pupa in
various sizes (18 - 28) and colors (black, brown, tan, cream, olive,
red) are generally available to trout most days on the San Juan
Quality Water, and these insects are the prevalent species available
to trout in the upper river on most days. From Texas Hole and
below mayfly Nymphs (18 - 22) , emergers and adults become more
important. Various annelids or "worms" and Scuds are also
available. Immediately prior to hatches and during hatches
trout may begin to feed selectively on specific insects and stages
of insect development. During these periods it is important to
identify the insect, size, color and stage of the insect that the
fish are feeding on to do well. When you are able to "Match
the Hatch" you will catch trout consistently on the San Juan.
Insect activity changes during the day, most Midge and mayfly
hatches occur after mid morning to the evening. Early in the
morning you will probably want to fish annelid and larval patterns
close to the bottom. In areas where there are good mayfly
populations you will want to fish mayfly Nymphs also. As
hatches develop during the day you will probably want to remove some
weight and fish higher in the water column to the surface with
Midge/mayfly emerger patterns. If fish are feeding on the
surface you may be able to fish Midge/mayfly adults (dries)
successfully. Between hatches do not be afraid to fish
attractor patterns both below the surface and on top.
Streamers can also be effective between hatches.
The best way to anticipate which flies to use is to stop by Float 'N
Fish and ask the staff which flies they recommend for the part of
the river you will be fishing. Their intimate knowledge of the
San Juan will help you fish the right flies for the part of the
river and time of day that you are fishing.
The Fly Shop
San Juan River Info
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Flies for the San Juan
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|Can I get a Fishing License at Float
NM Fishing License
Yes, Float 'N Fish sells fishing licenses as well as some small game
licenses for NM Game and Fish. To minimize your fishing costs,
it is recommended that you bring cash for licenses, otherwise a
Credit Card/Debit fee must be applied. Current fishing
information and friendly service do not cost anything at Float 'N
|Can I reserve a Fishing Guide at Float
Book Guide Trip Request
Float 'N Fish provides custom wade or drift boat guided trips on the
San Juan Quality Water and Lower River. Guided trips can be
reserved for individuals to large groups such as corporate groups.
Float 'N Fish Guides are seasoned professionals proficient in
teaching beginners through experienced anglers the techniques and
methods for consistently catching fish on the San Juan River.
|How much weight should I use when
San Juan Fishing Techniques
Use only as much weight as you need to get to the depth that you
need to fish. In the early mornings you will probably want
more weight as you generally should be fishing close to the bottom.
As hatches begin to develop you will generally fish less weight,
especially if you are fishing emergers just below the surface.
The speed and depth of the water also impact how much weigh you will
need to use.
|How long does it take to get from the
Albuquerque Airport to the San Juan?
The trip from the Albuquerque Sunport to the San Juan takes about 3
1/2 hours. From the Albuquerque Sunport travel west to
Interstate 25 and then to north on interstate 25 to exit 242.
Take exit 242 and then go West on US 550. US 550 will travel
north and west through high desert and cross the continental divide
just north of Cuba, NM. This is a colorful drive through high
desert country. At Bloomfield, follow the junction with US 64
east 11.6 miles to the junction with NM 511. Turn left on NM
511 (north) and continue 8.2 miles to the community of Navajo Dam.
The route along HM 511 to the community of Navajo Dam is a winding
road which follows the south side of the San Juan private water for
much of its course. At the community of Navajo Dam, turn left
at the intersection of NM 173 and Float 'N Fish will be down the
hill on the right hand side.
|Can I rent rods, reels, waders, wading
boots at Float 'N Fish?
Yes, Float 'N Fish can provide rental rods/reels, waders and
boots for fishermen. Float 'N Fish provides breathable Gortex
rental waders in both mens and womens sizes and wading boots in
sizes 4 - 16 to fit men, women and children.
|What is the best time of year to fish
the San Juan?
San Juan Seasons
The unique tail water characteristics of the San Juan make it a
river which can be fished effectively almost 365 days a year.
Tactics change depending on the season. During Spring, Summer
and Fall fish are spread out throughout the Quality Water and move
in and out of faster water depending on where food is most
available. This makes finding fish relatively easy during
these months as they are present in most parts of the river.
During the winter months, fish tend to move to slower water and pool
up, so you will generally want to avoid faster water and riffles.
Most fishermen fish Spring, Summer and Fall. Summer is
generally the busiest season. Locals and many fishermen from
northern climates, accustomed and equipped for fishing in cool
weather, look forward to fishing the winter months.
|What size tippet should I use?
San Juan Fishing Techniques
When Nymph fishing with small flies (18 - 24) you need to use a
light tippet to provide the fly the ability to move naturally in the
water. In general this is 5x - 7x for both monofilament and
fluorocarbon materials. The breaking strength of these lighter
tippet diameters is relatively low, so you will need to be very
careful when fighting and landing larger fish. If you are
fishing larger flies (8 - 14), you will probably want stronger tippet such
as 3x - 5x, but be aware that the fly will move less naturally and
you will likely get fewer strikes.
|Other than fishing what other
activities are available near the San Juan River?
San Juan area attractions
In addition to world class trout fishing, the area around the San
Juan offers a plethora of activities, some of which are seasonal.
The area has Indian Ruins, Golf, Skiing, River Rafting, Hiking,
Camping, Boating and many other outdoor activities. If you are
interested in scenic drives the trips to Taos, NM or
Silverton/Ouray, CO are beautiful, and are stunning during the fall.
The town of Durango is a year round tourist town with weekly
activities, live music, fine restaurants and many other local
|What fishing tackle (rods, reels, etc)
should I bring to the San Juan?
San Juan Fishing Tackle
You will want rods from 3wt to 7wt to fish the San Juan. Most
people will fish a 4wt or 5 wt in a 8 1/2' to 9' rod for general
Nymph and dry fly fishing. If you want to fish streamers you
will probably prefer a 5wt to 7wt rod. Reels should have at
least 50 yards of backing and preferably close to 100 yards of
backing. Once you've been spooled, you don't have a lot of
|What type of weather will I experience
on the San Juan?
San Juan Climate
The San Juan is located in high desert country at an altitude of
slightly over 5,700'. The desert climate provides large
temperature changes between afternoons and overnight lows, typically
these differences are close to 30ºF per day. During the
spring and fall mornings are cool with some mornings starting below
freezing. Afternoons are generally comfortable with moderate
layering and/or an outer shell. Summer mornings are cool (55º
to 65º) with highes from 80ºFto 95ºF. Sunscreen
is recommended all year long but especially during summer. You
should consider longsleeve clothing which protects you from the
intense sun during the summer months. You would be wise to
carry rain protection during the summer as July through September
can offer up short but intense thunderstorms.
During the late fall, winter and early spring you will want to layer
effectively, carry warm fishing gloves and warm hats. Winter
temperatures will generally start out below feeezing in the
mornings, but generally climb well above freezing by afternoon.
Even though the air temperature during the winter may be cool, the
water temperatures in the Quality Waters are relatively stable
during winter months and fish and insects remain active.
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Ph: 505-632-5385 888-475-5770 #4 County Road 4251 Navajo Dam, NM 87419