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#12519196 - 11/28/17 02:58 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: Littledog]
kaboboom Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 142
Thanks for the report. I wish I could have spent the Holiday like you did. When I was there in Oct, witnessed the same thing...rising fish with few takes on dries, and I've developed a theory. I think maybe they were taking what I'd call midge spinners...spent adults. Not that I could see them on the water, but my buddy and others threw many dries over them constantly with few takes. So I think their flies, even 22s, were too big. So I'm tying tiny black winged 30s for the next trip and that same situation as a dropper off a Griffiths gnat. We'll see...

As for the project notice just posted, I got it too. For those less familiar, the areas that will be most affected are the downstream portion of the Quality water. Not certain, but it didn't sound like it would affect wade fishing in the Quality area very much. But adding a boat launch at Munoz seems like it could change things quite a bit, but that's temporary and my guess it's for the drift boats to haul out...not put in.

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#12520470 - 11/29/17 02:37 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
Littledog Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 11/21/17
Posts: 4
Agreed.
Not much wading area below Beatis bend (lower end of Munoz).
Maybe the improvement work they are planning we help that.
Doesn't really sound like it though.

It really helps to understand the different types of rises.
Most of what I see on the Juan is the porpoise type with only the backs of the fish coming out of the water.
This is for emergers in or just below the surface film. To me, this is the most difficult. I just don't know what fly to use (and I've tried a lot).
If the hatch has some duration to it, I'll see noses start to pop out of the water. Now the fore-and-aft or really small tricos work.
This seems to coincide with lots of adults (alive or spent wing) on the surface.
Occasionally there are sufficient numbers of mating adults to create clusters on the surface. This is when the #22 Griffiths can work.

They can be caught.
I've seen some of the local guys run around the flat picking off every riser they cast to.
If you ever see one of them, stop fishing, watch and learn. Jay from Abe's is one of those guys.
What I have seen:
They do not cast to every fish within range. Instead, they pick out a fish that is rising very consistently in the same spot over and over in an accessible location.
They then position them selves in the perfect position. Usually at about 10:30 or 1:30 depending on current and wind, upstream of the fish.
They get a lot closer than most would think you should get. Rarely do I see them cast more than 15 to 20 feet.
They "puddle cast" above the fish holding the rod tip high. As the leader extends, they move (skate) the fly to the correct drift location. (+/- 1" makes a difference)
They then lower the rod tip and "feed" the fly down the drift lane.
Only a small length (if any) fly line will every hit the water.
(A little bit of down stream breeze really helps with this.)
I'm getting better at this but have along way to go.

What is nice about the Juan is that you can get in an area where there are hundreds of 15" to 20" "targets".
A great place to hone your skills. . . or loose your mind.

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#12521102 - 11/30/17 06:49 AM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
kodys'papa Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 17570
Loc: Tawakoni/Mogote, CO.


I've heard stories of fisherman jumping off the Cumbres and Toltec railroad to fish the Los Pinos, and on a guided trip once, I could see the train passing close by on a bluff, but I'm sure we were on private land. Still, there are stories...

[/quote

Insurance issues forced the train to stop dropping hikers and fisherman off. I volunteered on the Cumbers this summer and lots of folks asked about the Los pinos. We own property above highway 17 on the Los pinos curve and fish it above the highway
_________________________
Hooking a fish is like playing string with a cat. The exact size, shape, color of string matters less than how you wiggle it- and little cats are easier to fool than big ones. John Gierach

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#12521197 - 11/30/17 08:42 AM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: Littledog]
kaboboom Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 142
Hoping to add to your insights, I think it also helps to consider how the fish adjust the amount of effort they will spend based on the size of the "meal". The fixed risers stay stationary to reduce effort, and feed in a very narrow range as you described. Others may be swimming around slowly with open mouths scooping small midges without too much attention on any one. Then there are the "boot feeders". The second type is very difficult to target, and unless you tie something onto your boot laces, the third is just plane futile though unbelievably tempting. One evening, I tied on a marabou leech then watched my friend throwing small dries get frustrated while I caught some very nice fish on the leech. Bigger meal, bigger hit, so beef up your leader. I still tied on a midge trailer for the initial drift. Next evening, same strategy, not a hit.

I did use/modify an interesting rig after talking to a guy from Colorado. Using a yarn indicator, two midges are added as droppers (off the lower tag of two triple surgeon's with a half hitch) close to the indicator, and the leader is terminated with a single split shot much further down. I adjusted the depth so the split shot would get just a little hung up on the weed bed, then get blown off to travel a little more. This reduced the frequency of casting, with the intent of keeping the flies near the surface around porpoising fish. A bit lazy, but it worked sometimes.

Thanks for the info on the train...I can (sadly) scratch that off my bucket list.


Edited by kaboboom (11/30/17 08:45 AM)

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#12536507 - 12/12/17 10:14 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
Texas9 Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/30/10
Posts: 252
there's world class trout water a lot closer than new mexico. White/ Little red river Arkansas. bigger trout too

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#12537839 - 12/13/17 09:14 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
Scottybdiving Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/06/17
Posts: 12
Loc: Spicewood, TX
I made my first trip to the San Juan in Oct. We stayed at Cottonwood CG in our RV. Did a guided float trip the 1st day, then kayak / wade fished on my own the rest of the trip. I'm not a very accomplished fly fisherman but I caught several personal best and missed a whole lot more. You had to be pretty quick on the draw.

We also went to Dolores and I fished both the Upper and Lower. Caught fish on both.



Edited by Scottybdiving (12/13/17 09:15 PM)

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#12554476 - 12/28/17 01:39 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
Chatterbait Offline
Angler

Registered: 03/04/07
Posts: 289


Dan and I have been there 3 times but not recently. Twice in March and we encountered some snow and ice. We took double digit numbers of trout each trip we made. We never used a Guide but did Internet research and then contacted Abe's son Tim Chavez who was very helpful providing key information. We drove straight through from Texas(775 miles)one way,all three trips. Temps in the mornings were in the 20's. Our greatest trip occurred one June when the ramp down of water release left some sizeable trout on the outer areas of the main channel. Dan and I picked off a bunch of 16-20+ inch trout before the fish made it back into the main channel. Incredible trip!

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#12559187 - 01/01/18 05:58 AM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
kaboboom Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 08/31/08
Posts: 142
Nice pic/beautiful fish...you both look a little excited.

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#12562874 - 01/03/18 01:45 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
krawlin 47 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 17085
Loc: Sachse Texas
I was on the San Juan for the past two weeks and we did very well.

Pretty crowded - pretty chilly but well worth the trip from my new place in Vallecito.

Believe it or not we did real well both in the morning and late on dry flies (clusters)

Amazing how small the baits are that the fish want down there - 22, 24 and 26 on 6x. My eyes are not very good!

Emergers worked well also in a gray/white.

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#12562876 - 01/03/18 01:46 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: Scottybdiving]
krawlin 47 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 17085
Loc: Sachse Texas
Originally Posted By: Scottybdiving
I made my first trip to the San Juan in Oct. We stayed at Cottonwood CG in our RV. Did a guided float trip the 1st day, then kayak / wade fished on my own the rest of the trip. I'm not a very accomplished fly fisherman but I caught several personal best and missed a whole lot more. You had to be pretty quick on the draw.

We also went to Dolores and I fished both the Upper and Lower. Caught fish on both.



Very nice!!! I am a learner as well...not an easy learn which makes the catch that much more enjoyable!

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#12565470 - 01/05/18 12:53 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
dbltea Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/24/10
Posts: 85
Loc: Pagosa Springs, CO
Finished the year with a quick trip down to the quality waters (the joys of being just 1 1/2 hours away). Beautiful day and managed some really nice fish. The lake has already turned so visibility was a foot at best ...good for throwing some junk instead of micro flies!


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#12568167 - 01/07/18 08:05 PM Re: San Juan in NM...why no discussion here? [Re: kaboboom]
krawlin 47 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/24/08
Posts: 17085
Loc: Sachse Texas
Beautiful fish!!!

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