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Old 06-12-2016, 05:30 PM   #1
NMSooner'80
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Default If you've ever been at least intrigued with fly fishing for trout...

Check out the San Juan River in northwestern New Mexico (but not in the dead of summer, unless you want to roast). But, if you've never done it before, I will practically beg you to hire a guide out of one of the many guide services / shops in the area.

I've done four guided float trips on the San Juan out of a place called Soaring Eagle Lodge. The best day I ever had was 35 trout landed, including five that went 4-5 pounds, in November of 2013. I got a 24-inch, 6 1/2 pounder last April, and my dad and I caught about 26 fish on an all-day float seven weeks ago.

The big challenge of that kind of fishing is that you have to use really tiny flies, tied on barbless hooks, with very light leaders. There is no bait fishing allowed on the main part of the river (or on the property of Soaring Eagle Lodge), and it's all catch-and-release. But the catching makes it worth the release.

The drive out there from Oklahoma isn't that bad. It's four lanes almost all the way out there from Lawton, and from OKC it's four lanes all the way except for the last 20 or so miles out of Bloomfield, N.M., to the river. Of course, it was easy for me when I lived in Albuquerque (three hours north and west to the Farmington area....).

To me, the best time to go is either in April or early May, or after early October through November.
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:32 PM   #2
SoonerTraveler
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Default Re: If you've ever been at least intrigued with fly fishing for trout...

Thanks! Is this also a scenic area / mountain river? I am more of a hiker than a fisherman.

EDIT: This part looks scenic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ju...Juan_River.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ju...vermap-new.png

http://www.ifly4trout.com/photogallery.htm
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:51 PM   #3
NMSooner'80
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Default Re: If you've ever been at least intrigued with fly fishing for trout...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerTraveler View Post
Thanks! Is this also a scenic area / mountain river? I am more of a hiker than a fisherman.

EDIT: This part looks scenic:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ju...Juan_River.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Ju...vermap-new.png

http://www.ifly4trout.com/photogallery.htm

The stretch between the base of Wolf Creek Pass and Pagosa Springs is definitely a mountain stream. I've never seen it below Pagosa, though, until it leaves the Navajo Dam spillway.

The water below the dam in New Mexico, for several miles, is clear and cold for several miles normally. And it's cold 100 percent of the time until you get to about Bloomfield.

The photo gallery is definitely the stretch that has the great fly fishing. I've crossed the river in Utah and just northeast of the Four Corners. It's definitely not a trout stream by then. At Mexican Hat, Utah, the river runs almost bright red from the surrounding red rocks.

In Pagosa Springs, people put in innertubes in the summertime and float from the U.S. 160 bridge down to the springs. You can also fish it if you can find a stretch that's slightly away from the tubes.

Last edited by NMSooner'80; 06-15-2016 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:51 PM   #4
SoonerTraveler
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Default Re: If you've ever been at least intrigued with fly fishing for trout...

Thanks! A trip to the Four Corners area sounds like a must-do.
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