Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

San Juan River

10/03/2019 - 10/06/2019

CWF is headed to the San Juan River!

Dates: October 3, 4, 5, 6,  2019

POC: Robin Schmidt, trips@colowomenflyfishers.org , (720) 339-8879

Location: Navajo Dam, NM


  • Jay Walden from Abe’s Fly Shop will be speaking to our group on Thursday night, Oct. 3rd. We will meet at 5:30 in the lounge at Abe’s for social time and dinner (order off the menu), with Jay’s talk starting around 7pm.  I’ve asked Jay to discuss access points (possibly bring maps), presentation, rigging, 10 best flies, etc. Have your questions ready for him! Or pass some along to me and I’ll coordinate with him to cover your questions. Please sign up so we can get the correct counts for our reservation. 
  • Fishing midge patterns under an indicator has been working very well throughout the day with larva and emerger patterns in size 24 to 28 – olive, black, gray and chocolate being the most productive colors. The fall blue wing olives (BWOs) have arrived and there is a light hatch in the riffles in the early afternoon. Mayfly nymph patterns and foam wings under an indicator (size 20 to 24) in gray, chocolate and olive are all bringing many fish to the net.
  • In the late afternoons until dark, big foam dry fly patterns like Chernobyl ants, cartoon hoppers, fat Alberts and hippie stompers (size 6 to 10) in black, tan, dark olive and purple are bringing aggressive top-water takes from the bigger fish in the river.
  • With the higher flows they are anticipating one of the best (later) fall BWO mayfly hatches in years. 
  • It’s a very technical river so be ready to focus on your presentation. The fish don’t typically take your fly and go.. they have already spit the fly out by the time the indicator moves. So when something changes with the indicator, set the hook. Even like rings around the indicator and no movement. Set the hook. Be ready to go to small flies. Size 20 is as big as you want to go. 22-24 is great… and 26 is awesome. Don’t be afraid to change flies either. Find the color… Different parts of the river could be on grey, and another on olive and and part on black. There could be up to 32 different hatches that could take place. Save time at the end of the day to dry fly. It’s amazing! You can dry fly throughout the day in spots but in the evening it blows up. As for wading… The upper river is where a lot of people go as there are not any boats up there. If it looks good fish it. Cable hole is at the top of the river by the dam and upper braids. Then kitty hole.. dry fly heaven. Then down to Texas hole and that’s where the boats start and a ton of fishermen.
  • Check out this link for a CWF talk on fishing the San Juan! http://youtu.be/DouFBNHjYqc

Map/Directions: To Abe’s – https://tinyurl.com/map-to-abes

Fly Shops, Guided Fly fishing or Floats:


  • Abe’s and Fisheads are very close. There are several restaurants near the area as well. River is accessible, but I’m sure we’ll drive to some public spots.
  • Abe’s Motel and Fly Shop, 1791 Highway 173, Navajo Dam, NM 87419, (505) 632-2194, sanjuanriver.com . Abe’s has the lowest rates and fills up this time of year. Make reservations well in advance. Waiting until this summer might be too late. Nothing fancy but very friendly.
  • RV’s – Abe’s has around 16 first come first serve sites with full hookup/30-amp for $30/night. If someone gets there on Thursday or before they can arrange to hold sites for people they know are on the way. Check the website for more amenities. (505) 632-2194, sanjuanriver.com. Abe’s is not going to be as nice a place to camp as Cottonwood (which also has access to the river). 
  • Cottonwood Campground, Navajo Lake State Park,  Tents, RVs with hookups. Not far from the main drag & Abe’s (a few miles?) https://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/navajo-lake/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NM&parkId=430020  Enter “Cottonwood” for the loop. There is access to the river from Cottonwood.There are other options up in the state park (Pine Loop) but will be a longer drive from town (but really pretty up there).
  • Fisheads https://www.fisheadsofthesanjuan.com  (505) 634-0463. No RV’s. Restaurant is supposed to be pretty good there. The standard rooms have fly tying tables. Rates not bad for the area and there are a couple houses that can be shared if you have a group that you know you want to share with. Check out Chuck’s House with 4 bedrooms! 
  • These are a little further down the road and offer some condos, townhouse, etc that can be shared. Ask for Steve who runs both of them and see about rates for CWF if you want to form a group! Enchanted Hideaway http://enchantedhideawaylodge.com (some good rates if you can form a group that wants to share!) Kitchens. No restaurant. (505) 6321263Rainbow Lodge – http://www.sanjuanfishing.com,  A little more $$ Restaurant and guided fishing packages. (505) 632-5717


  • All guests of members must sign a release form before attending CWF trips. The guest must sign and bring the signed form to the trip meet location/time and provide to the POC before fishing with the club. Members can download the form here:  Acknowledgement of Risk and Release of Liability for Guests


Event Category:


Abe’s Motel & Fly Shop
1791 NM-173
Navajo Dam, NM 87419 United States
+ Google Map
Attendance: 17

Registrations are closed for this event