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san juan fly fishing

San Juan Quality Waters
Most of our San Juan float trips take place just below the reservoir in the quality water section located in Navajo Lake State Park. This trip covers about 3.5 miles on full and 1/2 days. This section is world renown for technical trout that eat specific fly patterns often times the size of a pinhead. Size 18 to 30 hooks are common practice on this incredible fishery.

San Juan Mid River Section (bait waters)
The mid river floats cover an additional 3 river miles of public and private water. This section is perfect for the dry fly enthusiast, kids and those learning the sport. Mid river San Juan floats offer the angler the chance to fish larger fly patterns including hoppers, caddis and PMDs. Streamer fishing can also be productive on this section in the spring and fall. This stretch sees a lot of bank fisherman, however the float trafic is typically very low.

Year-round Season
Here at Animas Valley Anglers we believe a little snow and sleet shouldn't keep one off the water, making the San Juan float season in the Quality Waters year-round. However, most days in the winter are sunny and calm with temps in the mid 40's to lower 50's. Summer temps will be in the 90's, but with a slight breeze off the water it feels a lot cooler. The lower river fishes well from March through October.

The San Juan Quality Waters offers anglers the most reliable fishing during the winter months. Navajo Dam pumps consistent water temps into the river allowing the trophy trout to feed 365 days a year. San Juan wade and float trips are the perfect trip for the beginner, intermediate and experienced angler looking for a little winter break from the ski slopes.

The Trout
The consistent and stable environment created by the damn make the San Juan one of the top five tail water fisheries in the country when it comes to fish-per mile. Each little run, riffle and pool is chalk full of browns, rainbows and cut-bows. The trout average between 16 and 18 inches and every year the occasional 30-incher makes in to the net. Massive carp also live in the shallow back waters of the river and can make for great sport on the fly.

Catch rates
The San Juan is a fish factory. From the dam down through the lower river one can expect many opportunities at trout on the fly. 20 fish per rod, per boat is common. Keep in mind however, that these fish are large, strong fighting fish and they can be a real challenge to land on a #28 midge pupa. Not all of the monsters we hook make it to the net for a photo!

San Juan Quality Waters and Mid River Guide Trips and Rates
All our guide trips for Colorado and the San Juan River in New Mexico include:

  • Professional Guide
  • Flies (including secret guide patterns)
  • Terminal Tackle
  • Hearty stream-side lunch with drinks
  • Transportation (if needed)
  • Rod/Reel and Waders/Boots

If you or any one in your group needs to use a rod and reel and/or waders for the day, no problem, we will supply high-end gear at no extra cost. Most guide services tack that, as well as flies, on to the bill. Right there you and your group are saving over $40 per angler.

San Juan QW and Mid River float trips do not include: New Mexicofishing license, 5% NM State tax and customary gratuity for the guide.

san juan trips rates