Extreme Makeover - San Juan Edition

view from the damKristen and I hit the San Juan in New Mexico for the Superbowl weekend for the 2nd year in hopefully a long tradition of fishing the San Juan for the Superbowl.

In the week leading up to the trip we were keeping an eye on the weather pretty close, and things went from Sunny and Warm to "Ice Pellets" and every kind of weather pattern in between. Thursday when we left there was a 40% chance of rain in the evening Friday with scattered clouds both Saturday and Sunday. That wasn't the case...

We arrived at Abe's just after midnight Friday to discover our room had a total of one (1) working lightbulb out of a possible 3, but that's kind of what you expect sometimes at Abe's we've come to discover. We crashed out to get a few hours sleep and got the room situation worked out first thing in the morning along with our Licenses from Matt over at Float n' Fish. 

Friday fishing was good to us, not a single fish under 17" the whole day. Unfortunately I had left the memory card for my camera at home, and my spares were back in the car so very few photos were taken that day. It was a good start to the trip as far as fish went though.

friday bow jasonfriday bow kristen2

friday bow kristen1

Friday closed out with winds picking up, some sideways rain and eventually ice, but it was a good day fishing, lots of nice fish to hand. By the time we got back to the room it had started to snow lightly. Within a few hours it was starting to stick and turn everything white.

We woke up Saturday to about 4-5 inches of snow covering everything and icicles hanging from the eves. 



rod in snow

The change in weather unfortunately put the fish off the feed and fishing was slow Saturday. We both picked up fish swinging streamers though and for Kristen this was her first time catching fish on the swing!

two buff trout

two buff trout close

kristen cold bowkristen cold bow in net

kristen thumbs up

jason long bow

jason release

The Juan had a fresh new look with its new blanket of snow covering everything. The south facing slopes lost most all of their beauty makeup by the end of the day.

view from the dam

Sunday was a short day and started out very slow and frustrating for me. Kristen on the otherhand was picking up nice fish pretty regularly, only adding to my frustration. 

kristen bow net

kristen last day bow

kristen bow release

With the time to depart rapidly approaching I cut off my indicator rig and tied on 2 large streamers. Cast after cast, no fish... Only a few bumps, but nothing yet to my now freezing fingers and hands. One more cast I said to myself, and then I'm done, my fingers were getting too cold and I had come to accept that I would end the day with nothing but a few minnow sized trout to hand.

I picked my spot where I was going to dump those streamers and shot out a long cast to the top of the far side of the large run I was at. Off my left shoulder I could see some fisherman walking off the water watching me strip flies through this pool and the looks on their faces was pretty much "You're doing it wrong, this is a micro-fishery, you can't strip streamers!" With about 40ft of line and another 9ft of leaders and flies still out in the pool I got hit like a freight train! I strip set as I was lifting the rod and there was some nice weight on the other end, FINALLY!

last fish

jason bow release

With the last cast and the last fish of the day we packed it out and made our way home to Arizona. And while the trip wasn't the best as far as numbers or weather, good company and beautiful rivers make it all worth it. Till the next time we visit, goodbye for now San Juan.

leaving the river-color


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