Abe's Motel & Fly Shop


United States

New Mexico

1791 NM-173, Navajo Dam, NM 87419


Latitude: 36.805228

Longitude: -107.695705



505 632 2194

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  A new year, and I'm ready. This past year, for me, seemed to be an odd one on the San Juan. We had murky water from the lake turning over in the winter of 2016 that lasted through the early months of 2017 and continued all the way until the end of the spring release, which put us into early July. Even after that; although clearer, the water clarity never did reach that normal San Juan, gin clear status, until late summer, something I'd never seen before here; or if I had, I didn't remember it. Then of course there was that spring release of high water that lasted nearly forty-five days and made wade fishing impossible, right when the weather was getting nice and everyone wanted to get out and shake off the "shack nasties" of a long winter. It's dang near torture to look at a body of water you love for a month-and-a-half, knowing that you can't fish it, except by boat, which I'm not too crazy about in the first place. Besides, fishing that high stuff is a whole different beast, and not really my cup of tea, although I know some folks just love it. To each his own, I guess. That said, I did it a time or two, because not fishing at all, is dangerous to the psyche. And in all oddness, as oddness goes, this seemed to be the year of small fish for me. Never before in all my years of fishing this river, do I remember seeing the overwhelming number of "pellet heads," as I saw this past year. And yes, I caught a good number of "good" fish too, but I don't recall catching, or for that matter, seeing, as many small fish, as last year. I know there's a logical argument for a river that receives a lot of fishing pressure to be replenished, especially when said species does not naturally reproduce, and I know that there's the explanation that the survival rate of smaller, stocked fish is higher than that of larger, stocked fish, so I'm going to chalk up this last year to growing pains for my home waters. Painful? Yes, a bit, but hopefully for the common good of years to come–2018 being the first of them. While I'm on my rant, I'm just going to throw in here that just as the Durangler's Corner/Simon area seemed to be on a comeback and I was getting into some good fish down there, up went the signs for the river restoration project and now all bets are off until sometime around March or April. Again, growing pains—but something that will make this a better fishery in the long run. Lest my curmudgeonly demeanor get the best of me, I'll move on now, with a brighter outlook for the future and the ability to look slightly beyond the end of my nose. 2017 is behind us now, and I, of all people, just need to get over myself.

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