A Day of Spey on the San Juan River in January
A day spent on the San Juan River in January attempting to fool trout are typified in these ways:
- • Occasional winds – Sometimes gale force, sometimes dead calm
- • Low Temps – Teens and Twenties
- • Decreased flows – Currently at about 270 cfs
- • Slower water – it’s moving at a snale’s pace in a lot of spots
- • Selective fish – your presentation better be on point
- • Smaller Flies – We are talking 26
- • Light tippets – 6x is a start
Which is why Rob and I decide to kick off the new year by breaking out the 6 weight spey rods, meat box, and sink tips. It’s actually not a very effective way to catch fish on the San Juan at all. It really just weeds out about 90% of feeding San Juan fish. Juan trout are used to the steady flow of microscopic bugs and worms.
There are a few players out there who like their food served on the swing though. Some of these fish don’t get caught all that often either.
Most guides we saw were actually pretty pumped on our dedication to hucking spey rods and not catching fish. We did get some weird looks from the bobber crowd though. The nymph crew certainly caught more fish than us…oh well, we have fun how we want. Maybe next time we will return with our single-handers and a pocket full of nuclear San Juan trout junk. Maybe.
(If you were wanting a report, Simi Seal Leeches swung broadside were actually pretty productive. Otherwise, the standard fare of midges and annelids downsized is the best bet. We did see some Baetis coming off in the afternoon too.)
How about a few shots from the day…