San Juan; desert beauty

Had a last fishing outing with some of my best clients to one of my favorite places. The San Juan River begins in the mountains of Southern Colorado and runs into the the enormous Navajo reservoir in New Mexico. Below the dam the water runs cold, very cold all year long. There are rarely clouds in the sky in this part of the world and the air is dry and warm. The 320 days of sun, and the cold water create a river filled with midge and mayflies and consequently one of the healthiest populations of trout in the world. Over 6,000 per kilometer by some estimates. Looking down into the water is like peering into the top of an aquarium.
My friend Ivette and I shared a boat for a few days. She was the CEO of an insurance company and upon her retirement came to me a few years ago wanting to learn how to fish. She's been on several trips with me and to other exotic destinations learning to fish. I felt a real sense of accomplishment watching her catch and land large fish on light tackle.
The Juan's rainbows may be numerous but they are most certainly not easy. The average size fly for nymphing is a size 22 and 26 for dries. It can take alot of experimentation to find the right fly and patience to land a 20 inch fish on 7x.
Watching the sun set in the canyon from the top of the dam I said farewell to the Juan. I'll be back someday with new friends to enjoy this desert prince.


  1. That looks like a total blast. Absolute hogs those fish.
    I love catching big fish on small nymphs. 7X would test my nerves though!

  2. you going to have to take me there some time, man that’s nice. Putting that Danielsson to good use! Have a good flight bro.

  3. Those are some fine looking trout!