When fly fishers congregate to spin their tales, it is likely that fly fishing destinations will float to the surface. Conversations will begin with places like the Green River, the Henry's Fork, or a variety of assorted trout hunting destinations. But after a short time, the conversation rapidly turns to the San Juan River in northern New Mexico. For most fly fishers, they have made their pilgrimage to the San Juan at least once. And for a few of us, it seems to be an annual trek. Whether it is your first time, or your tenth, the experience is always the same. The anticipation of a hefty trout at the end of a tightly strained line floods the senses.
The San Juan River that most know of or have heard of, is a tail water that flows out of the bottom of the dam that creates Navajo Reservoir. The water is always cold and trout infested. Located near the small fly fishing community of Navajo Dam, NM, the San Juan River is an important economic focus for it's residents. There are a variety of shops, outfitters, motels and businesses catering to the wader clad tourists.
If you have not made your trek to the San Juan, it needs to be on your short list of places to fish. It will challenge all skill levels and in spite of the frequent bad rap that the San Juan is too crowded, there are many places to test your angling skill, even with some solitude.