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Old 10-03-2006, 11:59 AM   #1
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Fly Fishing the San Juan in NM

I know it is early but we are planning a trip to NM in the late spring 07 to do some fly fishing in the San Juan river in NM. I am wondering if anyone can share any tips on places to camp. We don't mind boondocking but would rather hook up for a couple of days at a time. We may hire a fishing guide for a day but most of the time we will be on our own looking for big trout. We will be traveling from Nashville and will probably spend 4-5 days in the area. Any tips would be appreciated...
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Old 10-03-2006, 12:25 PM   #2
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You could camp at Abe's Motel and Fly Shop. It is basicly a parking lot (dirt) with a few tables and fire pits. It does have full hookups and is cheap (around $15 per day). There is a state park at the top of the dam, but I do not know what kind of hookups they have. I will be fishing the San Juan next month, no Airstream, just a bus full of flyfishers from Arizona. I'll post a picture of Abe's tonight. The PO stored my TT across the street from Abe's and I spent 2 nights camped after the purchase.
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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Good tip Richard...Thanks. Put the hurt on them trout... I look forward to the pics. Any tips on flys would be great...

Thanks,

Mario
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:58 PM   #4
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I Was Raised on the San Juan River...

Before the dam was built, we fished the Pine River above the San Juan because the San Juan was a muddy, slow moving river, good for nothing but catfish. As the Navajo Dam was going in, the predecessors of the environmental whackos of today forecast gloom and doom for both rivers.

Then an amazing thing happened. As the lake was filling behind the dam, the San Juan became clearer and colder than ever before, and we were soon catching big trout below the damn. This was long before "Quality Waters" and "Catch and Release."

Last March, a friend came out from Alabama, stayed at Abe's and fished for two days straight loving every minute. Abe arranged for a highly competent guide.

I like Cottonwood Campground across the river from Abe's. It's a beautiful place. When I'm home tonight, I'll provide a website.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:26 PM   #5
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Ken ~

Does this mean you're a flyfisher? I too have fished the San Juan. Red chronimids, RS2's, Brassie's and of course the San Juan worm have all worked well. I've only stayed in Abe's Motel so can't speak from experience of the campgrounds although I've heard the Navajo lake State park campground above the dam is really nice.

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Old 10-03-2006, 05:08 PM   #6
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Mario
Like Ken said above, Cottonwood campground is a very nice campground set in a huge grove of cottonwood trees with access to the river.
There are a couple of campgrounds at Navajo Lake, The state was doing an extensive expansion of at least one of those, adding water and electricity,
over a year ago. The only thing that I would suggest is avoid a major holiday weekend if possible, it get really crowded at times.
Site for Navajo Dam is:

http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/emnrd/parks/navajo.htm

Don
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:22 PM   #7
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Here is a picture of the camping area at Abe's. I lucked out and got the shaded spot.
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Old 10-03-2006, 07:26 PM   #8
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This shot is from the top of Navajo Dam looking down stream. You can see cable hole and upper flats.
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Old 10-03-2006, 08:49 PM   #9
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Nice Pictures, Richard...

And you can just see Cottonwood Campground if you squint your eyes, and look really hard... You're making me homesick.


Quote:
Does this mean you're a flyfisher? I too have fished the San Juan. Red chronimids, RS2's, Brassie's and of course the San Juan worm have all worked well. I've only stayed in Abe's Motel so can't speak from experience of the campgrounds although I've heard the Navajo lake State park campground above the dam is really nice.

Brad
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Hey Brad,
My fishing buddy and I tied flies, but couldn't afford the gear to really fly fish. We resorted to light spinning rods and reels. I did okay with my famous Muddler Minnow using this technique. Fishing ended when I went on active duty in 1969. You are correct about the State Parks above the damn. I just like Cottonwood Campground for its proximity to the river and Abe's Store.
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:06 PM   #10
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This is great info. We are looking at late April for a trip. Maybe we can have an AS fishing trip and forums rally. It's never to early to start planning...
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:07 PM   #11
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This could be a vintage rally. It looks like I'm the new trailer with a '78
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:00 PM   #12
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Richard,

Great pics. They make me homesick as well. My wife and I moved away from the Farmington area last year after 23 years. We now live smack dab in the middle of the state (Moutainair). Spent most of our summers on Navajo Lake with our kids- camping, water skiing, some fishing. Did some fly fishing with a friend years ago, but I don't claim to be a fisherman at all.

Mario- have fun. New Mexico is an amazing place and Quality Waters is well known. There are plenty of locals who are willing to talk to you if you have any questions.

Jay
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