GREEN EGGS AND HAMlets?
Yup, that is what they are serving up over at the San Juan River, Navajo Dam, NM. And I'm talking about over at the river, not over at the Back Cast Cafe in town (Which I highly recommend for a scrumpious breakfast). Yes, it was a few days of casting out little
green chartruese eggs and bacon red larva. I mean, this is where the "San Juan Worm" originated. But, the smaller the better on the red annelid. 28??? Ahhh.
I had a full box of San Juan flies to test out, but when you get out to the river after a long day of driving (4 pm) and you throw on something quick to catch a fish...well, if they take it, why not keep throwing it for the time being???
I only had an hour and a half until sun down. Racked up eight little
stalkers stockers... a good way to start out my fishing trip. Now it was time to rest up a bit back at the hacienda. Oh yes, a fine suite with a courtyard. Heehee.
The luxuries of home. Minus the internet. Minus cell phone coverage. TV? Yes, old movies as I remember. Don't ask me what I watched... It's all a faded memory now.
Every morning started here. Very friendly and helpful crew at the main fly shop in town. Got the latest reports and then headed across the street for breakfast.
Hey, it's Zorro! One of the many Triploids, (sterile female rainbow trout) that are raised in hatcheries and planted in the San Juan... The plan is to raise trout that won't interbreed with the natives and compromise the ongoing efforts to maintain pure-strain native populations. Well, I caught my fair share of them. It was fun to be catching all day long anyway. (They did their stocking one week before we got there of another 30, 634) So, you do have to wait your turn for the "gem" to find its way to the net. Maybe when I go back in a couple of years, some of those little tikes will be a nice, fat 7 lbs or more... At least that is what the Midgeman tells me. They don't burn up energy reserves and can get huge, fast... The next trip out should be interesting.
The next morning was spent in the "Braids". A diversion was constructed to direct more flow into the Braids area to increase the water’s depth and velocity.
The project as been deemed a huge success.
Past the Braids was my favorite spot. The Sand Hole. Boom! I had a dozen 10-12 inchers reeled in the first hour before I could say, "Dang those mud holes, beaver ponds, cattails, and ice sheets!" I was here now and lovin' it!!
Then, my friend David from the fly shop comes over next to me and shows me how it's done. Yes, there are bigger fish in the San Juan!! Yeah, thanks D. Oh, I know there are big fish. You see, while I was netting my small bow fries, there was this big ol' 20 in brown trout staring up at me from two feet out. He just looked at the River Damsel and laughed. He knew that I couldn't get to him. Well,...........hahahahaha. SWOOSH! My net couldn't help itself. I had a half of a brown and a tail and back out. But, it was a valiant try. These San Juan brownies are not spooky in the least. But, it was the rainbows that found my flies to their liking.
Jeri found a few nice bows closer to the Navajo Dam... We decided to venture upstream on Day 3. A few larger fish and less concentration of the Triploid invasion!
On Day 4, I got the hits that I wanted. Two nice, colorful "Rainbow Chaser" types. And as the guide and his drift boat approached to see what was on the end of my bent rod and to give me "congrats"... My phone went krrrrr-plunk! I think that I hid my embarrassment pretty well with dipping the net back into the water as my hand reached down to find the phone on the bottom of the murky water. Yeah, right. My sheer delight of seeing "real" spots overrode the possibility of a washed up smart phone.
So, it was over to the bank to dry things out. I had my fast dozen before we got back into the car to come home. Pretty good I would say! Got on the water at 9 and headed out at 10:30 am. But, in the rush of it all... yes, there was a broken rod tip. We won't go into that. Let's just say thank heavens for a Sage warranty!!! And to think that this all started out with Green Eggs and Hamlets...
Every good fly shop carries it... Right. Well, fortunately, Abe's Fly Shop is also a convenience store of sorts. And after an 8 hr trip home, my phone was as good as gold. It doesn't always work though... So, buying a waterproof camera is probably a better bet, if you really want to take pictures on the water... = )
A special thanks to Mark Vibber, who supplied me with some great flies for the trip. Yes, I did catch on some of these special ties also. Yes, those at the top... size 28/30... Wooohoo!
RD, great review of your trip! Bunch of pretty "Bows there. Sorry you didn't find the Browns that you yearn for. I have never fished the San Juan so appreciate all the pictures and information. Mark sure ties some great small flies. Oh, and thanks for the link, and chasing some of the New Mexico Rainbows for me.ReplyDelete
Mel ~ You should make a journey over there next year. Your rainbows will be awefully pretty by then! I don't ever catch bows, so it was good to get into some.Delete
Nice trip. Your accommodations were quite rustic, that's something I enjoy.ReplyDelete
Kudos on your ability to tie on those flies.
Alan ~ Believe it or not... the inside of this place is really nice. We had a kitchen, 2 QW pillow top beds, and a big dining room table to set up for fly tying. Yeah, rustic but comfortable. = )Delete
Good recap RD. It was a fun trip!ReplyDelete
Another one in the books!Delete
Glad you had fun! We crushed it. My report will be coming soon!ReplyDelete
Mark ~ I'm sure you did. Can't wait to see the photos. They say that big fish like bad weather... But, I will take our week of 50 degrees!!! = )Delete
Looks like you had a good trip. Glad things worked out for you.ReplyDelete
Ben ~ I really appreciate your advice and background info on this river. When I can chat with bloggers about new water, it makes it so much easier going in!Delete
I always carry a backpack in the car loaded with white rice and San Juan worms. You can never tell when you will find yourself needing either one! Glad you had a good trip. Why are those worms crawling around the back of my car?ReplyDelete
Howard ~ What's scary here is that I was going to put your first line there into my tippet section...almost word for word. Then I changed it. Are we thinking alike now??? But, your last line...well, that's something that you are going to have to deal with on your own! Lol.ReplyDelete
It is amazing how small the nymphs are that take most of the larger trout on streams throughout the U.S. I am really impressed with the numbers you guys landed. I like you would never make a trip on foreign waters without a guide. The guide made the trip one to remember for you. I don’t know how you go by without internet service at the hotel. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing
Bill ~ A guide??? Lol. I wish that I could have had one, but no... this was all on our own. A search and destroy mission of sorts!! David from the fly shop just happened to see me there and fished with me for a bit. But, guides are good for sure when you go to a new river. I was lucky to have some good blogger buddies that filled me in about this river before I left. That was huge! And fyi... I won't be using 28-30's anymore. 24 is small enough!Delete
And no internet or cell svc. Ahhhh... Let's not even go there... I felt like I was in the desert somewhere... Oh! I was!! = ) The one restaurant in town had wi-fi, but no cell. Go figure.Delete
And to Marc Hughes... I fumble fingered your comment and accidently deleted it. So Sorry!!! You are more than welcome to make a new comment!! =(ReplyDelete