Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fishing The San Juan River Below Navajo Lake State Park

(Our southwest trip started May 1. All of my posts were written as the trip went along but were not posted live until we returned. If you want to read all the posts related to the trip, click on "southwest" in the label section below).

Every hear of a 'community'? During our travels I have seem many signs welcoming us to 'The Town of ...' or 'The Village of ...' This time, we were welcomed to the 'Community of Navajo Dam.'

Located in northwestern New Mexico, Navajo Dam is located on the San Juan River below Navajo Lake State Park and the dam which creates the lake. The 'community' consists of a gas station, grocery store, one restaurant and two motels, both associated with a tackle shop and fishing guides.

We decided to stay with Fisheads, making the choice because they are an authorized Orvis fly fishing shop. Next to the shop is a small motel and connected to the shop is a restaurant open from early morning to late in the evening ... which is very good since it looked like the only place to get a meal. We had a room with two queen sized beds and the accommodations were comfortable.

Along the drive from Navajo Dam towards the state park there are several turnoffs giving access to the river. There was fair availability for fishing from the shore but excellent availability for waders. Based upon the number of people we saw in the river, the area is obviously very popular.

We tried some fishing from shore and my husband was successful catching a small fish or two. He finally made the decision to book a guided float trip and it was a very good decision. We met our guide, Mike, early in the morning and he rigged up my husband's rod. Mike had several other rods with him but we didn't need them as I was just going along for the ride.

Mike really knew the water and the fish. We both learned a lot about fishing for trout in the San Juan River, such as watching for subtle changes in the line. He also gave my husband some feedback about his casting and it all paid off as can be seen by the huge rainbow that my husband landed. And this was just one of two big rainbows he got into the boat.

A nice sized brown trout also made it into the boat and what was interesting to both of us was the fight it put up. Compared to even the larger rainbow, the brown gave a lot more action on the line. As for me, I was the official photographer, of course, but most of the time simply sat back and relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful river and the stunning scenery.

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