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  1. #1
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    Default San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    A buddy and I were discussing an impromptu trip to the San Juan next weekend. Reading reports, it sounds like the water is currently stained from turnover from the Navajo lake if I understand correctly. With that said, the couple reports confirming that are a few days old and I can’t find anything newer.

    So, those local or familiar with the water; any idea if it’s still off color? If so, how much does it impact the fishing?
    Life is like a box of chocolates...and a river runs through it. Or something like that.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    Scoutm and his buddy Dan and I went last Jan and the river was stained from turnover. The fishing was a bit slower then when I had been there in the past, but it still was fun and we all caught fish.
    Edit: Here is Abe's Fly Shop river report from Jan 27, see the last paragraph:

    January 27, 2019 | Abe's Motel & Fly Shop - San Juan River Fly Fishing New Mexico
    Larry


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  5. #3
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    Quote Originally Posted by tx_newb View Post
    A buddy and I were discussing an impromptu trip to the San Juan next weekend. Reading reports, it sounds like the water is currently stained from turnover from the Navajo lake if I understand correctly. With that said, the couple reports confirming that are a few days old and I can’t find anything newer.

    So, those local or familiar with the water; any idea if it’s still off color? If so, how much does it impact the fishing?
    Thanks Larry. That was one of the 2 recent ones I found (the other was only 3 days old from duranglers but much less detailed). With it being a week old and stating it was “any one’s guess” when the clarity would improve I was curious how long this process usually lasts.

    We’ll still probably go, and likely get a guide for a day and wade for another day. I figure the local guides know how to fish these conditions and the weather looks promising at the moment (compared to highs in the 20s and windy in alcova which was also under consideration).
    Life is like a box of chocolates...and a river runs through it. Or something like that.

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  7. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    I was there the last week of January...yes, the water is stained but fish are still biting. The people at Abe's told me the lake turned over in December and there was about two feet of clear water at the time. Great time to go...no crowds
    Last edited by mka; 02-04-2019 at 08:47 PM.
    MIKE ADAIR - Exploring New Mexico landscapes through fly fishing, golf, and art.
    @mka133

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  9. #5

    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    I have been down to fish the river 4 times since the turnover. The clarity has been getting better each time since. The fish are still eating and you can still get it done with normal tail water techniques. You can also fish some bigger worms and eggs and also throw in some flash or color on your midge patterns.

    I would not let it impact my decision to make the trip, this is an awesome time of year to be there. You can find sections of river all to yourself.

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  11. #6
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    On a related note, Fisheads is taking an “interesting” tactic on the meal-inclusive packages. If you do the math on either the fishing or lodging packages, they’re charging $60 per person per day for breakfast and dinner on these packages. Looking at their menu, you couldn’t even get close to $60 ordering the two meals there a la carte.

    Think we’ll go to Abe’s instead. With that said, looks like Abe’s restaurant is closed for the winter and Fisheads only serves “if they have guests”. What other options would be open around there for dinner?
    Life is like a box of chocolates...and a river runs through it. Or something like that.

  12. #7

    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    The ONLY place I can think of in Navajo Dam that would be open is the Sportsman. Abes rooms all come with charcoal BBQ grills so bring some charcoal and some steaks! Aside from that you could drive back to Aztec (about 20 minutes). You will have lots of time after fishing since it slows down in the evenings and gets dark pretty early.

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  14. #8
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    Quote Originally Posted by durangobrad View Post
    The ONLY place I can think of in Navajo Dam that would be open is the Sportsman. Abes rooms all come with charcoal BBQ grills so bring some charcoal and some steaks! Aside from that you could drive back to Aztec (about 20 minutes). You will have lots of time after fishing since it slows down in the evenings and gets dark pretty early.
    Last year we ate at Sportsman's, then also made the trek into Aztec for dinner one evening. Never thought about the BBQ grills at Abes, good tip!
    Larry


  15. #9
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    Dec 2013
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    Quote Originally Posted by tx_newb View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    On a related note, Fisheads is taking an “interesting” tactic on the meal-inclusive packages. If you do the math on either the fishing or lodging packages, they’re charging $60 per person per day for breakfast and dinner on these packages. Looking at their menu, you couldn’t even get close to $60 ordering the two meals there a la carte.

    Think we’ll go to Abe’s instead. With that said, looks like Abe’s restaurant is closed for the winter and Fisheads only serves “if they have guests”. What other options would be open around there for dinner?
    I've pretty much crossed Fisheads off my list ever since they wouldn't seat me for dinner because I didn't have a reservation. They weren't even very nice about it. Plus I saw open tables and an entire dining area that wasn't being used.

    I think they are trying to go upscale and really aren't going after the business of the average fishing Joe.

    I was particularly peeved since the only reason I went into their restaurant was because I had recently heard the owner of Fiishheads speak at our local Bass Pro Shop. I was trying to give him some business in gratitude of his presentation, even though it really wasn't that great of a talk.

    About turn-over:

    I have fished it a few times and it can be a major pain.

    Plan on cleaning a significant amount of green slime off your flies after almost every drift.
    -Rick Allen

  16. #10
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    Jul 2012
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    Santa Fe, NM
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    Default Re: San Juan during “lake turnover”?

    My wife and I have stayed at Fisheads, but not recently. It shows that the owner doesn't put any $$$ into his property. The food is so-so and to require a reservation for their restaurant is, IMO, ludicrous. Unless there are major changes, I'd say that them going upscale borders on the absurd. Abe's is better for my solo expeditions and, if we're without the RV, I think we'll look into the Octagon. Soaring Eagle is pretty much out of reach unless the "$5 retirement plan" pays off.

    I second what's been said about fishing the turnover. Leeches work dead drifted, too.

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