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Trip Journal —
Friday March 5th or early March 4th
Time to get out of town, after rigging up my rods, packing the camping gear and obsessing about a weekend of big fish and great beatis hatches, I finally fell asleep. The alarm went off at 4am and I said goodbye to my girlfriend and hopped in the car and got down to the Dream.
There is something about arriving at the dream stream in the pre-dawn hours that really makes that stream live up to its name. Instead of dreaming in my bed, I sat half awake in the car hoping that the fishing was what we had heard it was going to be.
Let me say this, it was good, but not great. There were fish in the system, but not a ton of fish, we are waiting for one more big push of water to get that river super fishy. With that all said and done we managed to get a few nice fish to hand. I caught many of the same fish that Rob had caught last Tuesday, meaning that they were sticking to the holes and not moving around a whole bunch. No bedding fish or fish in the riffles.
The bite began to die around 3 so we packed up, got into the car and headed down to the San Juan below Navajo res in search of some “silly” beatis hatches. After a quick soak at Pagosa Springs we set up camp and passed out.
We woke up to clear blue skies and temps already in the 50’s. We thought that we were going to be in for a treat. Grabbed a cup of the dark stuff, a few burritos and got down the dirt lot to discover masses of vehicles, and swarms of anglers.
So we busted ass and hiked upstream to the area between the two parking areas. Found a nice piece of water, the three island run, and posted up. Bugs were hatching and we were seeing the occasional rise. Thought that we had it made, no other waders, just a few other boats…like 4, and a lot of water work. It wasent till after we worked up and down the run to only catch a few. Even the guide boats that were lapping the run had to do three or four laps till a client would hook up. Slow…Busted out of there and got up to the damn section. Had to box our way upstream and got a few looks for doing it, but had the section below the cable to ourselves.
Got a few nice fish on eggs and tiny midges, sz 22 in black and red and came to the conclusion that this was not going to be worth fishing another day.
Back on the road heading towards the dream once again.
Sunday morning…March 7th
Lots of ice coming down the river, but by 8:30 it was gone and the fish were lined up looking like they were ready to feed. Made a few casts, nothing, a few more, no fish. Changed the rig and presented again. To our surprise these fish were so tight lipped that sz 22 flies and 6x tippet became the only way to get hooked up. The smaller fish were willing to take an egg, but the big boys wanted nothing to do with it.
I believe that we put the hurt on the fish on Fri, Sat someone else got in there and snagged or caught them and by Sun these fish were beat up. I did see more beds that had been cleaned off and caught a few sitting at the top of a few runs, but until this river sees another bump in flow, fishing will continue to be hard, or if anglers give these fish a rest. Please dont try and snag fish, that doesn’t count!
My conclusions on the trip, dont drive to NM to fish for one day, if you had a good day tomorrow is a much different day, and hot springs make life better.
Best of luck out there…