The 4.25 miles (6.84 km) of San Juan River just below Navajo Dam/Lake
is among the most hallowed trout fishing waters in North America and is ranked a USA Top-10 Fly Fishing Destination. Water released from the bottom of the dam is stable, clear, cold and rich in nutrients. The abundant flora creates an ideal environment for insect proliferation, which in turn supports one of America's most prolific river trout populations, both in terms of quantity and size.
Downstream from the dam is a 3.75-mile, catch-and-release section where only the use of flies and artificial lures with a single barbless hook can be used and all trout caught must be immediately returned to the water. The 3.5-mile Quality Waters section teems with trophy rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, and is a posted Special Catch section with a daily bag and possession limit of one trout 20 inches or more. Year-round, normal-limit fishing is located further downstream.
Vehicle parking and camping is available along the river. Read the posted signage, and please pack out what you pack in. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish regulations apply.
Photos by Matthew Clark and EMKotyk