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Parade Float

May 28, 2019

October 5, 2018

First ever float trip.  Never been in a drift boat before. Watched a boat load of You Tube videos.  Microscopic midges, sizes 24 and 26.  Studied and studied some more.  I’d seen the recommendations as to why a guide is necessary to speed up the learning curve on the challenging San Juan River in New Mexico and so that is what I did; hired a guide.

Where to stay.  Abe’s Motel.  Waders hung out to dry.  Old school.  Nothing fancy.  Convenience/liquor/fishing shop. Restaurant attached.


Loved this old slug bus.


The source – the earthen dam from which the San Juan tail waters flow.


A view of The San Juan.



Stopped for breakfast.  Energetic scene of angler’s chowing down.

This Morning At Abe’s

A moment of truth

We have no carne adovada

A sham of an FBI investigation

Deadly shooting

Wooden, marble-eyed fish, swimming on the wall

Schools of fishermen in booths

One omelette, cheese and ham

Lunches, boxed and bagged

Orders taken

More coffee?

How would you like your eggs?

Rush Hour in Navajo Dam

In or out, the cow bell announces

Grannie in her Simm’s waders

Bustling waiters

Drift boats

Excuse me waiter, there is a fly on my table

The smell of burnt toast

A sign on the wall: eat

So I do.

And, I hope

So do these legendary trout.

Meet my guide. Jacob, aka “Jake”.  Exchange introductions and make our way to the San Juan.

Launched at the Texas Hole and joined the float parade.


The first thing you notice.  The fish.

Giant rainbows swimming in an aquarium.  All over the place.  Along the bank.  Just under the surface, cruising in a deep pool.  Fish and fisherman everywhere.  In waders.  In boats.  Drift down through the Texas Hole.  Row back upstream.  Repeat.

Learn the San Juan windmill in order to clear the algae off my flies.  I struggle with the technique.

Jake puts us on the fish and I catch several respectable ‘bows on assorted midges.  Miss a bunch.  Break a few off.  Jake does a great job with the boat.  I could have easily caught more but I’m having trouble with my hook sets.

Awed and a little shell shocked.  A lot different than our streams here in Minnesota.

I realize the drift boat allows you to cover more water. but I like wading better.  Kind of feel like I’m on a conveyor belt drifting down stream.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s cool and all.  There’s just something to be said for standing waist deep in the stream. Slipping on rocks.  Feeling your body grow colder standing in the cool waters.

The trip ends and I’m back at Abe’s around four.  Three hours before dark.  What does one do?  Grab the waders.  Head upstream of the Texas Hole and venture out on my own and mange to catch a couple trout.  Again, not giants.  However, satisfying in that I did it on my own.


Texas Hole Midges

Texas Hole midges

The legendary San Juan

‘Bowzilla she, swims




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