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Fishing Private Land on the San Juan!

fly fishing san juan river private land fishing private land

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#1 McFlyLures

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 10:34 PM

The San Juan River is one of the most popular and productive river in the United States.  Possibly the world.  Located in North West New Mexico, in the middle of a desert, this tailwater is like a small oasis that comes out of Navajo Lake.  This river has great fishing all year round, and has the potential for 50 trout days.  It really is amazing fishing on the San Juan River!  

 
Being such good fishing, means that it is very busy there.  If you have seen my other video's on fishing the San Juan River, you would see that there aren't too many times where there aren't people stacked shoulder to shoulder.  However, the San Juan River isn't only good fishing right at the Quality River Section and there are a few places to fish where you can feel like you have the river all to yourself.  The place I am fishing today is called Majestic Enchantment, and its a privately owned stretch of the river.  The owner of the property charges a small fee to come and fish his 3 mile stretch of the river, and only allows up to 8 people each day to fish it.  This water has many bends, and is tree filled so, this means, you probably will not see a single person fishing the entire day.  He has spent time and money on improving his stretch of river and has turned it into an amazing fishery with large brown trout and good quantities of rainbows.  
 
The other nice thing about fishing further down river is that the bug population is different.  You can fish larger flies, and there are even the possibility of baetis hatches.  No more needing to nymph the size 26 midges if you don't want to.


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#2 Dave G.

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 05:54 AM

I've never heard of owning a section of river, the property to the high water mark yes, but never the river itself.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#3 mikechell

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:41 AM

As I understand it, you're correct, Dave.  You can own the property around a body of water, but you don't own the water.  All water within the United States is federally owned water.

Even a "private pond" isn't truly private.  If there is a way to get to the water without crossing private land, the water is considered public water.  The federal government has the ability to use any water, anywhere, because it belongs to them anyway.

 

That said, this location McFly is fishing is easy to understand.

If you own all the property on both sides of a river, and it's far enough away from any public access, it would be possible to have a fairly pristine section of river all to yourself.


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#4 DavidR

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:55 AM

Laws vary from state to state .....whilst the Feds main own the water, in some states the land owner owns the bottom of the river - to mid point if he owns only one side. Theoretically making it trespassing if you wade even in the river ....in fact you can't even drop anchor if in a boat.

#5 Dave G.

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 07:56 AM

We take a canoe down a river in Maine about 1-1/2 miles or so. We fish either from the canoe or wade, then power back up to the put in with a small gas engine. In/on another river we do the opposite, power up the river to where there are designated camp sites, maybe stay overnight in one of those, then drift back out the next day. Then power a mile or so back to the landing on a pond. Caught some awesome salmon there last month ! This used to be real common in Maine , now you mostly see drift boats. Also on another river you pass private land, which was my thought in the other post I made.

 

The nice thing about a drift boat of course is stability but a canoe is very doable too. The best part of either choice is those tough seams and eddies you can't quite get a good cast to or a good fly drift through because of various speeds of water between you and the fly, become possible/doable and far more productive.

 

Maybe McFly's fishing hole isn't like that though.


John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"


#6 McFlyLures

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:10 AM

I've never heard of owning a section of river, the property to the high water mark yes, but never the river itself.


Yes, he doesn't own "the river" but just his property. Private access basically. Float boats can drift down...

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#7 McFlyLures

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:15 AM

As I understand it, you're correct, Dave.  You can own the property around a body of water, but you don't own the water.  All water within the United States is federally owned water.
Even a "private pond" isn't truly private.  If there is a way to get to the water without crossing private land, the water is considered public water.  The federal government has the ability to use any water, anywhere, because it belongs to them anyway.
 
That said, this location McFly is fishing is easy to understand.
If you own all the property on both sides of a river, and it's far enough away from any public access, it would be possible to have a fairly pristine section of river all to yourself.


You are exactly correct... except that it's federal. Depends on the river. Streatches of the San Juan are fed owned and streatches are state owned. Up in Colorado, on the animas I know that if you own a streatches of river, you own up to the center of the river. Just the river bed though, and not the water. So float boats can go down, but not waders. As for the San Juan, this is not the case, he doesn't own the river... but he is remote, and there are private owned farms up to the river for miles on either side, so you cannot access the river wading within 4 miles of his property. So, no waders except those who pay him.

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#8 SilverCreek

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:57 AM



Laws vary from state to state .....whilst the Feds main own the water, in some states the land owner owns the bottom of the river - to mid point if he owns only one side. Theoretically making it trespassing if you wade even in the river ....in fact you can't even drop anchor if in a boat.

 

Correct. In Utah the landowner also owns the river bottom of a navigable waterway. You cannot wade not drop anchor on the river bottom that on private land without permission of the landowner. See the Utah law below:

 

https://wildlife.uta...238-hb-141.html

 

"What does the law prohibit?

The law does not allow recreational water users (including anglers, kayakers, tubers, hunters and others) to walk on the private bed of a public waterbody. This means that if you are fishing or recreating in public water that flows over private property closed to trespass, you may not walk on the land beneath the water without obtaining landowner permission."

 

Here is the law for New Mexico:  http://www.emnrd.sta...sLawsOfUse.html

 


Regards,

Silver

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#9 spiralspey

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 09:53 PM

Nice little video, although I assume you didn't shoot it. I checked out the website for majestic enchantment and it's good to know I have other options besides the public water below the dam. The website says he only owns a half mile of riverfront, though, not a couple miles. I think I'll still check it out when I fish there this winter, $25 for a half day on some private water where bugs might be a little bigger and there are less fishermen ain't a bad price to pay.

It's always good to know the water access laws in whatever state you're in. I've lived in several states and every one was different. Here in Oregon, landowners own the bottom of the river, except on a few rivers that the state has deemed navigable and on those they own to the mean high water mark so you can wade and walk the banks. Very confusing to some people, but luckily a large portion of many rivers here flow through public lands so it's only an issue in some areas.

#10 McFlyLures

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 10:45 PM

Nice little video, although I assume you didn't shoot it. I checked out the website for majestic enchantment and it's good to know I have other options besides the public water below the dam. The website says he only owns a half mile of riverfront, though, not a couple miles. I think I'll still check it out when I fish there this winter, $25 for a half day on some private water where bugs might be a little bigger and there are less fishermen ain't a bad price to pay.

It's always good to know the water access laws in whatever state you're in. I've lived in several states and every one was different. Here in Oregon, landowners own the bottom of the river, except on a few rivers that the state has deemed navigable and on those they own to the mean high water mark so you can wade and walk the banks. Very confusing to some people, but luckily a large portion of many rivers here flow through public lands so it's only an issue in some areas.


Yeah I don't think he actually owns the river, just up until the water starts.,. Maybe it was a half mile, I'll have to change that. He told me quickly in the morning before i started. Sorry... either way, it's good fishing generally there.

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#11 Patriot

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:42 PM

Many years back when I worked at the oil refinery in Bloomfield, NM, there was a huge blowup about some landowner running barbed wire across the Animas River to keep kayakers and tubers from floating down the river that ran through his property.  In short order the police were involved and the landowner was charged for obstructing the river which he had no right to do.  I also recall that the main issue was that the floaters-by never touched down on his property and that is what got the landowner in hot water.  He was also sued because children (as I recall) were injured by the barbed wire.

 

That was a long time ago, but that is what I recall about the incident.



#12 Patriot

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 08:44 PM

 

The San Juan River is one of the most popular and productive river in the United States.  Possibly the world.  Located in North West New Mexico, in the middle of a desert, this tailwater is like a small oasis that comes out of Navajo Lake.  This river has great fishing all year round, and has the potential for 50 trout days.  It really is amazing fishing on the San Juan River!  

 
Being such good fishing, means that it is very busy there.  If you have seen my other video's on fishing the San Juan River, you would see that there aren't too many times where there aren't people stacked shoulder to shoulder.  However, the San Juan River isn't only good fishing right at the Quality River Section and there are a few places to fish where you can feel like you have the river all to yourself.  The place I am fishing today is called Majestic Enchantment, and its a privately owned stretch of the river.  The owner of the property charges a small fee to come and fish his 3 mile stretch of the river, and only allows up to 8 people each day to fish it.  This water has many bends, and is tree filled so, this means, you probably will not see a single person fishing the entire day.  He has spent time and money on improving his stretch of river and has turned it into an amazing fishery with large brown trout and good quantities of rainbows.  
 
The other nice thing about fishing further down river is that the bug population is different.  You can fish larger flies, and there are even the possibility of baetis hatches.  No more needing to nymph the size 26 midges if you don't want to.

 

 

Can you tell me where exactly this property is?  I'm heading up there for a week of fishing in a few weeks and I'd take to check this out. 

 

Thanks!



#13 Patriot

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:10 PM

As to the crowds on the SJR, if you hang around the Kittie/Kiddie Pool you will have lots of company.  I have found that if you hike downstream a ways, the crowds will thin out, at least that is my recollection of condtions about ten years ago.  I'll be there in a few weeks and I may be singing a different tune when I get back.

 

I plan on fishing the lower end of the river this time.  



#14 McFlyLures

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 06:57 PM


 
The San Juan River is one of the most popular and productive river in the United States.  Possibly the world.  Located in North West New Mexico, in the middle of a desert, this tailwater is like a small oasis that comes out of Navajo Lake.  This river has great fishing all year round, and has the potential for 50 trout days.  It really is amazing fishing on the San Juan River!  
 
Being such good fishing, means that it is very busy there.  If you have seen my other video's on fishing the San Juan River, you would see that there aren't too many times where there aren't people stacked shoulder to shoulder.  However, the San Juan River isn't only good fishing right at the Quality River Section and there are a few places to fish where you can feel like you have the river all to yourself.  The place I am fishing today is called Majestic Enchantment, and its a privately owned stretch of the river.  The owner of the property charges a small fee to come and fish his 3 mile stretch of the river, and only allows up to 8 people each day to fish it.  This water has many bends, and is tree filled so, this means, you probably will not see a single person fishing the entire day.  He has spent time and money on improving his stretch of river and has turned it into an amazing fishery with large brown trout and good quantities of rainbows.  
 
The other nice thing about fishing further down river is that the bug population is different.  You can fish larger flies, and there are even the possibility of baetis hatches.  No more needing to nymph the size 26 midges if you don't want to.
 

 
Can you tell me where exactly this property is?  I'm heading up there for a week of fishing in a few weeks and I'd take to check this out. 
 
Thanks!

He has a website, search Mygestic Enchantment on google and you can find it. It will give all the info you want. Sorry just I don't have my computer in front of me, and I'm only doing this on my phone for the next 2 weeks cause I'm out visiting inlaws...

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#15 Patriot

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 08:58 PM

@McFlyLures

 

Got it!  Sorry for the bother.  







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