Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Thursday April 23, 2015
Become a Clean Angler! Learn how at http://cleananglingpledge.org/
San Juan River 403 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The stream gauge apparently was wrong for most of the winter. It has since been re-calibrated and the current figure is correct. The river clarity is still less than two feet after the lake turned over earlier this year. The fishing however is pretty good. Egg patterns, worms, and streamers make great attractors with a trailed midge or baetis pattern. Midges are still hatching from 10:00 am till noon and baetis are still hatching in the afternoon below Texas Hole. Black, gray, brown, and olive midge larvae and pupa are the top producers near the dam especially in the mornings. Chocolate and olive have been the best baetis colors. Johnny flash and foam wing emergers are among the favorites.The fishing downstream of Simon Canyon is slowly improving as the sand continues to move downstream. The Special Trout Water section is all catch and release and has a two fly only rule. If you see someone in violation, turn them into Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263. Officers have been checking people for licenses, barbless flies, and the number of flies on your rig! File those barbs or go barbless, as the fines are steep!
Pecos River Pecos; 104 cfs below Terrero; Fair to Good: at Pecos National Historical Park; Slow
We've seen an reduction in flows since most of the lower than 10,000-feet-in-elevation-snowpack is gone.The water is a little higher than we would normally see for this time of year, however it is clear enough to fish and the fish are eating well. Expect higher more murky water below Terrero and clear water and easier wading upstream. As far as flies go, the bigger darker stonefliy nymphs are the top producers. I like twenty inchers and biot stoneflies. Look for a little depth as the fish have not made it out of their winter lies just yet. The Pecos National Historical Park did reopen to fishing this spring. It will remain open to fishing through May 11th. Every report that I've had from the Park isn't good. The river is a little more murky that far downstream and the fish populations are nowhere near what they were before the Treas Lagunas Fire. It is making a comeback, but the fishing experience has been negative.
Rio Grande 150 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 376 cfs at Pilar; Slow to Fair for trout, Slow for pike, Poor for smallmouth bass
The Rio went up like everything else locally when it got warm enough to melt our lower elevation snowpack. It was triple the flows earlier in the month before irrigators started pulling off volumes of water. Despite the lower flows, the Rio is still murky. Barring any more increase in flows, it should get clearer and fish better. The caddis hatch was a short lived event that didn't make for better fishing mostly due to lack of clarity. The river is very wade friendly right now. Streamers, caddis pupa and larvae, and cranefly larvae should get you into fish.
Jemez Mountain Streams 84 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
All of the streams in the Jemez are a coming down in flow and clarity. The highest and murkiest still is the Guadalupe. The Forest Service has closed some areas of the Rio Cebolla and San Antonio to fishing. All of these areas are fenced off and signed. There is still plenty of water that is not off limits. Stonefly nymphs and bigger attractors like tungsten salvations are great for high water. Tactics are similar to the Pecos; look for the deeper pockets and use a little bigger bug to counter the current. .
Chama River 584 cfs at La Puente; Poor: 371 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and 417 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Fair
The river flowing into El Vado Reservoir is very high, cold, and murky. Runoff has hit the upper Chama and may remain until late May The San Juans always get a lot of snow even in low snow pack years. The release below El Vado dam has slowly been increased. This and warmer weather and water temps have increased the amount of fishable area, but the reports are fair at best. I think the fish are still in their winter lies and haven't dispersed as much. Streamers, stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae are still the top fly choices. The release below Abiquiu has increased also. It's still wadeable at this level just not as easy as it has been all winter. Bigger flies are doing better than midges and baetis. San Juan worms, big stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae are what's for dinner. The fishing on the Chama below Abiquiu Dam won't last as water demands increase over the summer and the release will keep going up. There is only a three fish limit on the Chama below Abiquiu dam. The Chama River above El Vado and below Abiquiu are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits. Please report anyone over harvesting there to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
In Southern Colorado:
The Conejos River 50 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair: 188 cfs at Mogote Fair to Good.
The Conejos has been much like the Pecos. It went up and got murky with the warmer weather but has been getting clearer and the flows trending downward. Big stones and San Juan worms, g-strings and the like are the rule here. Look for them in the deeper part of the runs.
Arkansas River 228 cfs at Granite; Fair: 387 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The caddis hatch is under way here. Currently it is from Parkdale upstream to Wellsville. Blue winged olives are still coming off in decent numbers and in some places the fish are preferring them over the caddis. Fish ar still in winter lies for the most part. Look for them in the deeper runs and pools.The upper river above Granite including Hayden Meadows is cold and not fishing as well as the lower river below Buena Vista. From BV downstream to Salida, blue winged olives are still the name of the game. The caddis hatch should still progress nicely upriver as long as the releases fom Clear Creek or Twin Lakes doesn't stall it with an influx of colder water.
Animas River 417 cfs at Durango; Fair to Slow
The Animas is high and murky and cold but trending downward everyday. Fish are still in winter lies so hit the deeper runs with a big stonely nymph and a trailing baetis. The Pagosa area streams are also high and cold but coming down. Williams Creek might be the most fishable although I have had a report. Fishing with streamers and big nymphs like stoneflies with some flash may get the trout's attention in the softer water. The best fishing is going to be while the sun is on the water.
It's still winter in New Mexico and water and fishing conditions and water flows can change with the weather! Please CALL the fly shop for the latest in stream flows and water conditions.
For the most current stream flows, see our links page and click on New Mexico Stream Flows.
Please see our home page for more news and upcoming events!
Call us at the shop for conditions on waters not listed here. 888-988-7688 out of Santa Fe or 988-7688 in Santa Fe.
Click on Public Lands Information Center from our links page for a full list of fire restrictions and closures.