Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Monday February 17., 2014
San Juan River 306 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The lake has turned over and the clarity of the river below the dam has been reduced to a foot at best. This has definitely stalled the dry fly fishing. The fish are still biting, just use the flies we refer to as junk such as San Juan worms, egg patterns, chamois leeches, and bunny leeches. Basically bigger stuff with some color that'll get noticed in the murky water. The catching is still good despite the water clarity. 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 ice near Pecos; Slow: at Villanueva State Park; Fair to Good
Villanueva State Park got a fresh planting of fish on the 6th. Egg patterns, copper johns in bright colors and buggers tend to work on the stockers. Fishing in the park is fair to good depending on the day and how recently it was stocked. Weekdays are far better than weekends. The fishing is very slow up above the village of Pecos. There is ice in many of the shaded runs and the water and the fish are cold! The river looks great after the ton of rain we had in September flushed a lot of the ash and sediment from the streambed. We have seen some bug life as far down as Windy Bridge and are seeing some fish down here as well. The outlook for the Pecos for this spring is looking more promising everyday. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't get a lot of flooding with this summer's rains. Currently the fishing program is suspended at Pecos National Historical Park until spring. To check for dates and availability for the 2014 spring fishing season see the Park's website at http://www.nps.gov/peco/planyourvisit/fishing.htm for more info.
Rio Grande 371 cfs at Cerro; Fair to Good: 573 cfs at Pilar; Slow to Fair for pike, Slow for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
Some of the recent snow we had is melting at lower elevations and is affecting the river. It's a little colder, higher and murky than last week, but should improve as the snow melts off and we get back into warmer weather. The most active bugs are midges although you can get a short lived baetis hatch on overcast days. Small pheasant tails, oops fly, anato-mays, and micromays are picking up a few of the feeding fish. .Pike fishing is slow. Gauge your success by how many you saw, if you got a follow or not and of course an eat. Some days you get'em and some days a follow is as good as it gets. Large streamers that move water will still get a pike's attention. Vary your retrieves and change up the color of your flies to see which ones trigger a bite.
Jemez Mountain Streams 29 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Slow to Fair
The lower Jemez River was stocked in late January. The lower Jemez, the lower Guadalupe, and even the East Fork up from Battleship Rock can fish well during the winter. The fish will eat nymphs 99 percent of the time, but try a dry dropper rig just as an easy presentation in the low clear water you'll see in the winter. The upper streams are colder and fishing is much slower and harder to get to. The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Preserve will resume this spring. Please see their website for details or to make a reservation for the 2014 season at http://www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/fish/index.aspx
Chama River 50 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair: and 70 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Fair to Good
The water clarity below Abiquiu has improved with about a 30 inches of visibility. The release is down from last month but should remain fairly steady. Bigger flashier nymphs or streamers with a trailing beatis or midge pattern would be the way to go. The release below El Vado has been reduced. I haven't seen it this low for a long time. It might make it easier for people to find fish in the reduced habitat, but the real downer is that it takes some patience to watch your slow drift. Also. the lack of velocity means that the tailwater effect, warmer water coming out of the lake bottom, does not last long downstream. I like a little more water here. Same flies and tactics as below Abiquiu. 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:
Animas River 164 cfs at Durango; Slow to Fair
The Animas is fishing fair especially near Durango and down into the Southern Ute waters. The water is colder and fishing is slower the farther you go upstream.. Fishing the deeper runs and pools with big stonefly nymphs and a trailing baetis nymph and streamers are getting some fish or cover the deeper runs with streamers..
Arkansas River ice at Granite; Slow to Fair: 271 cfs at Salida; Slow to Fair
The fishing is slow from Salida upstream. The frigid temps in the valley have had their impact on water temps. Consider fishing way downstream of Salida down to the Royal Gorge or give the tailwater below Pueblo Reservoir a try. It's winter time and the fish tend to hold in deeper water and may come out to feed if there is midge or blue winged olive activity. The best fishing will be in the warmest part of the day, generally from 11-3. Fish in the deeper runs mid-channel in the and cover the shallow riffles from mid-day on if you see active surface feeding. .
It's 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.
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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.
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