Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Friday May 22, 2015
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San Juan River 344 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The San Juan remains a solid bet as a place to have good fishing especially with rain and snowmelt affecting every other river. 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 213 cfs on Mora River; Slow to Fair: 307 cfs below Terrero; Slow to Fair
The abundant rainfall this week has caused the river to go up in flow again. It's currently on it's way down and barring any more rain or snowmelt the river should be fishable in clarity and flow in a few days. Expect higher more murky water below Terrero and clearer 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 depth as the fish don't have much else for holding water.The Pecos National Historical Park's spring season is closed. The summer season starts in late June. See the Park's website at http://www.nps.gov/peco/planyourvisit/fishing.htm for more information.
Rio Grande 304 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 1170 cfs at Pilar; Slow for trout, Slow for pike, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio went up like everything else locally with this weeks rains. It's a great time to raft the Rio with these flows. The water is very murky at Pilar. The river is at a much more fishable clarity and flow above it's confluence with Red River. Some sporadic blue winged olive hatches are occurring but not in big enough numbers to bring fish to the surface. Bigger flies like streamer, stonefly nymphs and crane fly larvae with a trailing caddis pupa or larvae or baetis nymphs should get you into fish.
Jemez Mountain Streams 344 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Slow to Fair
The rain this week has brought everything up in flow here as well. The highest and most murky is the Guadalupe which is rather typical of such a large watershed. Look at fishing the head water streams like the Cebolla above Seven Springs Fish Hatchery or the East Fork or the San Antonio in or just out side the Valles Caldera. 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. The fishing program resumed Friday May 15th on the Valles Caldera. The rules have changed now that the Preserve is under Park Service management. See their website for the details.
Chama River 2050 cfs at La Puente; Poor: 1000 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 1210 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The river flowing into El Vado Reservoir is very high, cold, and murky and not to mention, dangerous. Runoff has hit the upper Chama and may remain until early June The San Juans always get a lot of snow even in low snow pack years. The release below El Vado dam has been increased with the higher inflow. It's not very fishable at these high flows. Look for a release under 400 for safe wading and better fishing. Streamers, stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae are still the top fly choices. The release below Abiquiu has also been increased. The water is being drawn from the base of the dam flushing silt into the river. It is very murky below Abiquiu Dam and will likely remain so until fall. 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.
Cimarron River 0.55 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Slow to Fair: 172 cfs at Cimarron
I did get an OK report from the Cimarron so I though I'd include it on this week's report. While the release out of the dam is nearly ZERO, there is some trib flow especially toward the eastern end of the state park. Red midge larvae and scuds were the best flies. PMD nymphs, baetis nymphs, San Juan worms, and golden stone fly nymphs round out the fare for the Cimarron.
In Southern Colorado:
The Conejos River 133 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair to Good: 661 cfs at Mogote; Fair to Good.
The Conejos has come up in flow over the last week like everything else. This is my next best bet to the San Juan for a place to fish while everything else is in runoff. The release out of Platoro has been steady for the week making for some good fishing in the meadows. The water is murkier and the wading is tougher on the lower river. Dredging the deeper runs with stone fly nymphs and San Juan worms seems to be the most successful tactic. I haven't had any reports on the tribs. They could fish well also as long is it's not the one contributing runoff.
Rio Grande 388 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Fair to Good: 1370 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
Dam release has kept the flows in check on the upper Rio Grande near Creede. Streamer fishing and nymph fishing has been good and the has been enough of a release out of Rio Grande Reservoir to float it at times. Still no stoneflies out yet. Should be another 2-3 weeks.
Pagosa Area- Piedra River 1290 cfs at Arboles; Slow; San Juan River at Pagosa Springs; Slow
High water and lots of rain fall has hit these area waters like everything else. Maybe some of the headwater streams or smaller tribs, I haven't had any reports from here but looking at stream flows doesn't make me hopeful for decent fishing.
Animas River 1960 cfs at Durango; Slow
The Animas is high and murky and cold. It had been trending downward but flows increased with last weeks storms and we will likely see snowmelt adding to the flow before too long. 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 Williams Creek below the dam might be the most fishable although I haven't 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.
Arkansas River 377 cfs at Granite; Fair to Good: 809 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The caddis hatch was in full swing although the reports have been dimishing. Blue winged olives are still the most hatch centric thing going on. Lots of rain has fallen up here as well making the river from Salida downstream very murky and a bit higher. The better fishing is upstream of Chalk Creek. Any tributary that you can get above is generally resulting in clearer water. Conditions should remain good as long as the releases from Clear Creek or Twin Lakes doesn't increase.
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