Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Monday November 25, 2013
San Juan River 250 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Fishing is great. Midges are hatching up and down the whole quality water section. Fish above Texas Hole up to the dam in the morning for midging fish. Pay attention to the behavior of the fish. They are working mid-column and are not on the bottom. The best colors are a black larvae or pupa, or gray or olive larvae and pupa.The BWO hatch is still coming off below Texas Hole around 12:30. The hatch is anywhere from lower Texas hole down to the end of bait water. Foam wings and Johnny flash are working while the baetis are active. Watch out for moss on your flies. The fish will not take them if your rig isn't clean. With lower flows the bites will be lighter and you will have to fish shallow rigs to avoid hanging up on the bottom of the river. San Juan worms, leaches, red or orange larvae or egg patterns become more useful. 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 44 cfs near Pecos; Slow: at Villanueva State Park; Fair to Good
Villanueva Stae Park has had it's first stocking of the season. Egg patterns, copper johns in bright colors and buggers tend to work on the stockers. Fishing ought to be good this holiday week, or at least until it gets fished out. Game and Fish has not re-stocked the upper Pecos below Terrero, but some fish may have moved downstream since this summer. Better fish density and definitely better fishing is still above Terrero. 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 next year is looking more promising everyday. Keep your fingers crossed that we don't get a lot of flooding with next 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 499 cfs at Cerro; Fair to Good: 719 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio has come up in flow since early November. This is typical for this time of year when the Del Norte irrigation canal is shut down for the season. The river is off color and may get more murky if the latest snowfall melts off into the river. Baetis is the name of the game. The hatches of blue winged olives has been sporadic, but nymphing has been very productive. Small pheasant tails, oops fly, anato-mays, and micromays are picking up quite a few of the feeding fish. Streamers and bigger fare like crane fly larva are working on the pre-spawn browns. The bigger more flashy nymphs and streamers will likely be easier for the fish to see until things clear up a bit. Please be aware of the spawners and if you see them, leave them alone. The smallmouth are not eating like they did mid-summer but a few are still eating nymphs and streamers.Pike fishing is slow. 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 30 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Slow to Fair
The lower Jemez River got it's first stocking as a winter trout water last week. The lower Jemez, the lower Guadalupe, and even the East Fork up from Battleshop 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 hrader to get to. The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Predserve is over for this year. Please see their website for details or to make a reservation for the 2014 season at http://www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/fish/index.aspx
Cimarron River .7 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Poor
The release out of Eagle Nest Dam has finally been reduced to the point that fishing on the Cimarron is pointless. It will probably stay very low for the remainder of the winter. This stream is the poster child for in stream flows. Despite being virtually de-watered over the winter, the fish have a remarkable ability to find shelter, food, and water until spring time. I'd look to fish elsewhere like the Red below the hatchery or the Rio Grande.
Chama River above the village of Chama; Slow to Poor: 88? cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Fair to Good: 300 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and 102 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Fair to Good
The fishing on the Chama in the Sargent Wildlife Area is done for the season until March or so. There is warmer water and more active trout in the accesses below the village of Chama including the stretch flowing into El Vado. Avoid any redds or spawning beds while wading! The water clarity below Abiquiu has improved with about a 30 inches of visibility. The release is down from last week but should remain fairly steady. Bigger flashier nymphs or streamers would be the way to go. The release below El Vado is up. I like the extra water here. It makes it harder for people to fish over the spawners, but at least it's wadeable. 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 348 cfs at Durango; Fair to Good
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 109 cfs at Granite; Slow to Fair: 352 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The fishing is still fair from Brown's Canyon downstream. Warmer water and more active fish can be found the further downstream you go. 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. .
Conejos River 7.9 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Poor: 64 cfs at Mogote; Slow
The Conejos will be slowing down as we head into winter. There is still some decent fishing from Mogote to Horca. The further you go upstream, the water gets colder and there is less of it making for some slow fishing. Blue winged olives are still hatching and bringing fish to feed on them. Midges or baetis nymphs trailing an attractor nymph like a stonefly will make for a good rig at these low and clear flows.
It's autumn in New Mexico and water and fishing conditions 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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