The Saturday June 25, 2016 Fly Fishing Report for Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado
Runoff is finally waning here in New Mexico and in southern Colorado and conditions are changing daily! You can check on current flows before you go by clicking on New Mexico Stream Flows or Colorado Stream Flows here or from our links page.
San Juan River 4310 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The Bureau of Rec revised the ramp down schedule for the San Juan, It will begin next week and go down over the course of twelve days. Be careful if you are wading the river; you can still access much of the upper flats area by foot, or consider hiring a guide. A lot of fish have moved into the side channels and can offer some asier getting around than the main river. Currently it's a midges game. Long line nymphing with a standard attractor and midge larvae set up. Fish pupa patterns higher up in the column around 10 or 11 am. Even thought the baetis hatches are waning and not bringing a lot of fish to the surface, they seem to key in on baetis patterns after lunch until the evening when midges become the favorite trout food again. Black and olive midge larvae and pupa are the top producers near the dam especially in the mornings. Move down river after lunch to get the baetis hatch. Chocolate and olive have been the best baetis colors. Johnny flash and foam wing emergers are among the favorites. 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 20 on the Rio Mora; Good: 97 cfs on the Pecos near Terrero; Very Good
Wading is easier than it's been and the river is quite clear. Stoneflies are now up to Terrero although you'll find some out on the lower river also. The fish aren't used to seeing adult stoneflies yet so give your flies a few more drifts and skate and skitter it to get some attention. There are also some gray drakes, caddis and little yellow sallies that are bringing up fish as well especially above Rio Mora. Please respect the landowners and stay out of any private property along the river. The fishing season on Pecos National Historical Park is open as of Thursday June 16th. Please see the Park's website for more information.
Rio Grande 1020 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 1460 cfs at Pilar; Slow to for trout, Slow for pike, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio is murky with the last of spring snow melt on the tribs and dam releases in Colorado. Visibility is around a foot. If you go, use big nymphs such as big crane flies or stoneflies or throw streamers. At least with a streamer, you never know what you'll get but your chances of catching something will increase. Pike fishing is slow. Your best bet for them is a large streamers that move water. There is also lots of rafting traffic around Pilar.
Jemez Mountain Streams 17 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
The bottom is dropping out of the Jemez streams and flows are low and the water is clear. Stoneflies are out on the Guadalupe all the way to Porter's Landing although it is waning and the hatch doesn't seem as strong this year. Hoppers, caddis and little yelow sallies are out and are also bringing fish to the surface. The San Antonio, East Fork, and the Cebolla are also fishing very well. Fishing can slow mid-day in the bright sun so seek some shady areas or fish the mornings or evenings. Fishing continues to good in the Valles Caldera. Hoppers and beetles worked well, but caddis or stimulators will also bring up fish. The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Preserve is now under National Park Service rules. There is no longer a reservation system. It's all first come first served until all of the backcountry access permits are issued for the day. Please see the Preserve's website for more details.
Chama River 118 cfs above Chama; Fair: 150 cfs above El Vado Reservoir; Fair to Good: 494 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and 244 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The river below Abiquiu is murky despite the low release. It'll likely fish slow and have murky water through the summer. Look to fish elsewhere. The release below El Vado is down to a fishable level. Streamers, stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae are the top flies on the river flowing into El Vado. Don't blink. The window for good fishing here will only last a couple of weeks. There is a new stream gauge above Chama. It will reflect what is flowing through the Sargent Wildlife Area. This stretch is a little high but the heat is quickly taking cae of the rest of the snowpack. Dry fly dropper rigs work well with the extra water and depth.. 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 15 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Fair: 17 cfs at Cimarron; Fair
Warmer weather will actually help the stream here as it forces the water managers to release more water for the irrigators. Always check the flows before you go as the release is can go up or down daily. The river does pick up more trib flow starting with Tolby Creek at the upper end of the state park and Clear Creek on the lower end. Scuds, red midge larvae, baetis nymphs, and golden stonefly nymphs have been reported to be working on the river.
In Southern Colorado:
Animas River 1820 cfs at Durango; Slow
The Animas is still high and being enjoyed by the river rafters.in full runoff. Look to fish some of the tribs around the ski resort or around Pagosa.
The Conejos River 351 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 776 cfs at Mogote; Good.
The Conejos is still some big water but it's becoming more wadeable by the day. Stoneflies are out up to the fly water, but seemingly they are more inclined to take smaller nymphs. A few gray drakes have been spotted and I'd expect to see some pale morning duns very soon. The release out of Platoro is high but the edges do hold fish and they are gaga for a San Juan worm. I haven't had any reports on the tribs, but much like the main river they should be more fishable every day.
Rio Grande 953 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Fair to Good: 1860 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
Dam release is accounting for most of the water on the upper Rio Grande above Creede. Streamer fishing and nymph fishing has been good and the release out of Rio Grande Reservoir still enables you to float it. No reports of stoneflies flying yet, but it should be any day now. Not a lot of surface activity but that could change the more things start flying. Nymphing or throwing streamers has still been the most productive.
Pagosa Area- Piedra River 345 cfs at Arboles; Fair to Good; San Juan River 566 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Fair to Good
Snowmelt is rapidly declining around Pagosa. The actual flows on the Piedra more mimic th San Juan as the gauge is downstream of some diversion so thing are a little high. The smaller tribs and Williams Creek ahave bee doing fairly well. The San Juan has enough water to float but not for long. The East Fork, Sand Creek and Turkey Creek and the like should be doing well with a little less water. .
Arkansas River 1380 cfs at Granite; Fair to Good: 2120 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The releases out of Clear Creek and Twin Lakes have finally gone up keeping in tune with what is flowing into the reservoirs. The wading is easiest upstream of Twin Lakes outflow to Hayden Meadows. You can fish downstream of Salida into Big Horn Sheep Canyon although the murky water and the flows there make fishing out of a boat your best option. Fish in the deeper runs mid-channel in the and cover the shallow riffles from mid-day on if you see active surface feeding. Stonefly nymphs with trailing beatis nymph seems to be the best set-up..
It's spring 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.
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