Stream Report for Friday May 4, 2007
All anglers are reminded that the new fishing license year began April 1, 2007. We are an official New Mexico hunting and fishing license vendor and have the new licenses available for sale now.
Santa Cruz Lake and Stone Lake on the Jicarilla Nation opened Sunday April 1st. Reports from Santa Cruz are mixed. The best producers there are pistol petes, brown woolly buggers, and brown marabou jigs. Stone Lake is currently fishing well. Best fishing is in less than 6 feet of water about 50 feet from the banks as the fish move into the shallows and try to spawn. For those without watercraft, this is an ideal time to fish with average 19" rainbows being caught from the bank. Flies for Stone Lake are egg sucking leeches, wooly bugers, damsel nymphs, and egg patterns. Remember to get your new New Mexico fishing license or Jicarilla Nation permit as both seasons starts April 1st. The High Desert Angler is an official New Mexico license vendor and we also sell Jicarilla Nation fishing permits.
San Juan River 5070 cfs below Navajo Dam; Fair
The San Juan is now quite murky with the releases going up by 1000 cfs daily until it reaches 5000 cfs on Friday evening. Wading will definitely be tough in the main channels. Usually high water does push more fish into the flats and beaver ponds on the south side of the river which won't require dangerous wading. Flies for the San Juan include chamois leeches, red disco midges, red desert storms, red or orange San Juan worms, and black or olive bunny leeches.
The Bureau of Reclamation has published the release schedule for Navajo Dam. In anticipation of a potential early spring runoff, the peak release will occur earlier than in previous years. The Bureau of Reclamation began ramping up the releases on Monday, April 30, 2007. The releases will be increased gradually over four days until the maximum release rate of 5,000 cfs is reached on Thursday, May 3rd. This release rate will remain at 5,000 cfs through Wednesday, May 16th. Then on Thursday, May 17th, the release will begin to be gradually decreased until it reaches 500 cfs on May 23rd.
Rio Grande 1430 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Slow for trout
The Rio Grande is murky and the flows have come back up with the warmer weather over last weekend. This could mean the end of fishing the Rio Grande until spring runoff is over usually late June or early July. There are still reports of caddis throughout the lower box uup past John Dunn Bridge. Flies for the Rio Grande are elk hair caddis, emergent sparkle pupa, submarine softhackle, black, brown or olive woolly buggers, autumn splendors, zoo cougars, conehead madonna’s, double hackle peacocks, poundmeisters, and caddis nymphs. No recent reports of people catching pike on the Rio.
Pecos River 434 cfs below Terrero; Poor
The Pecos River is flowing a lot higher with the warmer weather we had over the past week. Fishing will be tough until runoff is over later this month. The good news is that when runoff ends it usually means the start of the giant stonefly hatch. Nymphing will be the most productive during high water. The Pecos and Mora Creek were stocked late last week. Big stone fly nymphs, prince nymphs, and copper johns were working for several anglers. Brightly colored flies like red, chartreuse, and blue copper higgins, and purple prince nymphs usually work on the stockers. Please report anyone over harvesting fish to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
Cimarron River 80 cfs at Cimarron; Good
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Flows out of the dam are less than 10 cfs. The remaining water comes from a few small tributaries with biggest being Clear Creek at the eastern end of the State Park. The best fishing is now upstream of Clear Creek towards Tolby Creek. Flies for the Cimarron are yellow stimulators, bwo's, parachute adams, tungsten copper johns, copper higgins, pheasant tails, and orange scuds should the release out of the dam come up.
Jemez Mountain Streams 458 cfs on main stem Jemez above Jemez Pueblo; Fair
Most of the Jemez streams are clearing and done with runoff. The increase in flows is from the last of the snowpack melting in the extensive Rio de Las Vacas watershed and the rain we got overnight. The main stem Jemez, Guadalupe, and Rio de Las Vacas are still high and off color. The best reports have been from headwater streams like the East Fork and the Cebolla. Dry fly dropper rigs over the shallower runs or dead drifting big nymphs in the deeper pools will pick up a few fish.
The Chama River 772 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow and 560 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The fishing is slow below El Vado as the releases out of the dam are fluctuating almost daily lately. The water is up over 300 cfs from Thursday and is very murky. Big nymphs like double hackle peacocks and had favorites and streamers like woolly buggers, zoo cougars, and autumn splendors work best. The Chama River flowing into El Vado lake is in runoff with flows pushing 1800 cfs. No reports from the Chama below Abiquiui. Release out of the dam went up by 200 cfs on Friday morning which makes fishing rather unpredictable. Streamers are the general fly choices for Abiquiu. The area below Abiquiu Dam is a Special Trout Water with reduced bag limits. The density of fish is very low here and is not stocked. Please report anyone over harvesting here to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
Charette Lakes, Clayton Lake, Maxwell Lakes, and McAllister Lake all opened on Thursday March 1st. MacAllister Lake was heavily stocked recently but I still haven't had any reports from there. The main concern on any of these lakes should be the spring winds. Please use extreme caution if you go out on a boat. Fishing will probably be on the slow side. Woolly Buggers, leeches, midges, and aquatic snails, and damsel flies should be the best producers.
Santa Fe River 9.7 cfs through Santa Fe; Fair
The Santa Fe River was stocked on April 17th. Game and Fish will stock the Santa Fe River any time there is sufficient water to do so. So, no joke, you can catch fish out of this often dry river, at least for the time being. Any location east of downtown Santa Fe is generally preferred for it's access and ambience. With the talk of the Santa Fe River having a year round flow, it could be a good thing to show the demand for a nearby fishery by actually fishing the Santa Fe River. If any one goes, please e-mail me a report.
In Southern Colorado:
The Conejos River 694 cfs at Magote; Slow
The Conejos River had also been fishing well lately but, warmer temps has started spring runoff here and the release out of Platoro Resevoir went up as well. The road above Elk Creek Campground is open all the way to the Pinnacles and some of the tributaries and beaver ponds may still be fishable. At a few hours drive from Santa Fe, it's within the same driving distance to the San Juan and should be as great of a summer fishery as it was last year. Flies for the Conejos are krystal woolly buggers, olive bunny leeches, and big stonefly nymphs, and red or orange San Juan worms.
Arkansas River; Good
There are reports of caddis coming off around Salida. The river around Salida to Buena Vista was also experiencing awsome blue winged olive hatches. The river has come up a little with snows melting off in the higher elevations, but the latest report I had was still favorable. The Ark is about four hours from Santa Fe and another river worth exploring, especially if you are one of the many to miss out on the caddis hatch on the Rio Grande.
Rio Grande 1610 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Poor
The upper Rio Grande is obviously in runoff. High water will continue for at least a few weeks. Look for hatching stoneflies as the water recedes in early June.
The San Juan River 1450 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Slow
The upper San Juan and Piedra rivers are in runoff as well. The only fishable water in this area is the Williams Fork below the dam. Runoff will last a few weeks to a month here, but should give way to some awsome summer fishing within a few hours drive of Santa Fe.
Water and fishing condtitions are changing daily! Please CALL the fly shop for the latest in stream flows and water conditions.
Please see our announcements 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.
For the latest in stream flows, see our links page and click on New Mexico Stream Flows.