Stream Report for Monday July 9, 2007
Limited angling opportunities for Gila trout began July 1, 2007, in select streams in southwestern New Mexico that have been closed to fishing since 1966. Everyone who fishes for Gila Trout must have a Gila Trout Permit along with a valid New Mexico fishing license. Permits are free and will be available June 1 on the "Buy licenses online" feature of the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
The Rio Costilla in the Valle Vidal opened Sunday July 1st. The Rio Costilla is currently flowing high with releases out of Costilla Reservoir at 100 cfs. The reports I've had earlier in the week were very good. Flies like royal wulffs, stimulators, madam x's, dennis hoppers, and yellow sallies were some of the favorites. It's one of the few places to reliably catch a Rio Grande cutthroat trout. High floating dry flies are usually the best producers. Shuree Ponds are also fishing very good and is one place for a chance at hooking a rainbow over 20 inches.
San Juan River 737 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The San Juan is quite clear and fishing is still good after the flows came down a couple of weekas ago. Wade fishing has been very good with the better spots being the upper flats toward the cable, baetis bend and below Simon Canyon. Flies for the San Juan include red disco midges, red desert storms, chocolate johnny flash, chocolate RS2's, UV flash midge emergers, winged ants, and black or olive bunny leeches. Be forewarned, mosquitoes are out in force so bring your repellent!
Rio Grande 382 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is murky but fishable. Fishing for smallmouth bass has been fair. Some of the bigger eddies around Pilar do hold smallies. Fish for them on sinking or better yet sink tip lines with crayfish patterns. There is cooler water and better trout fishing in the gorge. Other 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 77 cfs below Terrero; Good
The Pecos is fishing very well. Dry fly dropper rigs are the most productive in the mornings but, dry fly fishing in the afternoons has been awesome. Flies for the Pecos include stone fly nymphs, stimulators, HDA favorites, tungsten rubber leg copper johns, bivisibles, red quills, and large adams. The river adjacent to Monastery Lake and all the way up to and behind the fish hatchery is private. Please respect all of the landowners along the Pecos and stay out of all posted private waters. The FIRST PUBLIC access is Dalton Day Use. Dalton is approximately 6 miles upstream of the village of Pecos. Please report anyone over harvesting fish to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
Rio del Pueblo and Rio Santa Barbara are both fishing well. Dry fly dropper rigs work best on the Pueblo and high riding easy to see dry flies are the way to go for the Santa Barbara. The better fishing on the Pueblo tend to be the areas between the campgrounds. Lots of wild browns, stocked rainbows and the occasional cutthroat make this river on of the places you can catch a grand slam. The Santa Barbara also has good numbers of wild browns and lots of stocked rainbows up to the campgrounds. The unfortunate thing is that you have to hike a ways above Santa Barbara campground to find cutthroats.
Cimarron River 28 cfs at Cimarron; Good
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Releases out of the dam are up to 27 cfs. The remaining water comes from a few small tributaries like Tolby Creek and Clear Creek. The Cimarron has several campgrounds that make it a busy place especially on the weekends. Try some of the other area waters as they may be less crowded, like the Red River over Bobcat Pass. Flies for the Cimarron are yellow stimulators, light cahills, parachute adams, tungsten copper johns, copper higgins, pheasant tails, HDA favorites, and scuds now that the release out of the dam have come up.
Jemez Mountain Streams 17 cfs on main stem Jemez above Jemez Pueblo; Good
The Jemez streams are fishing well especially on dry flies in the evenings. The headwater streams like the East Fork, San Antonio and the Cebolla are at their summertime low and quite clear. Hatches of small yellow and medium sized brown mayflies as well as a small black bodied caddis have been bring most fish to the surface. Forest Road 376 to the upper San Antonio is open. Drive 376 at your own risk . It's usually passable in dry weather in a two wheel drive pickup, but if it rains, a four wheel drive or alternate access is required. Dry flies over the shallower runs or dead drifting a small nymph on a dropper in the deeper pools will pick up most of the fish. Fly choices are orange and yellow stimulators, pale morning duns, red quills, adams, pink cahills, red legged hoppers, dennis hoppers, copper higgins, pheasant tails, and HDA favorites.
The Chama River 43 cfs below the town of Tierra Amarilla; Good: 434 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 498 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The fishing was fair below El Vado using big nymphs with flash and sparkle or streamers but, make sure to check out the flows as releases out of the dam have been fluctuating every couple of days. The Chama below Abiquiu Dam is aslo likey to be fishing poor as long as the flows stay above 400 cfs. The flows on the Chama River flowing into El Vado lake have tapered off indicating we are at the end of runoff. The nearby Brazos River is fishing well. Streamers are the general fly choices below both dams. The flies for the Brazos are elk hair caddis, beer foam caddis, bivisbles, adams, and red quills. The Chama River above El Vado and below Abiquiu are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits. The density of fish is very low there and is not stocked. Please report anyone over harvesting here to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
Stone Lake on the Jicarilla Nation is currently fishing slow. Float tubes or other small watercraft is the best way to fish Stone Lake. Mundo Lake is currently fishing the best of all Jicarilla Nation lakes. Flies for Jicarilla Nation Lakes are hellgramites, woolly buggers, and damsel nymphs. The High Desert Angler is an official Jicarilla Nation fishing permit vendor.
In Southern Colorado:
The Conejos River 360 cfs at Magote; Good
The Conejos River is coming down daily and maybe we are finally done with runoff. The river immediately below Platoro Resevoir is currently flowing a high with releases at 226 cfs and is not really fishable at this level. The stonefly hatch is waning on the Conejos, but PMD's and caddis have been bring some good fish up to the surface and green drakes should be coming off soon. Dry fly dropper rigs and nymphing the edges with big stone fly nymphs or green drake nymphs has also been very productive. 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.
Arkansas River; Fair
The flows on Arkansas River are coming down daily as well. The river above Lake Creek to Hayden Meadows is clear and the fish are feeding. The Ark below Lake Creek coming out of Twin Lakes Resevoir has come down with the releases out of Twin Lakes. Often water is released out of Twin Lakes or Clear Creek Reservoirs for the rafters and kayakers, so the better fishing when this occurs is upstream towards Leadville. The Ark is about four hours from Santa Fe and another river worth exploring just over the border.
Rio Grande 598 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Good
The upper Rio Grande is a little high with releases out of Rio Grande or Continental Reservoirs. There have been some hatching stoneflies, but the hatch is not as good with the high water lasting into July. The water is clear and boat fishing has been quite good but wading is still difficult.
The San Juan River 235 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Good
The upper San Juan and Piedra rivers are clear and fishing very well. Other fishable water in this area is the Williams Creek below the dam. This area provides some awesome summer fishing within a few hours drive of Santa Fe.
Animas River 825 cfs at Durango; Poor
The Animas River near Durango is in still high and is better left to the rafters and kayakers. The Delores River below McPhee Reservoir is flowing at 79 cfs. This is near an optimum flow for the Delores. The only traffic on this river is from guides who operate out of Telluride and Durango, and there is lots of room. If you are in the area and can't fish the rivers in runoff, consider the Delores.
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.