Fly Fishing Report for Thursday March 7, 2008
Yes, there are still populations of cutbows that are into their spawn on some particular rivers and streams. Some rainbow trout are also beginning their spawn in these streams as well. Wade carefully, don't cast at spawning fish, and look out for their spawning beds known as redds. A redd is a circular area of clean gravel usually found at the tail of a pool. Sometimes the spawning pair can be seen over their redd. Do not wade through or over a redd and please leave these fish alone as the clearly have something very important to do.
Clayton, Charette, and Maxwell Lake all opened this Saturday, March 1st. MacAllister Lake however, will remain closed to fishing until further notice. I've had no reports since they've opened. Fishing is expected top be slow as water temps are still relatively cold. If you go, please use caution as the spring winds can make boating and float tubing dangerous. MacAllister Lake has had a lake wide fish kill and the water levels are really low. Game and Fish has no plans currently to stock MacAllister lake this year.
San Juan River 2970 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good to damn near Awesome
Releases out of the dam went up to 3000 cfs on February 13th. Wading gets a little tougher, but it did also move some fish out of the deeper runs where they been holding. The water is clearing and the reports I've had have been very good. Fishing is reportedly much better than it was before the releases came up. Fish the upper flats, cable hole, and lower flats for easier wading. Crossing the main channel isn't advised at these flows! Midge nymphing has been the most productive and expect to use flies as large as #18's and 20's. Most fish are holding in the deeper water tight to the bottom so adjust your weight accordingly. The best producers are red and orange San Juan worms, chamois leeches, or egg patterns, with a trailing red or black midge. Black, olive, or flesh bunny leeches round out the fly choices.
Rio Grande 402 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 735 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Slow to Fair for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is going to be murky as long as this spring like weather continues. Most of the tributaries have gone up only slightly, with most of the excess water coming from some localized snowmelt. One of our guides caught a couple of Pike and several trout at Pilar yesterday. Fishing can be good on the Rio, just look at flows or call for a report before you go. The caddis hatch will probably blow out with the expected runoff. We'll be sure to post anything relevant to that here. Pike hunt by feel and they'll take large streamers that move water regardless of water clarity, just be sure to cover the water more thoroughly. Fish for trout off of the gravel bars using olive RS2's, softhackle pheasant tail, black, brown or olive woolly buggers, autumn splendors, zoo cougars, conehead madonna’s, double hackle peacocks, poundmeisters, and caddis nymphs. For pike, show them big rabbit strip flies, large streamers or diving flies.
Pecos River 34 cfs below Terrero; Slow to Fair
The river above the village of Pecos is starting to fish fair on the warmer days. Villanueva State Park was stocked two weeks ago. Egg patterns, and red and chartreuse copper higgins generally work on the stockers. The Pecos upstream of the village of Pecos is a little murky and the water is rising, but still very fishable. 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 or poaching to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
Cimarron River Slow
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Releases out of the dam are below 1 cfs today. Fish elsewhere until the later this spring.
Jemez Mountain Streams 46 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Slow to Fair
The Jemez streams have been coming up a little in the afternoons and getting murky. The lower elevation streams like the Jemez River and the Guadalupe can be high and murky with runoff with the spring like air temps. Fishing will be slow to fair, so be methodical and fish small nymphs on the East Fork or the San Antonio, or Jemez River above Jemez Springs. Expect the headwater streams to be snowbound and fishing poor. The lower Jemez was stocked for winter trout fishing two weeks ago.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Poor: below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 586 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 890 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The fishing is generally fair below El Vado using big nymphs with flash and sparkle or streamers, however the current flows make the river unwadeable and have stirred things up quite a bit. The Chama River above the village of Chama is low and quite cold. The river below Abiquiu hasn't flowed this high since last autumn and things are pretty well stirred up there as well and definitely too high to wade. Both sections usually fish best at about 150 cfs. The releases out of El Vado are expected to be above 600 cfs for another week or two. 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.
In Southern Colorado:
Arkansas River; Slow to Fair
The Arkansas River is fishing slow above Salida. The river downstream of Salida is fishing fair towards Canon City. It'll only be a short matter of time and the blue winged olives will be out in force, so start your fly tying now. The legendary caddis hatch won't be far behind. Streamers, midges and baetis are the flies for the Ark.
Animas River 319 cfs at Durango; Slow
The Animas River near Durango is fishing slow to fair. The warmer days we've had lately have made the Animas come up a little in the past week. Big browns will take streamers especially if it's overcast. Winter is a great time to fish the Animas on the Southern Ute Reservation. Permits can be obtained at the Durango fly shops, Zia Sporting Goods in Farmington, or Float-n-Fish in Navajo Dam. It makes for a nice diversion from the San Juan River about 45 minutes away.
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.