Fly Fishing Report for Tuesday August 26, 2008
The release out of Navajo Dam was increased for the second time this week. We may see a higher release if flows on the Animas subside even more. Midge nymphing in the morning is the most productive, and fish may start to rise for baetis and midges in the afternoon. Size 20 and 22 olive, black, brown, and cream midge larvae, and size 22-24 gray and chocolate rs2's and gray and chocolate foam back emergers have been the better producers. On bright sunny days expect the fish to be in deeper water. Texas hole and cable hole have been the better spots. Simon Canyon blew out and the lower river from there down is VERY sandy. The mosquitoes are out in force so don't forget the bug repellent! Please note; the New Mexico State Game Commission has enacted a two fly only rule for the quality waters of the San Juan. This rule will go into effect on July 1st. As a result, Game and Fish officers are starting to make their appearance on the San Juan. They are informing fly fishers of the "two fly" rule, but also checking licenses and for barbed flies. They recommend that you completely file the barb down or risk a citation as a pinched barb may still snag the tippet that is being used to check barbs!
Rio Grande 115 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 338 cfs at Pilar; Fair for pike, Fair for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is a little murky still but clear enough to fish. Contrary to other reports, you can pick up trout on the edges dry fly dropper style with caddis nymphs, pheasant tails, or crane fly larvae. Trout move into the shallows to feed when they can no longer see in deeper water and heavy currents. The best time to fish for trout is early morining or in the evenings. Smallmouth inhabit the eddies and can be picked up on crayfish patterns or woolly buggers on a sinking tip or sinking line. 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. There is cooler water and easier wading around John Dunn Bridge and further upstream into the gorge. Flies for the Rio are black or olive woolly buggers, autumn splendors, zoo cougars, conehead madonna’s, caddis nymphs, and pheasant tails. For pike, show them big rabbit strip flies, large streamers or diving flies in dark colors.
Pecos River 68 cfs below Terrero; Good
The river above the village of Pecos continues to fish well. Caddis hatches in the morinings and afternoons are bringing up some fish as well as lots of Blue Winged Olives during cloud cover. It's August and generally the time to use terrestrials. Hoppers ants, and small beetles, especially an ant fished wet can help you catch when the fish won't eat anything else. The Pecos and most of it's tributaries were heavily stocked a week ago. Egg patterns, and red and chartreuse copper johns generally work on the stockers. Pmd's, red quills, tan elk hair caddis, yellow stimulators, blue winged olives, ants, hoppers, and little yellow sallies are all working pretty much the length of the public water. 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.
Rio Costilla 45 cfs below Costilla Reservoir; Good
Arguably the most beautiful stream in New Mexico. The release is close to an optimum flow. These fish have seen alot over he past month and a half, so focus on nymphing during high sun with a crane fly larvae under the cut banks. Cast dry flies tight to the banks early or late and set hooks quickly. The reports I had recently have still been good especially on dry flies. Royal Wulffs, irrestibles, humpies, and stimulators, as well as crane fly larvae and big pheasant tails.
Cimarron River 3.0 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Fair
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Due to lack of demand from irrigators the release is way down. Fortunately Tolby Creek is keeping fish alive coming in at the upstream end of the park. If there ever was a candidate for mandating year round instream flows it would be the Cimarron. There is more water at the eastern end of the park below Clear Creek. Fishing is fair with hatches of caddis, blue winged olives, and pmd's. Expect fish to be quite spooky. Flies for the Cimarron are golden stonefly nymphs, yellow stimulators, pink cahills, pmd's, bwo's, hares ear nymphs, Barr's emergers, and gray and olive scuds.
Jemez Mountain Streams 47 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
The Jemez streams are all fishing well. The lower reaches of the Jemez streams can get warm and slow mid-day but they fish well mornings and evenings. The headwater streams don't slow as much mid-day, but are low and clear making a stealthy approach a challenge. Dry fly fishing with size 14-16 yellow stimulators, small parachute adams, dennis hoppers, ants, and yellow sallies has been excellent. The Valles Caldera Trust has opened the East Fork to fishing on the Valles Caldera National Preserve a few weeks ago. To apply, use this link to their website at /www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/fish/EastFork.aspx. Otherwise access the East Fork reservation page from their home page by clicking on Come Visit. Then click on the fishing tab and select East Fork. I've already heard some very positive reports from anglers fishing the East Fork recently.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Very Good: 80 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Fair: 486 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 704 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The Chama River above the village of Chama has decent visibility between rain storms. There are caddis hatches in the afternoons and PMD's, BWO's and other sporadic mayfly hatches coming off between Tierra Amarilla and Chama. The fishing is generally fair below El Vado using big nymphs with flash and sparkle or streamers, but the water is high and murky. The release below El Vado usually goes up on Friday afternoons this time of year for the rafters. Expect flows to drop by 400 cfs or more on Sunday afternoon. Increased releases from Abiquiu Dam have made the Chama below it unfishable. The tailwater sections usually fish best below 300 cfs. 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:
Conejos River 88 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 200 cfs at Mogote; Good
August 20, 2008."Yes we have been on the water alot lately and I'm sorry for not giving regular reports for all. Yesterday I guided just upriver from the Pinnacles and had an incredible day. Mostly nymphing with green Chironocones #16 and Pats Rubber legs #10. We did see some BWO's coming off sporadically thru some spitting clouds and hooked some really nice Browns on #18 Ex Body BWO's. The Tribs continue to be good to great. The water levels are dropping and will make dry flies easier to feed on so even if you are not seeing fish activlely surface feeding just believe that they will eat your offering. I would say mayflies and ants and beetles will be your best bet. If you can give bigger attractor patterns movement and really make them float well you can "trigger" them to eat. Use weight and get your bugs down when nymphing. I see people all the time complaining about the tough fishing and then I see the rig they are using. Shallow with no spit shot and a big indicator. Just not going to happen if you are trying to get to the big fish in the fast water. The crowds are almost non existent right now so I know the fish are cheering for the price of gas to go even higher. 60% of the fish hooked yesterday were wild rainbows of all sizes! Fun to see and they were brightly colored gorgeous fish. Dont let to many excuses keep you from standing in some clear cold water! ." Jon Harp, of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceeding report. The release out of Platoro is perfect for exploring the Pinnacles or the meadow water below the dam. Look for flows below 180 cfs and don't forget the bug repellent; there are mosqitoes everywhere!
Rio Grande 79 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge near Creede; Good: 287 cfs at Wagon heel Gap; Good
Fishing has been good on the upper Rio. Green Drakes, PMD's, and caddis are all out with grasshoppers bringing up most of the fish. There is decent water clarity and the fish are feeding. Big stonefly nymphs and pheasant tails seem to be picking up the most fish on a heavily weighted leader in the deeper runs and pools. Cast tight to the banks with hoppers or Green Drakes in the shallower water.
Arkansas River 498 cfs at Salida: Good
The river has come down dramatically now that the releases from Clear Creek Reservoir and Twin Lakes have been lowered. Good fishing and easier wading and clearer water upstream of Buena Vista. There have been some afternoon PMD and caddis hatches and Blue Winged Olives on the cloudy days. Near Salida, the state lease are fishing well on the same bugs, just make sure to cover the softer pocket water with dry fly dropper rigs. PMD's, caddis, yellow sallies, hoppers, with a trailing pheasant tails or Barr's emerger are all working on the Ark.
Piedra River 149 cfs at Arboles; Good: San Juan River 126 cfs at Pagosa; Good
Finally we have some fishable flows on the Piedra. It should be clear unless we get some localized rainfall. The Williams Creek below the dam also has been fishing well. The San Juan was also experiencing daily rainfall affecting the clarity but has come down and should be clear. Some of the smaller tributaries are clear and fishable.
Animas River 325 cfs at Durango; Good
The bottom dropped out of the Animas after a lot of rain a week ago. The river near has good visibility between rain storms. There have been lots of caddis coming off right through town. The Delores below McPhee is up and currently flowing at 398 cfs. The upper forks of the Delores are clear and fishing well.
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It's summer time in New Mexico and water and fishing condtitions are changing frequently! Please CALL the fly shop for the latest in stream flows and water conditions.
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