Fly Fishing Report for Friday May 29, 2009
Pecos River approximately 275 cfs below Terrero; Good
The Upper Pecos Watershed Association is having their annual Spring River Cleanup this Saturday May 30th. Please see our Announcements Page for the details. The river is still a little high but coming down in flow more and more every day signaling the end of runoff. Our guides have been finding fish on the edges next to the bank. Smaller or unweighted stonefly patterns and a trailing pheasant tail drifted then fished on the swing at the end of your drift is what's working. No word on stoneflies coming off yet, but I'll post it as soon as it happens. Don't be a poacher! Please respect all of the landowners along the Pecos and stay out of all posted private waters. Please report anyone over harvesting fish or poaching to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.
San Juan River 2990 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The High Spring Release for the San Juan is happening now. Expect the river to rise by 1000 cfs per day until it hits 5000. It will stay at 5000 for a week and ramp back down by 500 cfs per day. You can fish some places safely during the higher flows, just be smart and careful, and seek professional advice from the local San Juan shops and guides. Generally it's time to fish junk. We're talking worms, eggs, and leeches; anything that is big enough to get the fish's attention when the water is turbid. Bump up the size of your trailing midge and baetis nymphs as well. Streamers fished in the beaver ponds has also saved me a skunking when I couldn't hit the more productive water during the high release. There is a two fly only rule for the quality waters of the San Juan. This rule went into effect on July 1st. Game and Fish officers have been heavy handed and are 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!
Jicarilla Nation Lakes; Good for trout
Fishing at Stone Lake is still your best bet at fish over twenty inches, but competing with the profuse midge hatches is making fishing tough. The takes are very light and midges and calibaetis nymphs seemed to be the only thing that they wanted. Take caution on the windy days if you are in a boat. Enbom is more protected from wind than Stone. Catching has been better here. There have been good midge hatches there as well in the mornings followed by calibaetis around noon. Damsels should be moving about also.
Rio Grande 1330 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 1920 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Slow for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is murky, and the flows are up and will likely do so for the next few weeks or more. Smallmouth may eat crayfish patterns and wooly buggers in the eddies and you can probably pick out some trout in the tailouts of larger runs, but it's all about kayaking and rafting well into June. Streamers fished in the pockets or in the tailouts can also pick up some trout or show them a crane fly larvae with a trailing pheasant tail or caddis larvae. 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. Cover the deeper slower runs and change flies frequently to see which ones trigger a strike.
Cimarron River 8.5 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. Although the release is low, the tributaries are still flowing well so there is enough water in the Cimarron. There are golden stone and baetis hatches. PMD's or Ginger duns will be adding to the mix in a cuople of weeks. Flies for the Cimarron are bwo's, scuds, hares ear nymphs, and Barr's emergers. Coyote Creek State Park, somewhat near the Cimarron continues to fish well.
Jemez Mountain Streams 80 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
The bottom dropped out of the smaller streams of the Jemez Mountains. Flows are near summer levels and they are fishing well. The Cebolla, the East Fork, and the San Antonio are a little murky, but nymphing with a dry and a dropper with size 14-18 prince nymphs, pheasant tails, and black or blue copper johns are the tactics. The Guadalupe gets more wadeable by the dayand the stonefly hatch is up on the de las Vacas above Porter's Landing.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Slow: 890 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 850 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 1750 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The Chama River upstream of Tierra Amarilla is fishing slow and the flows are still high. Runoff is waning but it'll be a couple of weeks to be wadeable, so keep checking the reports. Also, check the flows before you make that drive to one of the tailwaters. The fishing is generally fair below El Vado using big nymphs with flash and sparkle or streamers, but the release is a little high and the water is murky and wading is difficult. Releases from Abiquiu Dam are also up. The flows are quite high for safe wading, and the water looks like liquid sand. Release here fluctuate greatly depending on irrigation need and municipal water supplies so it's best to find someplace else to fish most of the summer. Baetis nymphs, midges, and crane fly larva are the usual flies for the Chama below Abiquiu. Even though this stretch does have some decent natural reproduction, most of the fish that get caught, get kept. The tailwater sections usually fish best below 300 cfs. The best fishing here is up on the lake for smallmouth and walleye from the shore. 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.
Runoff is waning and stream fishing is picking up, however there are still a some lakes that are fishing really well. You Shoould consider this the time to go someplace you haven't been to or something you haven't done in a while. Within an hour's drive Abiquiu Lake is fishing well for bass and walleye! I think we caught as many walleye as bass, and the walleye were in less than ten feet of water making them something you can cast a fly to from the bank. One of the more beautiful lakes, Santa Cruz continues to fish well as is Hopewell Lake. Eagle's Nest Lake, where you can hit the lake in the morning before the wind, and fish the tailwater, the Cimarron, in the afternoon. On the the Jicarilla Nation, Enbom is fishing well and as always offers beautiful views and frequently peace and quiet. The trout do rise to dry flies including chironomidae midges (#12) and similarly sized calibaetis mayfly and caddis patterns throughout the day. Come into the shop or give us a call. We'll help you find somewhere to wet a line while you aren't able to hit you favorite stream.
In Southern Colorado:
Conejos River 51 cfs below Platoro, 796 cfs at Mogote; Fair to Good
May 28, 2009. "Wow the lower Conejos is now under 900 with excellent water clarity by the end of May?! Not sure what to take of that but for now it is good. No longer neccesary to drive all the way up unless you want a gorgeous drive. Flows out of the dam continue to be around 50 cfs and fishing on the entire upper river system is good. Stoneflies on the lower river with a #16 Hares ear or SJ Worm are a great option. The upper river sllightly different but fish some midge / annelid patterns close to the dam. The La Jara and Lake Fork are perfect right now and expect the Los Pinos to look good very soon. We still have 2 memberships available for the private ranches. If you are interested give us a call. Sanchez, Trujillo Meadows, and La Jara Reservoir as well as the hike in lakes are great right now. Try something different and check them out." Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceding report.
Arkansas River 1340 cfs below Granite; Fair: 1680 cfs at Salida; Slow
Flows are down with the cooler weather. Fishing on the upper river has been great on big dries and stonefly droppers or double nymph rigs fished tight to the banks or in the deeper holes. Caddis continue to hatch in each afternoon around Granite. Visibility is better the further upstream, but fishing the edges around Salida can pick you up some fish.
Animas River 2370 cfs at Durango; Poor
The Animas is coming down slowly and we'll see better fishing conditions here in a week or two. There is some rafting and kayaking traffic, so give it a couple of weeks. Stonefly nymphs with a trailing midge or pheasant tail drifted and swung along the banks may pick up some fish. Forget about the Delores below McPhee, the release is still high 575 cfs.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 994 cfs at Arboles; Slow: San Juan River 1180 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Slow
There is generally a two to three week longer duration of runoff in southern Colorado than we see here locally in New Mexico. The Pagosa area streams are still high. Streamers fished in the softer water may pick you up a few fish. Good reports on Williams Creek, even though it is also a little high. It'll fish as long as they don't increase the release out of the dam. Keep checking, good fishing is only a few weeks away.
Rio Grande 796 cfs at Creede; Poor: 1680 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Slow
Declining releases out of Rio Grande Reservoir and waning runoff have made much of the river more fishable to the wading angler. The flows are high so do be careful. This is another place to put on your radar as the giant stonefly hatch is coming soon only to be followed up by the PMD hatch and Green Drake hatch. We'll keep you posted so keep checking the reports.
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.
It's runoff 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.
For the most current stream flows, see our links page and click on New Mexico Stream Flows.