Fly Fishing Report for Monday May 25, 2009
San Juan River 535 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
High Spring Release for the San Juan is now scheduled to start tomorrow Tuesday May 26th! Fishing can be good and you can still wade some places safely during the higher flows, just be smart and careful, and seek professional advice from the local San Juan shops and guides. See our announcements page for the details of the release. Baetis are still coming off on most afternoons especially the cloudy ones. Midge nymphing in the morning is the most productive. Look for risers or fish baetis nymphs in the afternoons. Size #20-22 red, black, and olive midges, and size #22 gray and chocolate RS2's and gray and chocolate foam back emergers are still the better producers. Good reports from Simon Point up to Cable Hole. 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 seems to be tapering off, at least casting to the false spawners near the shore has. 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 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 and the damsels should be moving about also. Other lakes that are also fishing well are Santa Cruz, and Eagle's Nest for trout.
Rio Grande 1610 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 2170 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Slow for trout, Slow 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 for most of May and 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.
Pecos River approximately 370 cfs below Terrero; Fair
The river is still high and wading is tough at these levels so do take caution. Our guides have been finding fish on the edges next to the bank if it is slow enough there to get them out of the current. 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. There is a little less water mid-day and is your best chance at clearer water. 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.
Cimarron River 11 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 high so there is enough water in the Cimarron. There are sporadic midge hatches and baetis hatches. Flies for the Cimarron are bwo's, scuds, hares ear nymphs, and Barr's emergers. Coyote Creek State Park, somewhat near the Cimarron has been fishing well lately. The runoff here is minimal. Small beadheads drifted under an indicator or a dry fly dropper rigs are the current tactics.
Jemez Mountain Streams 148 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to 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 day, but as of today, the stoneflies have yet to make an appearnce even though the hatch is imminent.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Poor: 1460 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Poor: 1530 cfs below El Vado Dam; Poor: and 1800 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The Chama River upstream of Tierra Amarilla is fishing poor and the flows are still high. Runoff may take a couple of weeks more to clear up, 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 still high and the water is murky and completely unsafe for wading. 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, but there are still a few rivers and streams that are high and leaving us limited choices as where to fish. Consider this the time to go someplace you haven't been to or something you haven't done in a while. Alot of the local lakes continue to fish well. Within an hour's drive Abiquiu Lake 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 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 1330 cfs at Mogote; Fair to Good
May 19, 2009. "With the Rio Grande at 5000 cfs and other rivers cookin' the Conejos is plodding along at 40 cfs out of Platoro Reservoir and creating some incredible fishing in the first 10 miles downstream. We have hooked alot of fish this last week and it should continue to stay good all May. Even if the water releases are raised dramatically it will only make the Meadow that much better. Right now it is on the spooky side and those fishing downriver are doing better. One of our good customers landed a 24" brown a few days ago along with alot of other smaller fish. There are fish beginning to look up in the flat water sections of the Meadow and those looking for a challenge give it a shot. The La Jara right now is very good and the gate to the lower section will open the Thursday before Memorial Day which I guess is in a few days. 5x and 6x with long leaders in the meadow. The pocket water below at least 4x flouro. I have been doing will on the tungsten worm, the @&%# fly, #16 RL Hares ear, #10 Pats, big red annelids, and some bigger dark Copper Johns. I also think that the Los Pinos will be back on the grid in a few weeks. The Lake Fork will also be open for good fishing very soon. Most of the high mountain lakes will be good, now. This next 8 or 10 days have some cooler weather and expect the lower river to gain some clarity and give a chance for those fishine edges to catch fish consistently. Early June for you planners should be good on the Conejos, Los Pinos, La Jara, Elk, and the Lake Fork. No crowds and the chance at bigger fish should make it worth the trip." Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceding report.
Arkansas River 1620 cfs below Granite; Fair: 2070 cfs at Salida; Slow
Runoff has hit the Arkansas and most tributaries are contributing with their own high flows, as well as releases out of Clear Creek and Twin Lkaes Reservoirs. Rafting traffic is increasing here and we'll only see more of it as we get into June. There is fair fishing upstream of Brown's Canyon and Chalk Creek to Buena Vista and there is also thinner water above Lake Creek to Hayden Meadows. Fish have moved to the edges as most of the pocket water is blown out, so stay out of the water and fish caddis dries or stonefly nymphs with a trailing caddis pupa or pheasant tail. Nearby Antero Reservoir is offering some of the best fishing in the area.
Animas River 3120 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 even higher than last week at 2160 cfs. If your in the Four Corners and need to fish, hit the San Juan before the release from Navajo Dam goes up on May 26th.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 1640 cfs at Arboles; Slow: San Juan River 2080 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 and murky. Streamers fished in the softer water may pick you up a few fish. No reports on Williams Creek yet but 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 598 cfs at Creede; Poor: 1770 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.