Ed's Fly Fishing Report Friday September 4, 2009
Rio Costilla 91 cfs below Costilla Reservoir Fair to Good
The Rio Costilla is absolutely the most beautiful trout stream in the state and a place where you can reliably catch a Rio Grande Cutthroat. Shuree Ponds also located within the Valle Vidal are giving anglers a shot at catching a lunker over 20 inches. The release out of Costilla Reservoir is a little high for optimum fishing, so high riding and visible dry flies cast tight to the banks, or single nymphs worked along the edges and cutbanks will be the tactics for the Rio Costilla. Diving caddis or damsel nymphs on a long leader and floating line for Shuree Ponds. Remember that all streams of the Valle Vidal is No Kill, Catch and Release only.
Pecos River 38 cfs below Terrero; Good
This weeks rain did not murk up the river but did cool it off somewhat, and that is a good thing. The Pecos is fishing fairly well with a few hatches of late summer bugs. Blue Winged Olives, yellow sallies, and small caddis have been on the trout's menu lately. Fishing does slow some mid-day, and dry dropper rigs work better than dries during that period. Fish the riffled water, pocket water and places whrere it's shaded. Once you get above Mora Creek, it's a dry fly game. Game and Fish put some Rio Grande Cutthroats in the Pecos earlier this summer. Go catch and RELEASE one of these beauties. 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 761 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The release below Navajo Dam went up amonth ago as flows declined on the Animas. In order to maintain sufficient flows in the critical reach habitat for native fishes downstream of Farmington, the release was increased out of Navajo Dam. No word on how long we'll see the higher flows so take advantage of this. There is a midge hatch early morning till 10 or 11 am. Fish cream, gray, or olive midge emergers and larvae in the morning. Below Texas Hole, the baetis hatch starts from lunch time til 5:00 pm. Size 24 to 26 olive or gray RS2's, johnny flashes, or foam wings seem to be the colors for the emergers and small 22-24 BWO dries. If you are willing to go small, the fish will eat. I as there a week and a half ago and foam wings up near the Cable Hole in a 26 was all they would take, but we did catch alot of fish. Midge fishing will pick back up in the evenings on black or gray emergers. Time to go to the small stuff and 6X or even 7X fluorocarbon tippets. Streamers in the deeper runs can be incredible. Pale Morning Duns have made it to just below Texas Hole. The hatch is from 2 pm to 6 pm. Dry fly fishing with PMD's and hoppers has been good on the lower river float if you arrange for a guide. Remember to take your sunscreen and insect repellent with you!There is a two fly only rule for the quality waters of the San Juan. This rule went into effect on July 1st of 2008. 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!
Rio Grande 66 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 224 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Good for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande is somewhat clear at 3 feet of visibility. Hurry, it usually doesn't last long. Smallmouth eat crayfish patterns and wooly buggers in the eddies and you can pick out some trout in the tailouts of larger runs or in the pockets. For trout, show them a crane fly larvae, stonelfy nymph, or work streamers around structure. The best trout fishing is from 4:20 until dusk. Game and Fish stocked some Rio Grande Cutthroats into the gorge. Kinda cool to have the river's namesake fish swimming in it's waters again. Please treat these fish as no kill. The low flows we are currently seeing should make casting to pike alot easier. Pike hunt by feel and they'll take large streamers that move water regardless of water clarity, just be sure to cover the water thoroughly. Cover the deep, slower runs and change flies frequently to see which ones trigger a strike.
Cimarron River 33 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Very Good
The Cimarron River is dam controlled for the most part by Eagle Nest dam. The release is up and fishing is good. The lower river is more open and can offer easier casting than the brushy stuff on the upper end. There are caddis, yellow sallies, baetis, and PMD hatches over the river. Flies for the Cimarron are yellow stimulators, PMD's, caddis, yellow sallies, scuds, hares ear nymphs, and Barr's PMD emergers.
Jemez Mountain Streams 14 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
The Cebolla, the East Fork, and the San Antonio are fishing well with a dries or a dry with a small dropper. The more open stretches of meadow water are fishing slower mid-day. Generally the more shaded water or the higher you go will beat that mid-day slump. It's the perfect place for light tackle, so take your onie and go high. There are hatches of little yellow sallies, caddis, and lots of grasshoppers and beetles.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Fair to Good: 32 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 884 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 1010 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
Currently, the Sargent Wildlife Area is the place to fish with caddis, Red Quills and little yellow sallies. I've had mixed reports from the section above El Vado Reservoir. Large nymphs like craneflies and stoneflies or streamers like slumpbusters are best there. 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. Cover the tailouts of pools and hit the obvious seams. The release out of Abiquiu fluctuates 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 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 124 cfs below Platoro, 140 cfs at Mogote; Good
August 27, 2009. "Flows dropped dramatically this week out of the reservoir and that has made every mile of the Conejos fishable. And it has fished good this week for me and the other guides. The Chironocone and some dries has been my hero the past several days. Expect the dry fly fishing to get one or two notches better with the drop in the flows. Also expect them to get that much spookier as well. Go to 6x to your dry if you have to and lengthen the leader and improve the presentation. But if you do there are a lot of nice fish to be caught right now. I saw a fish just under 24" eat a big dry yesterday on a soft edge that was pretty awesome. August was wonderful with mild temps and expect more of the same in September. Incredible number of exoskelatons on the rocks upriver. I have seen a few adults during the day but mostly I understand they are nocturnal, we are trying to find out more about this stone." Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceding report.
Arkansas River 90 cfs at Granite; Good: 214 cfs at Salida; Good
Releases for the summer flow augmentation program have ended and flows are returning to more natural levels. At these lower flow levels, stealth and presentation become more important even as more of the river becomes fishable. Lighter tippets, smaller flies, and a strategic approach to the river will help you catch fish. Caddis on either ends of the day or dry dropper rigs mid-day are working in the Salida area. From Brown's Canyon to Granite, try caddis, Blue Winged Olives, Red Quills and attractor dries with a dropper or full nymph rig for the mid-day slump. From Granite upstream to Hayden Meadows, it's hoppers, BWO's, caddis, and Red Quills.
Animas River 185 cfs at Durango; Slow to Fair
The Animas is fairly clear and fishing better with the cooler nights lately. Caddis nymphs with a trailing midge or pheasant tail drifted and swung along the banks will pick up some fish. The release on the Delores below McPhee is currenlty at 65 cfs. The fish here are very skittish making for some technical presentations.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 47 cfs at Arboles; Fair: San Juan River 31 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Fair to Good
The Pagosa area streams are also fishing bettre with cooler night time temps. The upper Piedra is good on PMD's, caddis, and yellow sallies. Warmer water has slowed fishing on the lower San Juan below Trujillo bridge, the lower Piedra, and Williams Creek below the reservoir. Please don't fish these waters if they are anywhere near 70 degrees. Lots of caddis especially in the evening has made for great fishing on the San Juan near Pagosa. Pale Evening Duns are also starting to show up. I've had great reports from South Fork of the Rio Grande, Turkey Creek, Fourmile Creek, and the East Fork of the San Juan. Much like everywhere else, fishing is bettter in the mornings or evenings, than mid-day.
Rio Grande 49 cfs at Creede; Slow to Fair: 201 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Good
Releases out of Rio Grande Reservoir have been down for a few weeks now. The box canyon and the oxbows above Creede have been fishing well as has most of the river. Terrestrials, caddis, and BWO's are all over the place. The South Fork of the Rio has fishing well on hoppers, attractors, caddis and small adams.
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