Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Wednesday April 14, 2010

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The new fishing year began on April 1st. We have licenses available for sale here at the shop.

Charette and Clayton Lakes opened on Monday March 1st. Still no reports from either two and I don't expect to with the spring winds upon us. I'll post reports as they come in. One of our guides has been doing quite well at Santa Cruz Lake. Small tech buggers as we call them seem to out fish a standard woolly bugger. Think small, in different colors than the standard. My favorites are a Hale Bopp Leech in wine or brown, and a Pop's bugger in grizzly. Bluewater Lake will open on April 24th.. Trout fishing will probably be slow here as well, but the tiger muskies should produce some action once the ice is off. I have no reports if any of these lakes are ice-free. Typically they are covered by a layer of thin unsafe ice. If any one goes, let me know what the conditions are and how you did.

Jicarilla Nation Lakes
Jimmy Houston; we have ICE OFF!!!!! As of today (4-12-10), all three of the Jicarilla Fishing Lakes are completely ice free. Mundo Lake is extremely turbid with less than one foot of visibility and is also spilling over. The emergency spillway better known as the parking lot is inundated and at the verge of serving its function. The main feeder stream is just a trickle compared to last week, so don’t expect things to get much higher. With that said, you should expect murky water to persist for at least a couple more weeks. The main boat ramp is inaccessible for the time being. A small boat can still be launched at the auxiliary boat ramp located at the northeast side of the lake. Stone Lake is still capturing good amounts of water from its main feeder. Elk Stream enters the lake at the northeast corner where it will cause clarity issues for several weeks to come. However, the water in the southwest bay and along the west side of the lake is decent with 2-4 feet of visibility. The North Shore and Manghani point also have decent visibility (1-3 feet) and are known as hotspots for spring fishing form the shoreline. Common fly patterns for the spring include eggs, egg-sucking leeches, wollybuggers, and salamander patterns. The primary boat ramp at Stone Lake is located on Manghani Point on the east side of the lake and is fully functional at this time. Enbom Lake has not been stocked yet this year and is not expected to have any overwinter survival. The first stocking is scheduled for next week. Exact dates and sizes will be reported in the next Fishing Report. Please pick up the 2010-11 Non-Tribal Fishing Proclamation when you get your new Jicarilla Fishing Permit. The High Desert Angler sells Jicarilla fishing permits. The preceeeding report was excerpted from the Jicarilla Nation weblog fishing report by Kevin Terry.

Pecos River 276 cfs below Terrero; Slow to Fair: At Villanueva State Park; Poor:
The Pecos has come up in flow over the past week or so. The water is murky with the best clarity around 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. If the fish are feeding, look for them near the edges where there is clearer water, or just off the shelves. Red and orange San Juan worms, green caddis larva or pupa, or unweighted stonefly nymphs drifted and swung along the banks has been working for our guides. To get a fishing day on Pecos National Historical Park, see their website at http://www.nps.gov/peco/planyourvisit/fishing.htm or call 505-757-7272. 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 481 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Not much change here. I do hear however, that the suspended moss in the current is getting worse. Make sure to clean off your rig so the fish can see your flies. Visibilty on the river is still around to 2-3 feet. Fishing is good on the usual midge fare. Red, cream, orange, gray and olive larva size 18-24, midge pupa in olive and gray size 22-24, along with black or olive bunny leeches. Blue winged olives have been coming off with the stormy weather. Gray, olive or chocolate RS2's, johnny flashes and foam wing emergers size 22-24 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm have been producing. Fish the deeper slower runs especially after a very cold night. Some of the smaller fish have been eating blue wings off of the surface. Gray CDC biot BWO's and Furimsky's BWO BDE's were the hot surface flies There is a two fly only rule for the quality waters of the San Juan. Also, the Special Trout Water section is all catch and release. If you see someone in violation, turn them into Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263. Officers have been 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 1020 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 1220 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Slow for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande has come up in flow and the water is a little muked up with 12" of visibility or less, but the level has remained steady for a week. Crane fly larvae, stonelfy nymphs, and caddis larva on a long nymph rig in the runs, or a dry dropper caddis rig along the banks should be the way to go. Still no word on the caddis hatch yet. Water temps may have to come up a few degrees more as we are definitely seeing an increase in flow from snowmelt. It could be any day now and I'll post reports of bugs coming off if I hear about it! Pike fishing, or I should say catching, has been a little slow. I think it may be due to pressure and it might be time to explore and find a new honey hole. The increase in flow does change things, so also try the usual spots and see if you still have willing fish. 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.

Jemez Mountain Streams 854 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Poor
Yeah, you read it right. Over a 1000 cfs yesterday! I would definitely say that runoff has hit the streams of the Jemez Mountains. The upper streams like the East Fork just west of the Caldera, the upper San Antonio, or the upper Cebolla may offer a place to fish. The Guadalupe and lower Jemez are definitely out of the question. Dry dropper rigs with small beadheaded nymphs worked along the banks where there is some slow water is the tactic. Forest Road 376 up from Gilman Tunnels is scheduled to open on April 15th. The upper end of 376 off of NM Highway 126 won't open till the end of May. The Valles Caldera opens up to fishing on May 22nd. They no longer have the lottery system in place. To reserve a space, you can call, visit the website, or take a chance and walk-on before 7:00 am: See the Caldera's website at http://vallescaldera.gov/ for more details.

Cimarron River .5 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Slow to Fair
Thankfully enough snow is melting to increase the flows on some of the tribs in the state park which has opened up more water. Unfortunately what runoff is coming in has greatly reduced visibility and the stream is over it's banks towards Clear Creek. If you go, use bigger than normal and flashy nymphs along the banks.

The Chama River above the village of Chama; Poor: 816 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Poor: 1350 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 1240 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
Runoff is also upon the Chama. Higher releases below both dams have slowed fishing and really your ability to wade, way down. The river flowing into El Vado is high and muddy. The release below both dams is way too high to wade and not worth casting into. You can use big nymphs with flash and sparkle, but your better off with streamers. Cover the tailouts of pools and hit the obvious seams. Fish will be on the move until the flows have stabilized. The recent incresase in the release here also changes things up a bit. Start at one of you favorite spots, but if it doesn't produce move onto a next one. 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 7.4 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Slow: 264 cfs at Mogote; Slow to Fair
Warmer weather has started melting snow along the Conejos bring up the flows as it does. I think alot of this could be the stuff along the river that hadn't melted off earlier, so we may see flows stabilize or come back down. Golden stonefly nymphs, San Juan worms, and turd flies were working for a group in this past weekend's Amateur Superfly event.

Arkansas River 176 cfs at Granite; Slow to Fair: 311 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
Fishing has picked up above Salida. The flows are also up however, with much clearer water above town, and the best clarity during mid-day. This time of year is about the blue winged olive hatches. The fish are moving out of their winter lies in the deeper pools and coming up into the riffles to feed. They tend to be there during cloud cover and bad weather. Baetis nymphs and emergers worked in the shallow water has been the ticket. Big golden stonefly nymphs with a pheasant tail or caddis pupa can still be another productive set up. The caddis hatch will be another couple of weeks or so. We'll let you know.

Animas River 697 cfs at Durango; Slow to Fair
The Animas has come up alot over the past week. The water is murky and fishing has slowed. Unweighted stonefly nymphs with a trailing pheasant tail or caddis pupa drifted along the banks may get you some fish. Baetis could be coming off during cloudy weather. Look for them in the riffles.

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 early spring in New Mexico and water and fishing condtitions can change with the weather! 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.