Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Monday August 23, 2010
The Rio Costilla 59 cfs below Costilla Reservoir; Very Good
The release out of Costilla Reservoir has been raised, which is a good thing as I think the river fishes best above 50 cfs. The lower flows makes them a little skitish. This area is truly a scenic gem for New Mexico. It's loaded with elk, bison, and turkey, but it usually draws people for the fishing. The Rio Costilla is one place you can reliably catch a Rio Grande Cutthroat and Shuree Ponds are known for it's large rainbows. The stream is dry fly fishing at it's best. High riding attractor like PMX's and Aerial Assault's, and yellow sallies and caddis flies work very well on those quick striking cutties. Take damsel nymphs, diving caddis, and some aquatic snail patterns for the lunkers at Shuree. All of the streams in the Valle Vidal are no kill. The bag limit for Shuree is only 2 fish over 15 inches. Please report anyone breaking thes rules to New Mexico Game and Fish at 800-432-4263 or the Forest Service at 575-586-0520.
San Juan River 761 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The release is Back up below Navajo Dam as flows have declined on the Animas. From Texas Hole up to the Cable, fishing is good on #22-26 olive, gray, black, or brown midge pupa and larva in the morning and up towards the dam all day. Afternoons below Texas Hole have been best with chocolate or gray baetis emergers like a #22-24 foam wing, RS2, or WD40. The baetis are active from 11:00 am to about 5:00 pm. It's back to the olive, brown, or black midge pupa/larva after 5. Still some PMD's below lower flats. The mosquitoes are out, so be prepared! 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!
Pecos River 92 cfs below Terrero; Good:
Fortunately the Pecos is still getting some rain and continues it's slow decline in flow. The extra water we've had this summer has really helped the bug life and flush out silt left from the deluges over Fourth of July weekend. It's very wadeable and fishing is good. Caddis hatches, yellow sallies, and some late golden stones have been keeping the fish's interest. Ants either drowned or dry seem to fool the pickier fish. Remember, the first public access is at Dalton Day Use. Fly choices would be miracle nymphs, RS2's, wonder baetis, batwing emergers, headlight sallies, neversink caddis, and parachute pheasant tails. The summer fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park ended on Monday August 2nd. The fall season begins on Thursday September 2nd and runs through October 25th. To get a fishing day on Pecos NHP, 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.
Rio Grande 59 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 224 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio isn't really that murky now that our monsoons seem to have diminshed. I know the report hasn't changed all that much, but neither had the fishing. As we get towards September, beatis will become more available and fishing for trout should improve. Trout fishing at Pilar is fair early or late in the day or better most of the day up in the gorge where there is more spring inflow and cooler water. Smallmouth, however will eat during the heat of the day and can be picked up on small streamers and crayfish patterns. If you're going to go for trout, try a crane fly larvae or stonefly nymphs with a trailing caddis pupa or flashback pheasant tail. A streamer fished deep in the pockets could get you a nice trout or even a smallie or a pike!
Jemez Mountain Streams 14 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
Flows have not come up despite the fact it has been raining many afternoons recently. The upper streams like the East Fork just west of the Caldera, the San Antonio, and the Cebolla are fishing well. Fish are taking dries early and late in the day. If it starts to get hot out, shaded areas like the East Fork from the East Fork Trailhead down to Battleship should fish most of the day. Some of the more open streams slow during mid-day. As far as flies go, try a black cricket, beetles, small neversink caddis, headlight sallies, or go to a red legged hopper in the afternoons. The Valles Caldera is open to fishing. They no longer have the lottery system in place there. To reserve a space, you can call, visit the website, or take a chance and walk-on after 8:00 am: See the Caldera's website at http://www.vallescaldera.gov/ for more details.
Cimarron River 42 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 39 cfs at Cimarron
The release is back up which is a good thing especially for the fish on the lower river, but make sfor tough fishing on the upper few miles where it's really brushy. PMD's are waning. but still worth throwing. Golden stones, tricos, and caddis round out the current fare. The Red River around the corner is also fishing well on pretty much the same flies.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Good: 43 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 927 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 925 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The best fishing on the Chama is the stretch above the town of Chama. Access can be had through the Sargent Wildlife Area. Good dry fly fishing on PMD's, caddis, and grasshoppers. The river flowing into El Vado above the Heron Dam outlet is getting warm and trout fishing is slow. They are releasing alot of water out of Heron and the Chama below the outlet is high and murky. Below El Vado, you can use big nymphs with flash and sparkle, but your better off with streamers in the murky water coming out of the dam. Cover the tailouts of pools and hit the obvious seams and be careful with the higher flows. The stretch below Abiquiu typically doesn't typically fish well over the summer. Currently the release is on the high side, it seems that water calls downstream may have increased the release. Even though this stretch does have some decent natural reproduction, most of the fish that get caught, get kept. 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 148 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 188 cfs at Mogote; Good
August 18, 2010. "Right now it is supposed to be the hottest month of the year and it seems the whole month has been between 72 and 82 for highs. Night time temps are in the high 40's so feels like early September. The flows from Platoro today are 109 and here in Mogote just over 200. Afternoon showers and some clouds lately have kept the water temps from getting to high and fishing on most days has been very good. It has switched from mostly dry fly fishing to dry/dropper and nymph fishing. Ants, bettles, attractors and mayfly patterns have been the most effective surface patterns and the %@ Fly, Silver Streak, G-String, Jimmy leg, and a few smaller reflective green caddis emergers have been the top flies the past few days. Over the next few months the length of leader, size of tippet, presentation, and the like will be very important. If you can fish a longer leader you should do better. With the steady rains all of the tribs are fishable some are pretty low like South, Los Pinos, Elk, etc. Seems like alot of the crowds are beginning to thin and pretty soon most of the anglers here will be the more hard core anglers that know the fall fishing can be fantastic. Cool temps, fall colors, and more solitude will be here soon. Expect with as much water as is in Platoro that the flows should be good thru the end of the season. We will guide thru the early to middle part of November. Cabins to stay open thru early November and the shop, end of October. Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceeding report.
Rio Grande 73 cfs below Thirty Mile Bridge; Good: 3402cfs below Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair
Releases out of Rio Grande Reservoir are lower even more than last report. Currently the flows are low and the upper river like the box cayon is very fishable. Unfortunately the river warms alot by the time it makes it's way to Wagon Wheel Gap. Lots of caddis river wide and PMD's. Caddis PMD's and stonefly nymphs are reported to be the best flies.
Pagosa Area Piedra River 129 cfs at Arboles; Good: San Juan at Pagosa 172 cfs; Good
The cooler weather and water has improved fishing on the Piedra below Williams Creek Reservoir and on Williams. The upper forks of the Piedra as well as The San Juan and trubutaries above Pagosa are all fishing well. On the upper forks of the Piedra, use caddis, golden stones, and PMD's. On the San Juan there are lots of caddis and some PMD's. The road to the East Fork of the San Juan is closed until the 24th due to a landslide. The Forest Service is working on clearing the road. Get local advice before heading there. Turkey and Fourmile are also fishing well and I've had good reports from the South Fork of the Rio Grande.
Arkansas River 235 cfs at Granite; Good: 437 cfs at Salida; Good
The summer augmentation program has ended on the Ark and we'll see a natural flow out of the tribs and the Arkansas for the rest of the year. The river around Buena Vista still has fish eating PMD's and yellow sallies mid-day. Look for them right off of the shelves or along the edges in the soft water. At Hayden Meadows, try hoppers, yellow sallies, and small caddis. The water is low and clear so use some stealth. Around Salida, look for fish in any current break. They've moved off the edges and are taking up feeding stations where there is more current.
Animas River 462 cfs at Durango; Good
Some heavy rainfall over the past couple of weeks has brought the flows way up on the Animas. Fishing is going to depend on clarity. The river looked great earlier in the week. It was a little off color but very fishable. Some of caddis around as well as golden stones and PMD's. Best fishing is in the afternoons, especially for dry fly action. Don't forget to try a swinging caddis pupa! I've had good reports from the upper Delores River as well.
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 summer 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.
For the most current fire information go to http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com/
Click on Public Lands Information Center from our links page for a list of fire restrictions or closures.