Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Wednesday September 15, 2010
The Rio Costilla 75 cfs below Costilla Reservoir; Very Good
Time is running short on the Costilla. In about a month or so, the water managers usually shut the dam OFF, and very little water will be left in the stream save for a couple of tiny tribs. 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 754 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 tan, 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 46 cfs below Terrero; Good:
Fortunately the Pecos continues a 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. It's very wadeable and fishing is good. The water is very clear and is as low as we've seen it all summer so think about approaching the river with some stealth. A longer cast, a longer leader, and finer tippets are in order. Caddis hatches, yellow sallies, and blue winged olives 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 RS2's, wonder baetis, batwing emergers, headlight sallies, neversink caddis, and CDC biot coparaduns. The fall fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park 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 74 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 210 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio is murky but clearing with about three feet of visbility. As we get towards mid-September, baetis 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. I've already had two reliable pike reports!
Jemez Mountain Streams 10 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
Cool night have really helped the fishing in the Jemez, although the waters are low and clear.Longer cast and leaders with small tippets and flies are the tactics. 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: 41 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. Golden stones, tricos, blue winged olives, scuds, 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: 31 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 952 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 798 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 caddis, blue winged olives, and grasshoppers. The river flowing into El Vado above the Heron Dam outlet is fishing 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 high, 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 161 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 211 cfs at Mogote; Good
August 31, 2010. "Very interesting days on the water for me the last couple of weeks. There have been times that if I had not had a G String I would have felt naked. Devan has tied it in I think 5 or 6 colors and I have not had the time to fish them all as much as I would like but wow some days have been crazy to see fish swimming downriver for a bug. Never saw a fish chase a #18 Zebra midge like that. It has obviously not been the "bomb" all the time but now we are seeing how effective other colors are. I could not get them to eat a pink the other day up high but wammo here goes the tan. The other day ORANGE?????????? Today Devan calls me after a day in the Pinnacles fishing every dry and nymph he had and RED?????????????? Anyway today was 46 degrees in the meadow and there was a beautiful BWO hatch in the rain and they wanted the 2 tone before that. Regular rains have kept the river fresh and a very slight twing to the color. Yesterday Troy said he ran into a pod of feeding fish and of all bugs in the world they wanted a #16 Renegade more than any other. All I can say is that for this river you need a box full of bugs and be willing to try some stuff. Sometimes weird stuff. Fish in exposed water have been spooky and presentation has been a big deal. I have also set up a new leader that has literally changed in a radical way how many fish people break off. We have landed some big fish on 5x and not broken off a single fish. If you need some help with that come in and we will be able to show you how. I will just hint with "BUNGY". Chironocones, Robin's, G'strings, two tone worms, and #@%$ flies have been the best bugs for the nymphs. Ants, small mayfly patterns, and big attractors better on top."
Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceeding report.
Rio Grande 50 cfs below Thirty Mile Bridge; Good: 272 cfs 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. Still some caddis, PMD's, blue winged olives, and tricos in the morning.
Pagosa Area Piedra River 261 cfs at Arboles; Good: San Juan at Pagosa 185 cfs; Good
Alot of rain fell here this past week and really blew out the Piedra and San Juan. The main stem are on there way down, however the tribs may be more fishable, and Williams Creek below the dam is probably the best bet. The upper forks of the Piedra as well as The San Juan and trubutaries above Pagosa we reported to be fishing well. On the upper forks of the Piedra, use caddis, golden stones, yellow sallies, and tricos. On the San Juan there are lots of caddis and some PMD's, PED's, and baetis. 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 114 cfs at Granite; Good: 252 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 caddis and red quills mid-day and blue winged olives in the afternoon. 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 281 cfs at Durango; Good
The Animas watershed didn't get as much rain as the Pagosa area. The reports I've been getting however is that the fishing was on the slow side until the evenings. Alot of it is going to depend on clarity. Even though it's along way till spawn, the browns seem to be feeding hard in anticipation of that and winter. Some of caddis around as well increasing amounts of blue winged olives. Best fishing is in the afternoons, especially for dry fly action.
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