Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Friday October 22, 2010
It's that time of year again. Time for brown trout to spawn and make more fish! Please be ethical and leave the spawners alone. Often they'll be found over their redd, paired up and doing the deed. These fish are absolutely off limits! Some of the fish that aren't actively spawning are found close by and are still eating, These fish are OK to target, but please limit your wading and never wade through a redd. A redd is a circular area of clean gravel usually found in the tailout of pools and runs. Enjoy the fall fishing, just do it in a manner that you'll be able to sleep at night.
San Juan River 585 cfs below Navajo Dam; Very Good
From Texas Hole up to the Cable, fishing is very good in the mornings on #24-26 dark colored midge pupa and larva, Some fish are eating cream colored ones also. Afternoons below Texas Hole have been best gray or olive baetis emergers like a #22-24 foam wing, RS2, or johnny flash. The baetis are active from 11:00 am to about 5:00 pm. It's back to brown or black midge pupa/larva after 6:00. The Special Trout Water section is all catch and release and has a two fly only rule. 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 53 cfs below Terrero; Good:
The river did see a little bump in flows but the water is somewhat clear and fishing well. The extra water makes the fish less skittish. Once the water goes back down, think about approaching the river with some stealth. A longer cast, a longer leader, and finer tippets are in order as well as using size #16 and smaller flies. There are some egg laying caddis and some terrestrials bringing fish up to the surface, but it's really the blue winged olives that have been keeping the fish's interest. Nymph fishing is better than dry flies, so take your San Juan box when you go. Remember, the first public access is at Dalton Day Use. Fly choices would be RS2's, wonder baetis, batwing emergers, neversink caddis, and CDC biot coparaduns. The fall fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park started 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 80 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 257 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Slow to Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio did get murky with the rain we've received over the last two days. 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. Use a little larger fly with some flash or sparkle until things clear up. Smallmouth fishing has slowed but they can still be caught on small streamers and crayfish patterns in some of the slower runs and eddies. 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 several reliable pike reports!
Jemez Mountain Streams 32 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Good
The rain has brought up the flows here as well, but that is a good thing a the fish were very spooky. Fish are taking small dries and small nymphs presented on a dry dropper rig. As far as flies go, beetles still have game, small neversink caddis, headlight sallies, or parachute adams and blue wingeed olives in the afternoons. Keep the droppers on the small side like #16-18. The Valles Caldera has extended the Fall fishing season until December 10th. See the Caldera's website at http://www.vallescaldera.gov/ for more details.
Cimarron River 28 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 32 cfs at Cimarron
I can't believe that we still have this much water flowing out of the dam. Get it while it's good, and it has been good. Like the Costilla, the flow will be reduced to near ZERO below Eagle Nest Dam and the days of decent flows and fishing are numbered here. Tricos, blue winged olives, scuds, and small caddis round out the current fare. The Red River around the corner is also fishing well on pretty much the same flies as the Pecos.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Good: 38 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Fair: 280 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and 208 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow to Fair
The Chama River above the town of Chama is slowing with some cooler weather. Some angler are finding some nice sized browns, but please consider the spawners off limits if you find them. Access can be had through the Sargent Wildlife Area. The river flowing into El Vado is fishing well. Cooler days and the recent rains may have helped out this stretch above Heron Dam and some trout move up out of El Vado at this time of year. The release out of Heron is zero. 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. The stretch below Abiquiu typically doesn't typically fish well until fall when the release is much lower and the water clearer. Currently the release is down, and is trending that way, so I think we' se stable flows here through spring. 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 7.4 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair: 47 cfs at Mogote; Good
October 21, 2010. "Just a quick Pike update went out with one gentleman east of Dodge and had a pretty good day. He had hooked a couple fish and landed his first Pike within 15 minutes. We hooked around 25 or 30 fish and landed 12 of them. The better fish were about 30" or a bit more a couple of larger Pike ate but we did not land them. Beautiful weather and alot of fun." October 18, 2010. "Not sure whats going on here but fall lives on. The Cottonwoods are incredible water is crystal clear and it has been fun to do some sightcasting to nice fish. Jack Cowden and a friend are here and they just got in and said they caught fish on streamers, dries and nymphs. Devan and Troy fished the Pinnacles this am and did good and then walked one of the tribs and just had an incredible pm. Tomorrow we chase Pike. Well see how that goes. Get a chance to get an extra trip in give us a call. As I said below we have access this fall to fish some ranches that we have never guided so just another option for those looking for something special." Jon Harp of Conejos River Anglers provided the preceeding report.
Rio Grande 73 cfs below Thirty Mile Bridge; Fair: 277 cfs below Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
The upper river around Creede is low and very wadeable and very fishable. The release is down and the water is low and clear. Longer casts, long leaders, and fine tippets are necessary. Still some caddis PED's/PMD's and lots of Blue Wings. Below Wagon Wheel Gap, nymphing with stonefly imitations and baetis patterns has been more productive.
Pagosa Area Piedra River 183 cfs at Arboles; Good: San Juan at Pagosa 108 cfs; Good
Like alot of our local waters, flows here are slowly declining and the water is low and clear. Fishing is good just exercise some stealth in your approach and presentation. For the Piedra, dark stonefly nymphs and streamers get the bigger fish although dry dropper rigs and small dries are still producing. Lower water on the San Juan means the best fishing is nymphing during the day or throw trico dries early or blue winged olives late. Williams Creek below the dam, and most of the tribs are best with a dry dropper set up or small dries as well. Caddis, tricos, some PMD's and PED's, but mostly baetis patterns are what they're eating. I've had good reports from the South Fork of the Rio Grande on roughly the same stuff.
Arkansas River 142 cfs at Granite; Good: 304 cfs at Salida; Good
The fish are eating midges and baetis most of the day and a few are stuffing themselves with caddis pupa. The fish that are eating are stationed in a little deeper water off of the gravel bars waiting for their turn to spawn.
Animas River 292 cfs at Durango; Good
The Animas can be fickle, but some of the best fishing is right around the corner as the browns stage for their spawn. As always, consider any paired up trout over a redd off limits. Streamers in the deep and dark as well as dark stone fly nympsh and baetis patterns have been fooling the feeders. . 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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