Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Saturday November 20, 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 470 cfs below Navajo Dam; Very Good
Not much change here except we'll see less baetis hatches and more midge hatches. It looks like the release is at it's winter level. 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 4:00 pm. It's back to brown or black midge pupa/larva after 5:00. 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 48 cfs below Terrero; Slow:
Burr!! The latest cold snap will make the bankers hours we are keeping on the Pecos even shorter. The best fishing is when the sun is on the water. The fish are a little skittish so 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 #18 and smaller flies. The hatches blue winged olives are waning, but you still might have about an hours worth of dry fly action in the afternoons around 2-3. 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, and CDC biot comparaduns. I haven't been able to find out if Villanueva State Park has been stocked, but if it has, it will probably offer the best fishing on the Pecos. 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 347 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 482 cfs at Pilar; Fair for pike, Slow to Fair for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
The Rio came up to it's natural winter flows as the river isn't being diverted into irrigation canals in Colorado. Expect about a week or more to get the clarity down to what it was before the jump in flows. 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. Pike hunt by feel. Large streamers that moves water will still get a pikes attention.
Jemez Mountain Streams 13 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair
The main stem Jemez was stocked for winter fishing last week. The lower streams should fish ok for a little longer. The best fishing is when the sun is on the water. The flows are quite low here as well making the fish easy to spook. 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, 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 1 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Poor: 8 cfs at Cimarron
It's done. Find another place to fish until they release more water in the spring. Tell anyone whose ear you can bend, like a new governor, that we need instream flows in this state!
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Slow: 44 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 76 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 82 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Fair to Good
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 ok. Cooler water temps here have made the fishing slow. Below El Vado, use big nymphs with flash and sparkle. Crane fly larva and egg patterns were reported to be the hot flies. Cover the tailouts of pools and hit the obvious seams. The stretch below Abiquiu is fishing well. Get it here before the meat hunters take the bigger fish. 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; Slow: 39 cfs at Mogote; Slow
Cold weather and water, and a reduced release out of Platoro Reservoir have made fishing here slow. I saw plenty of ice on the webcam, so I won't report on the Conejos until spring, probably right before the Superfly.
Arkansas River 185 cfs at Granite; Fair: 359 cfs at Salida; Fair
The release out of Twin lakes has been raised putting a little more water in the river. The extra cooler water will probably mean some slower mornings especially above Salida. The better fishing is from Salida downstream through Bighorn Sheep Canyon. 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 230 cfs at Durango; Fair
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. Best fishing is in the afternoons giving the water time to warm up.
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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 fall 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.