Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Friday December 23, 2010
It's that time of year again. Time for brown trout and cutbows 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 487 cfs below Navajo Dam; 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, however the water is starting to take on a little color. I expect the lake to fully turnover by Christmas which will reduce the visibility for sure. From Texas Hole up to the Cable, fishing is very good in the mornings on #24-26 dark colored midge pupa and larva. 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. Egg patterns are also hot producers right now. 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 30 cfs below Terrero; Poor: at Villanueva State Park; Fair
The fishing is really slow above the town of Pecos. Mid-thirty degree water temps have the fish very tight lipped. Better fishing down at Villanueva State Park if you can get it on a weekday. It can be crowded there on weekends and the catching is best after it's stocked which did happen mid-week this week. The best fishing is when the sun is on the water. Nymph fishing is better than dry flies. Egg patterns, red or green copper johns, prince nymphs, and scuds tend to fool most of the stocked fish. 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 409 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 625 cfs at Pilar; Fair for pike, Slow to Fair for trout, Poor for smallmouth bass
The Rio is at it's natural winter flows as the river isn't being diverted into irrigation canals in Colorado. Be persistent and cover the water thoroughly. Focus on the tailouts of pools and right off of the gravel bars. 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. Vary your retrieves and change the colors of your flies to see which ones trigger a strike!
Jemez Mountain Streams 27 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair
The main stem Jemez was stocked for winter fishing a few weeks ago. 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, use buoyant fry flies to suspend a bead head dropper. Keep the droppers on the small side like #16-18.
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; Poor: below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 190 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 40 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Fair to Good
The Chama River above the town of Chama has slowed with the change of seasons. 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:
Arkansas River 170 cfs at Granite; Fair: 380 cfs at Salida; Fair
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 the deeper runs and are most active from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Black midge larvae has been the most productive fly.
Animas River 260 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. Lots of snow fell here over the last week, Expect some local snowmelt to slow things up for a few days to a week.
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 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.