Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Sunday April 17, 2011
San Juan River 645 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Declining flows on the Animas had the Bureau of Rec increase the release out of Navajo Dam. The rise occurred on Friday. There may be a little more junk floating in the water, but fishing should continue as it's been for the last few weeks. Big midge hatches continue to come off late mornings. Dark bodied midge larvae and pupa are still working and more and more baetis are being seen. The ususal, chocolate faom wings in #22, chocolate johnny flash, wonder baetis, and small pheasant tails to mimick your baetis. 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 61 cfs below Terrero; Fair to Good:
Above the village of Pecos, the fishing is picking up every day and fish are eating. Not much for dry fly fishing yet, so stick to nymphs. Golden stonefly nymphs, egg patterns, small pheasant tails, baetis nymphs and zebra midges were some of the latest hot flies. The spring fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park Monday the 11th, but will resume again in late June. Please see their website for the details at http://www.nps.gov/peco/index.htm and click on "2011 Fishing Program". 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 93 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 238 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Slow to Fair for smallmouth bass
The caddis hatch is here! Actually it's been at Pilar for a week now. Reports are that it hasn't made it's way up to John Dunn bridge, but it is definitely up into the lower box. Best dry fly fishing is in the afternoons provided the wind isn't howling. Skate your dry fly for some of the pickier fish. Always, and I'll say it again, always finish your drift off with a swing! Hold you rod tip over the lane of your drift and let you flies swing upwards as your line tightens. If you feel a take, coach yourself into waiting just a second before you set the hook otherwise you'll just pull it away from them. For trout, I like a big attractor like a crane fly or golden stone and then trail your caddis larva/pupa off of that. Baetis have also been coming off so show them a trailing flashback pheasant tail or bat wing emerger. Try a slow retrieved streamer in some of the slower eddies for smallies. Pike hunt by feel. Large streamers that moves water will still get a pikes attention. Vary your retrieves and change up the color of your flies to see which ones trigger a bite.
Jemez Mountain Streams 48 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
A little more water showed up on the stream guage with yesterday's and last night's warmer temps. Most of it is coming from the de las Vacas/Guadalupe drainage. Forest Road 376 is open from the Gilman Tunnels to Highway 126. Upper 376 to San Antonio Hot Springs is still closed. A dry fly dropper rig with #16-18 deep six caddis or a #18 psycho may in olive should pick up most of them. Stonefly nymphs on the lower Jemez and Guadalupe will also work. Some of the gullible fish are taking small dries like a parachute pheasant tail or adams. Good reports on the East Fork and San Antonio up from highway 126.
Cimarron River 29 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 21 cfs at Cimarron
Ahh! Thank goodness water and life are flowing once again in the Cimmaron. The flows are a little low making for easier casting and fishing in the upper reaches around Tolby campground. There is a little more tributary flow the further downstream you go. That could be a good thing if the upper river is clear and the fish are spooky. Dark midges and baetis nymphs like tungsten WD40's, black psycho mays, chocolate johnny flashes, and black zebra midges on a nymph rig or dry dropper would be my choices.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Slow: 430 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 462 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 590 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The upper Chama including the stretch flowing into El Vado is in runoff. The colder snowmelt has slowed the fishing somewhat. Stonefly nymphs and a smaller trailing caddis or baetis under an indicator would be the way to go. The river below El Vado is wadable still, but do take caution as it's hard to see the bottom. A staff is good insurance here. Focus on the tailouts and hit the obvious seams. Crane fly larva and egg patterns and a trailing flashy beatis were reported to be the hot flies. The stretch below Abiquiu is fishing tough. High dam release has made wading here tough. The river is somewhat clear. If you can find a run or some pockets, run a cranefly or golden stone nymph with a midge dropper. 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. The nearby Brazos River is aslo running pretty high.
In Southern Colorado:
Conejos River 23 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair to Good: 180 cfs at Magote; Good
The Conejos and the Rio Grande drainages in Colorado are in almost the same shape snowpack wise as we are in New Mexico. We'll see some runoff here later, but it won't be big or last long like year's past. Right now the fishing is good. The bigger tribs like Elk Creek and the South Fork are also fishing well. Pick your stonefly of choice and trail your favorite baeitis pattern behind that. The road to Platoro is open.
Rio Grande 105 cfs at Thirty Mile bridge in Creede; Fair: 339 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
The is alot of micro management conceerning the release out of Rio Grande Reservoir, but not enough of a swing to negatively influence the fishing. Stoneflies and baetis are the name of the game pretty much river wide. The lower river is floatable.
Animas River 624 at Durango; Slow
The Animas is pretty much in runoff and I don't think we'll see a decline in flows for a good month. Water is at a fishable clarity but wading might be difficult. Stoneflies and baetis. Nymphs.
Piedra River 588 cfs at Arboles; Slow
The lower Piedra muddies rather easliy but I've had good reports from the upper river(s) above the forks. Williams Creek below the reservoir is also fishing well. Stoneflies and baetis. Maybe some San Juan worms.
San Juan River 515 cfs in Pagosa Springs; Slow to Fair
Tough fishing at these flows on the main stem San Juan. Better reports have come from the tribs like Turkey and Fourmile Creek. The South Fork of the Rio Grande over Wolf Creek Pass is also fishing fair to good now. Just like everywhere else, especially southern Colorado, it's all about stones and baetis.
Arkansas River 156 cfs at Granite; Fair: 233 cfs at Salida; Fair
Cold nights along the upper river are making for slow mornings above BV. Good blue winged olive hatches all the way up int Brown's Canyon. The road to Hecla is open. The better fishing is from Salida downstream through Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The caddis are about ten days out in the Salida area but should come off any day around Canon City. Good dry fly action on blue winged olives. Other than that a caddis larva imitation or baetis trailed behind a stonefly nymphs should work.
Animas River 230 cfs at Durango; Fair
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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