Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Tuesday November 15, 2011
Yes, it's that time of year when a brown trout's fancy turns to spawning. I have had numerous reports of people catching and sometimes keeping browns, especially big browns from the Chama River. While it's not a secret that big browns inhabit the Chama, it is rather unethical to fish for them while they are on their redds. For some anglers, they really wouldn't be able to match wits with a big brown there at any other time than the spawn. Shame on them. Please, do not wade through redds, or fish over spawning fish! And absolutely, express your displeasure to anglers who do. Fish are also pairing up on the Rio Grande and the same goes for those fish as well. Treat them well, avoid their redds, and don't cast over the spawners. The future of better fishing depends on you!
San Juan River 331 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The release has been reduced so Game and Fish and NM State Parks can proceed with some sediment remediation and habitat improvements to the upper river. The affected area is from above Texas Hole to the upper braids. This area will be closed to fishing while the work commences. See the San Juan River forum page at http://www.fishthesanjuan.com/phpBB2/ for more information. Good midge fishing a nd midge hatches during the mornings and good blue winged olive hatches in the afternoons. In the mornings, use a red midge larva as your point fly and trail a size #24-26 black or gray midge pupa. As the afternoon progresses, change your flies to baetis, such as a gray or chocolate RS2 or foam wing emerger. 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 27 cfs below Terrero; Fair:
The river is continues to fish well. The water is very clear and low so go to long leaders, fine tippets and a smaller fly. Some midges have been coming off, but really blue winged olives are the only dry fly game left on the Pecos. Nymphing with a dry dropper rig can end your slump if they aren't coming up on your dry fly. Try flashback pheasant tails, oops fly, or a tungsten micro mays. Villanueva State Park was stocked for the first time this season on the 10th. The first PUBLIC access is Dalton Day Use. I know we all want a place to fish, but don't be a poacher. Please respect the landowners along the Pecos and don't trespass. The Pecos National Historical Park's Fishing Program for the fall ended Monday November 7th.
Rio Grande 485 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 679 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Fair for smallmouth bass
Trout still seem to prefer the faster aeriated water. Nymph the pocket water or chunk some streamers for the fiestier pre-spawn browns. Cover the deeper slower runs for the bass with streamers or crayfish patterns. 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 27 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Poor or Fair, depending on the watershed.
The only water worth fishing is the Cebolla or the de las Vacas/Guadalupe watershed. Ash runoff from the Las Conchas fire has killed quite a lot of fish on the East Fork and Rio San Antonio, and the streambed is covered in it. The Valles Caldera National Preserve has closed the fishing program until next spring.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Fair: 80 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 300 cfs below El Vado Dam; Good: and 154 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow to Fair
The Chama below El Vado dam has the most consistent good fishing on the Chama as a whole. The stretch flowing downstream of the village of Chama into El Vado reservoir has come up with some recent rain and snowfall. It is a little murky. There are a few Kokanee left in this stretch although they aren't really eating flies. A few trout taking egg patterns around the salmon. The release out of El Vado is low although, fishable. Big nymphs dead drifted and finished with a swing or stripping streamers is the way to go there. The stretch below Abiquiu Dam is fishing ok despite the water clarity which is actually getting better. 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 34 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair: 78 cfs at Magote; Fair
The release out of Platoro Reservoir has been reduced and may go down even further. Last winter it was onl;y 8 cfs! Take advantage and hit the Conejos one (at least) more time before the release is reduced to the winter flow!
Animas River 276 at Durango; Fair
Dropping flows have made the Animas more fishable. Some baetis, but if your not finding the bugs or rising fish, nymph the pockets or throw streamers.
Arkansas River 170 cfs at Granite; Good: 415 cfs at Salida; Good
Good fishing from Salida downstream into Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The fish move from thier deeper winter lies in the afternoons to feed on midges and baetis mid-day. Nymphing with golden stonefly nymphs, caddis larvae, baeties, and midges have been the most productive.
It's autumn 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.
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.
Click on Public Lands Information Center from our links page for a full list of fire restrictions or closures.