Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Thursday December 8, 2011
Yes, it's that time of year when a brown trout's (and cutbows) 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 475 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The habitat improvements and silt remediation project on the San Juan was completed last week. The work in “The Braids,” has been very productive as fish have moved into this new habitat where they previously weren't. Good midge fishing and 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, olive, 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 ICE cfs below Terrero; Slow: at Villanueva State Park; Fair to Good
The upper river is under ice especially any of the shaded stretches because of the bitter cold weather we've had lately. Fish the afternoon hours, especially while the sun is on the water. The water is very clear and low so go to long leaders, fine tippets and a smaller nymph. Try flashback pheasant tails, oops fly, or a tungsten micro mays. Villanueva State Park was stocked for the first time this season on November 10th. 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 ICE cfs at Cerro; Slow: 464 cfs at Pilar; Fair for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Slow for smallmouth bass
Trout still seem to prefer the faster aeriated water. Nymph the pocket water or chunk some streamers for the fiestier browns. First reports on pike! One angler had a few follows from some larger (30 inch) fish but ended up catching two hammer handles; the smaller males in the 20 inch range. Pike fishing will pick up any day now. Pike hunt by feel. Large streamers that moves water will still get a pike's attention. Vary your retrieves and change up the color of your flies to see which ones trigger a bite.
Jemez Mountain Streams 26 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Poor or Fair, depending on the watershed.
The lower Guadalupe can be accessed below Gilman tunnels and is fishing fair in the warmer part of the day. The lower Jemez river was stocked on November 11th and may be worth fishing fro rainbows. The Valles Caldera National Preserve has closed the fishing program until next spring.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Poor: ICE cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 104 cfs below El Vado Dam; Good: and 503 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Good
The Chama below Abiquiu 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 is slow. The release out of El Vado is murky 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 good. 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:
Animas River 181 at Durango; Slow to 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 194 cfs at Granite; Slow: 352 cfs at Salida; Slow
The best fishing on the Ark is below Pueblo reservoir. Fishing from Salida downstream into Bighorn Sheep Canyon has been pretty slow with slush and ice especially in the mornings. The fish move from their 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 winter 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.