Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Friday May 27, 2011
San Juan River 504 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Good midge hatches continue to come off late mornings and some decent baetis hatches follow it up till about 3:00 pm. Olive and grey bodied midge larvae and pupa are still working. Try the ususal, chocolate foam wings in #22, chocolate johnny flash, wonder baetis, and small pheasant tails to mimick your baetis. Fish start keying back in on midges once the baetis are done from then until dusk. The dates of the High Spring Peak Release for the San Juan has been revised. Please check our announcements page for the details. .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 75 cfs below Terrero; Fair to Good:
Stoneflies!!! They're out just above town and are around Dalton. The fish still want the nymph over the dry fly but that could change as the hatch progresses. The water levels are low and the fishing is good. Small to medium stonefly nymphs, small pheasant tails, baetis nymphs, caddis nymphs, and zebra midges are some of the fly choices. The spring fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park 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 238 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 422 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Slow to Fair for smallmouth bass
The caddis hatch is pretty well done except for some small black caddis inhabiting the willows. Without the hatching adults or egglayers, dry fly fishing has slowed, but nymph fishing is still good depending on clarity. Currently the visibility is about a foot and fishing has slowed but should resume with clearing flows. Best chance at dry fly fishing is in the evenings provided the wind isn't howling. Skate your dry fly for some of the pickier fish. If you're nymphing, 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 under an indicator 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 44 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
Runoff is pretty much done over the Jemez as a whole. The de las Vacas/Guadalupe drainage still has a little murk to the water, but is at a wadeable level and fishing is good. A few reports of hatching stoneflies on the lower Guad and Jemez River, but it looks like the hatch isn't in full swing. 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 43 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 39 cfs at Cimarron Good steady flows out of the dam has made for good consistent fishing. The flows are a little high making for tougher fishing in the upper reaches around Tolby campground. There is a little more room the further downstream you go. 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: 1470 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 995 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 992 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The upper Chama including the stretch flowing into El Vado is way blown out. Flows are near normal and the river is in runoff. 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. 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 196 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair to Good: 608 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 release out of Platoro is low enough to be able to fish the Pinnacles and there should be some good water in the meadows now that the release is up. Up high, use worms along with your stonefly of choice or trail your favorite baetis pattern behind that.
Rio Grande 523 cfs at Thirty Mile bridge in Creede; Fair: 1030 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
The release out of Rio Grande Reservoir has been ramped up and fishing is tough until the river clears. There seems to be a general increase in flows region wide and I'm sure that the tribs are starting to swell with snowmelt. Best bet would be a float on the lower river from South Fork to Del Norte. Stoneflies and baetis are the name of the game pretty much river wide. The lower river is floatable.
Animas River 1850 at Durango; Slow
Holy Shiz! The Animas has come way up in two days and is definitely in spring runoff. I don't think we'll see a decline in flows for a few more weeks. if you can find a pocket that's not blown out; stoneflies and baetis. Nymphs.
Piedra River 988 cfs at Arboles; Slow
The lower Piedra muddies rather easliy and is huge right now. Ther might be some fishable water in the upper river(s) above the forks. Williams Creek below the reservoir was reportedly fishing well before this weekend but I don't have any new reports. Stoneflies and baetis. Maybe some San Juan worms.
San Juan River 1100 cfs in Pagosa Springs; Slow to Fair
Tough fishing at these flows on the main stem San Juan. The South Fork of the Rio Grande over Wolf Creek Pass was fishing fair prior to this weekend. Just like everywhere else, especially southern Colorado, it's all about stones and baetis. If the main stems like the Piedra and the San Juan are flowing high, the tribs are probably blown out as well.
Arkansas River 672 cfs at Granite; Fair: 758 cfs at Salida; Fair
Higher water from increased release from Twin Lakes. Good blue winged olive hatches all the way up into Brown's Canyon. The road to Hecla is open. The better fishing is from Salida downstream through Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The caddis stalled near Salida but resume with some warmer weather. Good dry fly action on blue winged olives. Other than that a caddis larva imitation or baetis trailed behind a stonefly nymphs should work.
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