Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Saturday July 30, 2011
Fire closures affecting the Pecos River and it's tribs within the Santa Fe National Forest have been lifted today, Saturday June 30th!!! The fishing program at Pecos National Historical Park is still suspended until further notice. Please see their website for the details at http://www.nps.gov/peco/index.htm and click on "2011 Fishing Program". Last week, the Carson National Forest opened up their forest Stage I fire restrictions. Please see our announcements page for a list of what's closed and what is open.
Click on Public Lands Information Center from our links page for a full list of fire restrictions or closures.
San Juan River 504 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Fishing is good but fly choices have become smaller with the lower and clear water. In the mornings, use a red midge larva as your point fly and trail a black or gray midge pupa like a UV flash midge emerger. As the afternoon progresses, chang your flies to baetis, such as a gray or chocolate RS2 or foam wing emerger. I had one report of an ant fall that happened earlier this week. More rain could bring on another fall. Small #16-18 ants fished along the banks are also bringing up fish. The caddis hatch on the lower river is waning but, PMD's are starting to show up. From Rainbow Lodge on down all river access is private. If you can, a stay at Soaring Eagle or a float from one of the guide services can put you in the middle of the hatch. 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!
Rio Costilla 191 cfs below Costilla Reservoir, Slow to Poor, except Shurree Ponds; Good
No it's not a joke or an error. The release out of Costilla Reservoir was raised and it is way too much water for the size of channel to even begin to fish worth a damn. I've never seen a release this high on the Costilla. Shurre ponds received a planting of big fish last week. Shuree is the only viable option in the Valle Vidal until the release comes down below 75 cfs.
Pecos River 43 cfs below Terrero; Fair to Good:
ALL OF THE PUBLIC ACCESSES IN THE PECOS CANYON ARE OPEN!!!! The river has come up a little and is a little off color, which is a good thing for the fish and fishers. Fishing from the bridge crossings in Pecos is technically trespassing and many riverside landowners are starting to post their properties. The first PUBLIC access is Dalton Day Use. I know we all want a place to fish, but don't be a poacher. We will call State Police or Game and Fish if we catch you on our waters! Please respect the landowners along the Pecos and don't trespass. See our Announcements Page for more details. The Pecos National Historical Park is still closed to fishing until further notice. Please see their website for the details at http://www.nps.gov/peco/index.htm and click on "2011 Fishing Program".
Rio Grande 253 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 388 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Fair to Good for smallmouth bass
The Rio Grande and it's tributaies like The Pueblo de Taos, Rio Hondo, and the lower Red River accessed through the Wild and Scenic Rivers area are open. The Red River Fish Hatchery campgrounds and parking area will reopen on Friday July 29th. The best fishing is on the lower Red or the Hondo. Not much for hatching bugs on the Rio right now. The flows have been fairly steady and the water clarity is around 1 to 2 feet. Trout need oxygen and the faster churning water is the place to find those fish. Fish big bugs like golden stonefly nymphs, cranefly larvae, or buggers. Remember to 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. 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 37 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good
All national forest lands in the Jemez Mountains as well as Fenton Lake State Park are open. The Las Conchas Fire area will remain in Stage III Fire Closures. Paliza and Jemez Falls Campgrounds also will remain closed for fire suppression activities. The Valles Caldera National Preserve has implemented Stage I Fire Restrictions. The visitor center is open and the Valles Caldera will resume normal summer activities excluding those which normally occur in the burned areas. The fishing programs on the Preserve remain suspended until further notice. Please call the Valles Caldera or visit their website at www.vallescaldera.gov for more information.
Cimarron River 28 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 19 cfs at Cimarron
Cimarron Canyon State Park is now open!. Nearby over Bobcat Pass, the Red River all the way to Questa is open. Eagle Nest State Park is open to camping and fishing at this time under stage 2 fire restrictions.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Slow: 32 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow to Fair: 621 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 739 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Slow
The Rio Chama Wildlife Area will reopen to fishing, camping, hiking and horseback-riding on Friday July 29th. This includes all accesses off of NM Highway 112. The Heron Lake State Park access off of NM Highway 95 to the Chama is also open. The Sargent Wildlife Area opened to fishing, hiking and horseback-riding area near Chama on July 1st under Stage 2 fire restrictions. The other fire restrictions being lifted Saturday affecting the Chama is through the Chama Canyon Wilderness below El Vado Reservoir to Christ of the Desert Monastery. This affects the river rafters more than the fisherman. The river below El Vado is open within Cooper's El Vado Ranch. The stretch below Abiquiu Dam within the Santa Fe NF will also repoen Saturday. Typically it won't really fish well until autumn when irrigators aren't calling for water. 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 Rio de los Pinos Fishing Area northwest of Tres Piedras will reopen tomorrow, Friday July 29th.
In Southern Colorado:
Conejos River 139 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 258 cfs at Magote; Good
July 7, 2011. "I just took a few moments to look over Devan’s blog (button on the home page) and he is doing a great job. It made me realize how much better we could share with you some fun parts of our days on the water. Me and the rest of the guides have had some people landing really nice fish but yesterday Devan captured the image in seconds and minutes later is was “live” online! We will try and continue to use photography to share life here in Conejos County. If the rivershed here was a ski area we would post in our ski report 15” new, powder/packed powder conditions and 90% open! Perfect weather on the way! The only streams that are still a little high right now are the ones above 10,000 feet. The others are good and all but the Pinnacles section (to high to safely fish) of the Conejos is fishing really good. In a week I switched from catching 99% of the fish on nymphs to 70% of the fish on dries. Very buggy with Drakes, pmd’s, Mahoganies, Caddis, and some Golden’s up higher. I am sure there are hatches going on on every stream in the whole county and to be honest we don’t know what they all are but armed with a nice box of flies you should have a chance to see fish feed on the surface or near on about 200 miles of water. The water level on the lower river is around 600 cfs and the fish are loving the lower water for feeding on the surface. Seems like some days we have had some very selective fish on the surface and other days like today Troy said they ate several different dries. Josh had a 1 person half day today and hooked 40 fish (browns) on dries this morning about 2 miles from the shop. I had a good morning yesterday with two of the Sherwood’s and we had some really big fish eating early and landed some nice fish had others straighten hooks and then landed a really nice brown in the 21 to 22” range. Devan posted the photo on the blog. My best flies have been the Meaty Drake, Oops, Salvations, Superfly, Caddis emergers, Frenchies, and a #14 red bodied attractor fly when the hatches are sparse. We have not been on the tribs as much the last few days but last week guided some of them and they were pretty special." The preceeding report was provided by Jon Harp of the Conejos River Anglers.
Rio Grande 188 cfs at Thirty Mile bridge in Creede; Very Good: 480 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Very Good
Dropping flows and a lower release have made the upper river from Creede to South Fork more wadable. The upper Rio and the streams around Pagosa Springs have the best fishing going! Still good reports of stoneflies and caddis on this section. Green and gray drakes are in the mix and we are seeing more PMD's everyday. The water is fairly clear and fishing is very good, with most action on dry flies.
Animas River 664 at Durango; Fair to Good
Raw sewage has spilled into the Animas over the last week. You might want to fish elsewhere or above the town of Durango. Dropping flows have made the Animas more fishable. Some caddis and stoneflies, but if your not finding the bugs, nymph the pockets. Watch out for the river runners and the afore mentioned sewage.
Piedra River 94 cfs at Arboles; Very Good
I've had good reports through the box cayons all the way up into the forks. Lots of stoneflies caddis, and yellow salliies. Williams Creek below the reservoir is still fishing well. Lot's of options have just opened up around Pagosa.
San Juan River 102 cfs in Pagosa Springs; Very Good
Flows have finally come down to where the town stretch can now be waded. Nymphing around town has been more productive than dry flies. Check out Turkey, or Four Mile for easier wading and dry fly fishing. The South Fork of the Rio Grande over Wolf Creek Pass is down and fishing well. Stones and caddis are most prevalent, but there are more and more green drakes and PMD's showing up also.
Arkansas River 942 cfs at Granite; Slow: 1460 cfs at Salida; Slow
Good hatches of stoneflies and caddis from Granite all the way to Swissvale. The broader sections of river around Salida and down into Bighorn Sheep Canyon offer easier wading. Focus on the banks as most fish aren't in the main channel. A big bug like a size #8 PMX with a golden stone dropper cast tight to the banks has been the most productive. Be careful wading from Brown's Canyon upstream, You'll be confined to one bank or the other. Yellow Sallies, caddis and stonelies are the bugs to choose.
For the most current fire information go to http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com/
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 summer 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.