Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Thursday May 24, 2012
The Navajo Reservoir Spring Peak Release started Monday May 21st. A 7-day peak release of 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), with a ramp up and down over 3 days is scheduled. The goal of the Navajo spring peak release is to match the timing of the peak of the Animas River in Farmington. The Peak Release will end on May 30th and ramp back down to 500 cfs by June 1st.
San Juan River 5320 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The water is strirred up and murky. The suspended moss in the current is the biggest problem for anglers. Boat fishing is godd, just reemeber to take the junk off of your rig. It's time to go back to the big stuff like chamois, leeches, San Juan worms, peach or yellow eggs and olive bunny leeches with a trailing red midge larvae or #16 baetis. Once the water clears, maybe today or even this weekend, ants, and hoppers will bring up some fish. Be very careful if you are wading. You won't be able to cross and your opportunities are along the accesses off of Highway 511. See the note above regarding the Spring Peak Release. 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 258 cfs below Terrero; Good: at Villanueva State Park; Poor
The river is clear, but the water is moving. It's fishable and becoming more wadeable. Concentrate on the deeper holes and get your flies down. Think big, like stonefly nymphs, tungsten salvations, 20 inchers, or pat's rubber below Terrero. Above Terrero, the fish are keying in on smaller offerings like, baetis and caddis nymphs. Bat wing emergers, olive anato-mays, and tungsten micro-mays for the baetis, and hotwire caddis or good and plenties for the caddis. Fish are taking dries, especially in the evenings. Blue winged olives will pop around 1 to 2 pm and big caddis to imitate the miller moths, and smaller #16 caddis for the evenings. Please respect the landowners along the Pecos and don't trespass. The Pecos National Historical Park's Fishing Summer Program starts on Thursday june 21st. You can make reservations for their summer fishing program now. The summer season runs from June 21st to August 6th. See our announcements page or the Park's website at: http://www.nps.gov/peco/planyourvisit/fishing.htm for more info.
Rio Grande 136 cfs at Cerro; Fair to Good: 376 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair to Good for trout, Fair to Good for smallmouth bass
A smaller black caddis has been showing up on the Rio. Best to fish those in the late evening. Nymphing during the day with big stonefly nymphs or crane fly larvae are picking up the trout. The smallies are taking woolly buggers and crayfish patterns dredged ine the slower eddies. Pike fishing is slow and the best pike fishing may be done for the season. 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 20 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good, depending on the watershed.
The bottom dropped out of the flows on the Jemez. Easy wading even on the Guadalupe, and happy fish. I've had the first reports of stoneflies! Forest Road 376 is be open giving anglers more access to the Guadalupe. I am getting better reports from the East Fork and San Antonio, but don't expect the same fish density as it was pre-fire. The Cebolla and the de las Vacas/Guadalupe are the only watersheds that did not experience a fish kill from the ash runoff from the Las Conchas Fire. Fenton Lake is also fishing very well. The fishing program at the Valles Caldera National Preserve will not open as planned on May 12th. They will however be offering flyu fishing clinics on Saturdays through the summer. See their website at: http://www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/fish/index.aspx for the details.
The Chama River above the village of Chama; Poor: 301 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Fair to Good: 927 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 987 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The Chama flowing into El Vado Reservoir is at the perfect level and will only diminsh as we get further into summer. Stoneflies should be coming off, if not nymphing with the big bugs has been good just as of late. The water being pulled off for irrigation upstream and the return from the ditches will adversely affect the fishing here throughout the summer. The Chama coming over the border from Colorado is clear, but still too high to wade the canyon up from the Sargent Wildlife Area. The release below both dams is way too high for safe wading and the water is stirred up, especially belo Abiquiu. 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 277 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Slow to Fair: 910 cfs at Mogote; Slow to Fair
The release out of Platoro Reservoir is all over the place. Lately it has been trending upward. Flows up to 400 cfs seems to be good for the meadow section, but little else. Red and brown worms get most of the fish love at higher water in the meadows. Stonefly nymphs dreged in the deeper runs on the lower river are producing. The lower river is big. Wade carefully. The water is fairly clear.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 759 cfs at Arboles; Fair to Good: San Juan River 954 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Slow to Fair
As usual, the Wolf Creek pass area always gets it's fair share of snow, even while the rest of the San Juan Mountains didn't. Big water on the big rivers so look to the tribs, especially over the pass heading to South Fork. The upper forks of the Piedra and of course, Williams Creek will fish better than the box canyon sections of the Piedra. It'll be mostly caddis over the pass and upper San Juan drainage, and stonefly nymphs for the upper Piedra.
Rio Grande 740 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Slow to Fair: 1950 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Slow to Fair
Good boat water right now. Some caddis about, but it's really about the baetis. Double nymph rigs with a big stonefly nymphs and a trailing baetis nymphs are the way to go. The water is too cold for stoneflies on the surface. The tribs are offer easier wading.
Animas River 2080 at Durango; Slow
The Animas is better for a good raft trip than fishing right now. The flows have come up again, probably from some of the last remnants of snow being melted. If you gotta give it a go, try bigger bugs like stonefly nymphs or streamer have been getting more attention than the little stuff.
Arkansas River 224 cfs at Granite; Slow to Fair: 496 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
What can be marginally called spring runoff has apparently hit the Arkansas. You'll find clearer water upstram of Chalk Creek. Hayden Meadows down to Buena Vista is fishing very well. Smaller offerings like little yellow saliies, bith nymphs and dries, beatis, both nymphs and dries, and caddis are making up the fare. Down around Salida bigger golden stones, nymphs and dries with yellow salies in the mix are the top producers. No increase in release from Twin Lakes or Clear Creek yet, just a little more inflow from Chalk, Brown's and the other tribs.
It's spring 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.