Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Wednesday May 30, 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 5200 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The water is strirred up and murky, but cleariing. The suspended moss in the current is the biggest problem for anglers. Boat fishing is good, just remember 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 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 139 cfs below Terrero; Good: at Villanueva State Park; Poor
Please help us, and The Upper Pecos Watershed Association clean up the Pecos River on Saturday June 2nd! See our Announcements Page for the details. 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. Stoneflies have shown up in good numbers around Dalton Day. Time to throw big dries. 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 156 cfs at Cerro; Fair to Good: 349 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 in the slower eddies. Pike fishing is slow and the best pike fishing may be done for the season. Large streamers that move 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 17 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 fly 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; Slow to Good: 184 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Good: 969 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 1010 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, so get it while it's good. 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 below 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 197 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Fair to Good: 545 cfs at Mogote; Fair to Good
The release out of Platoro Reservoir is all over the place. Check the flows before you go, and remember that a release higher than 150 cfs makes the Pinnacles unfishable for everyone but the strongest waders. The pocket water above the Pinnacles up to the meadows has been fishing well. On the lower river, it's all about an early emergence of stoneflies. There is evidence of some daults out by the shucks left on the rocks streamside. Look for them in bigger numbers over the next couple of weeks. Stonefly nymphs dredged in the deeper runs on the lower river are the best producers. The lower river is big. Wade carefully. The water is fairly clear.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 372 cfs at Arboles; Fair to Good: San Juan River 555 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 410 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Slow to Fair: 7740 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 offering easier wading.
Animas River 1380 at Durango; Slow
The Animas is coming down anf fishing better. although there is a fair amount of boat traffic. It'll be all about the bigger bugs like stonefly nymphs here shortly. The typical stonefly nymph with a trailing baetis or caddis pupa is the way to go. Throw streamers if your nymphs aren't getting more attention.
Arkansas River 191 cfs at Granite; Slow to Fair: 352 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
What can be marginally called spring runoff has apparently hit the Arkansas. You'll find clearer water upstream of Chalk Creek. Hayden Meadows down to Buena Vista is fishing very well. Smaller offerings like little yellow saliies, both 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 sallies 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.
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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.
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