Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Friday July 27, 2012
San Juan River 807 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
Declining flows on the Animas means more release out of Navajo Dam. But with some recent rainfall and an increase in flows on the Animas, the release out of Navajo Dam has been reduced. Summer can be great time to be on the Juan as the extra release will spread out the fly fishers and the trout as well. There have already been some reports of ant falls. The water is clear so it's be time to go back to smaller flies. Also, be willing to go and find the fish rather than stay in your favorite spot. 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 39 cfs below Terrero; Good: at Villanueva State Park; Poor
The river is clear after having some good rainfall in the Pecos Watershed over the past couple of weeks. With the clear water, use smaller flies. The fish can be rather fussy mid-day so don't expect them to come up on your dry until you get some shadows back on the water. If we get more rain, then use bigger, flashier flies if you are fishing murky water. Cast out hoppers on the edges and skitter and skate them to get the fish to notice your fly. The river can clear within a day if we don't get another heavy rain. Great dry fly fishing pretty much river long in the evenings especially on caddis in a size #16 tan or yellow. During the middle of the day, nymphing has been more productive. Nitro caddis, hotwire caddis or good and plenties, and small tan anato-mays and big eye hares ears round out the fare. Please respect the landowners along the Pecos and don't trespass. The Pecos National Historical Park's Fishing Summer Program will resume tomorrow July 28th. The summer season runs 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 Costilla 22 cfs below Costilla Dam; Good
I've had nothing but good reports from the opening day on the Valle Vidal. The release out of the dam is usually twice the flow than it is today. The release is usually higher during the week making the fish less skitish. At lower flows use a longer leader and finer tippets. The hot flies seemed to be medium sized hoppers, yellow sallies, and smaller stimulators. I didn't get as favorable reports from Shuree Ponds. The water levels are very low and the weed growth seemed to reduce the amount of open water. One report from a solid fly fisher said he didn't see anyone catching at Shuree.
Rio Grande 65 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 242 cfs at Pilar; Slow for pike, Fair for trout, Fair to Good for smallmouth bass
Trout fishing has slowed some with the climb in water temperature and diminshing water clarity. It's time to go early or late in the day. The better fishing seems to be in the late afternoons. Throw a small #16-18 caddis dry for the evening risers. Nymphing with big stonefly nymphs or crane fly larvae are picking up trout sub surface. If the trout you catch are hard to revive, stop fishing for them! Smallmouth bass are biting pretty good and you can target them specifically. The smallies are taking woolly buggers and crayfish patterns dredged in the slower eddies. Pike fishing is slow and the best pike fishing may not happen umtil fall. 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 16 cfs above Jemez Pueblo; Fair to Good, depending on the watershed.
The streams of the Jemez Mountains did come up in flow with some of the rain. The rise wasn't as dramatic as it was on the Pecos. Nonetheless, consider going outside the box and use bigger, flashier flies for nymphing and skitter and skate your dry flies if you are finding murky water. Smaller PMD dries and caddis dries are picking trout on top. Suspend a small beadhead like a yellow copper john or a big eye hares ear if no one is taking your dry. In the absence of cloud cover, mid-day fishing will get slower. Go to more shaded reaches or fish later in the afternoon. The fishing program at the Valles Caldera National Preserve has resumed as of Saturday June 23rd! See our announcements page or their website for more information. They are also 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; Good: 29 cfs below the town of Tierrra Amarilla; Slow: 706 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow: and 590 cfs below Abiquiu Dam; Poor
The Chama flowing into El Vado Reservoir is warm and fishing there is very slow. The water being pulled off for irrigation upstream and the return from the ditches has adversely affected the fishing here and will continue throughout the summer. The Chama coming over the border from Colorado is clear and fishing well in the canyon up from the Sargent Wildlife Area. The release below both dams has been all over the place. The water below Abiquiu is very murky and fishing is slow. The release below El Vado is a little too high for safe wading. 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 108 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 140 cfs at Mogote; Good
The release out of Platoro Reservoir is back up to a good level for fly fishing. The low level of water in the lake may mean some lower releases here through out the summer. This may adversely affect the meadows, the pocket water below, and the Pinnacles. Check the flows before you go, because a release higher than 150 cfs makes the Pinnacles unfishable for everyone but the strongest waders. The river between Horca and Conejos campground has been fishing well. The water is fairly clear.
Pagosa Area: Piedra River 59 cfs at Arboles; Good: San Juan River 76 cfs at Pagosa Springs; Good
The Piedra has benefitted from some recent rain. Reports are that the area above Williams Reservoir is closed. Contact the District Ranger Office at 970-264-2268 to check on closures. The upper forks of the Piedra may offer cooler water and happier fish. The San Juan is clear. Look for PMD's and caddis especially in the evenings. Just over Wolf Creek Pass, the South Fork and it's tribs are also fishing very well.
Rio Grande 54 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Good: 249 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Good
PMD's and caddis are what's for dinner. These fish really key in on dries more than nymphs when there are bugs on the water. Small #16-18 caddis, hoppers, and PMD's are bringing fish up. Cast tight to the banks. The river below South Fork is low and getting warm by mid-day. Consider fishing elsewhere during the afternoons.
Animas River 286 at Durango; Fair to Good
The Animas is coming down and fishing better. Caddis, PMD's and blue winged olives are all about. Dry fly dropper rigs or streamers seam to be the better producers.
Arkansas River 156 cfs at Granite; Slow to Fair: 297 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The fishing here is absolutey unprecedented. Normally, the Arknasas would have much higher water and consequently tougher fishing. Fishing on the Ark over the summer should remain good as long as the water temps stay below 70 degrees. Hayden Meadows down to Buena Vista is fishing very well. Smaller offerings like little yellow saliies, PMD's and green and gray drakes both nymphs and dries are making up the fare. Down around Salida bigger golden stones, nymphs and dries with yellow sallies in the mix are still the top producers. Warmer water temps in Bighorn Sheep Canyon are slowing the fishing in the afternoons.
Santa Fe and Carson National Forests have lifted all Fire Restrictions!
For the most current fire information go to http://nmfireinfo.wordpress.com/. Click on the fire restriction tab on the right for any info on closures or what restricions are in place.
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.
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.