Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Saturday July 19, 2014

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Rio Costilla 27 cfs below Costilla Dam; Good
The Costilla has been fishing very well. The release out of Costilla Reservoir has been fairly steady and hasn't been reduced to an unfishable level. Ideal flows on this stream are from 30 to 50 cfs. The lack of pressure here during the week days will make for some good fishing. Those cutthroats strike fast so be quick on the hook set. Concentrate on the soft water along the banks. Hopper make an obvious choice as well as any high riding attractor like royal wulff, stimulators, chubby chernobyls, and pmx's.

San Juan River 344 cfs below Navajo Dam; Very Good
I am still hoping the release out of Navajo Dam.will go up to it's typical mid-summer flow around 1000 cfs. The Bureau of Rec will release more water  to attempt to maintain a target base flow through the endangered fish critical habitat reach of the San Juan River from Farmington to Lake Powell. Despite my wishes, the fishing continues to be very good on the Juan. Midges are hatching from 10:00 am till noon. The baetis are still hatching in the afternoon below Texas Hole. Black and olive midge larvae and pupa are the top producers near the dam especially in the mornings.Black and olive midge larvae and pupa are the top producers near the dam especially in the mornings.. Chocolate and olive have been the best baetis colors. Johnny flash and foam wing emergers are among the favorites. 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  50 cfs near Pecos; Good  
The Pecos river is dropping in flow a little bit every day making for some great dry fly fishing.  Many of the fish on the lower Pecos are stocked rainbows that seem to take nymphs more than dries however, a lot of the fish above Terrero are looking up for caddis, hoppers, yellow sallies, and small mayflies like red quills and PMD's. Nymphs like rainbow warriors, glint nymphs, and HDA favorites below a big dry work well through the sunny hot part of the day. Please respect the landowners out there and stay out of any private property along the river. The National Park Service has suspended the 2014 fishing program on Pecos National Historical Park and the three miles of river inside the park boundaries will be closed to public access. The NPS is trying to allow it to recover from last season's extreme fire and flooding impacts. See the Park's website at for more info. This is ONLY on Pecos NHP downstream from the village of Pecos and not on Forest Service Lands UPSTREAM of the village of Pecos. 

Rio Grande 452 cfs at Cerro; Fair to Good: 679 cfs at Pilar; Fair trout, Slow for pike, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio is at a nice level for fishing and is fairly clear, for the Rio anyway, and has some consistent flows. There can be a lot of rafting traffic around Pilar. Consider fishing the take outs at County Line or in the Orilla Verde section early to avoid the rafters and than switch to the put ins for the afternoon. The gorge up through  the Wild and Scenic stretch. won't have any rafts and has cooler water temps. Not much dry fly action except on hopper late in the day. Mostly, the fish are eating underwater. Fishing with big crane flies or stoneflies and streamers.and larvae should be among the fly choices. Pike fishing is slow. Gauge your success by how many you see, if you got a follow or not and of course an eat. Some days you get'em and some days a follow is as good as it gets. 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 
The fishing on most of the Jemez mountain streams is slowing mid-day. It's typical this time of year unless our monsoons contribute some more cool water. Mornings and late afternoons have been best. It's mostly hoppers and caddis and small attractors like humpies, wulffs, and stimulators that are catching fish on top. If the fish are reluctant to hit your dry try tying a dropper nymph on like micromays, small HDA Favorites, and Anato-mays, or caddis pupa. The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Preserve has resumed in May. Fishing has been very good depending on the reach you've been assigned. Please see their website for details or to make a reservation for the 2014 season at

Chama River  above the town of Chama; Good: 75 cfs above El Vado Reservoir; Fair: 612 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and  193 cfs below Abiquiu Dam;  Slow
The best fishing on the Chama River is the uppermost section accessed from Sargent WMA. Attractor style dries like stimulators, humpies, wulffs, chubby chernobyls, and hoppers are working very well. The  river flowing into El Vado is getting low and the fishing is slowing on this stretch. The release below El Vado goes up on Friday afternoons and gets reduced on Sunday afternoons. Plan your trip here on the weekdays to avoid the higher water and tougher wading. I like flows of around 150 to 400 cfs below El Vado at Coopers. Streamers, stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae have been the top flies. The river below Abiquiu isn't very consistent mostly from higher releases out of the dam. Some very heavy rainfall around Abiquiu has sent some sediment into this section of the Chama and it is very murky. Chama River above El Vado and below Abiquiu are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits. Please report anyone over harvesting there to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.

Cimarron River 43 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Good: 41 cfs at Cimarron; Good
The release out of Eagle Nest Dam is back up and has been at this level for over a week. Check those flows before you go. The water managers are being a little stingy and areb't letting a lot out of the dam unless the irrigators are calling for it. Avoid the Cimarron when the release out of Eagle Nest dam is below 10 cfs. The fish get really stressed and the available fishing areas are greatly reduced. Consider fishing lower down on the Cimarron to take advantage of increase water from tributary flow and better fishing. Nearby Red River over Bobcat Pass is another alternativeand is fishing very well. Scuds, red midge larvae, baetis nymphs, and golden stonefly nymphs, PMD'S, and yellow PMX's have been reported to be working on the river.

In Southern Colorado:

Conejos River 133 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 273 cfs at Mogote; Good
Stoneflies are pretty much done on the Conejos, altough some fish are still coming up to a big dry. Green and gray drakes are making an appearance and PMD's are out as well. These hatches will move upriver and we should see some of those bugs as far as the Pinnacles or meadows below Platoro soon. The meadow section is at a great level and the Pinnacles just became wadeable with a reduction in dam release. Look for a release out of Platoro below 150 to fish the Pinnacles. Big stimulators, chubby chernobyls, green drakes, and light cahills, PMD's for the dries, and tungsten twenty inchers, pats rubber legs, and wardens worries, drake bombs, for your nymph selection.

Rio Grande 154 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Fair to Good: 443 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
Stoneflies are also waning on the Rio. PMD's and green drakes are the main hatches with some caddis in the mix. The release out of Rio Grande Reservoir has been reduced. This is good for the wading angler, however floatiing has become difficult unless you are below Wagon Wheel Gap.

Pagosa Area: 137 cfs on the Piedra at Arboles; Good: 160 cfs on the San Juan at Pagosa Springs; Good
The upper forks of the Piedra and Williams Creek are all fishing very well. The lower Piedra is getting al little warm and fishing slows mid-day below Williams Creek confluence. Stoneflies are waning altough I did get a report where big dries like chubby chernobyls are still getting fish on the surface. PMD's, drakes, and caddisare out and the summer standard, a hopper pattern are making for some good dry fly fishing. The monsoon rains here can affect the fishing so consider someof the other streams in the area as a fallback if something muddies up. .

Animas River  533 cfs at Durango; Good
The Animas is finally done with spring runoff. There is some raftiing traffic around Durango but less of it upstream.  Look at fishing the tribs around Durango for some cooler water and happier fish or as a back up in case the Animas gets muddy from summer rains. Fishing with streamers and big nymphs like stoneflies with some flash will still get the trout's attention in the softer water just take caution while wading. .    

Arkansas River 871 cfs at Granite; Fair to Good: 1330 cfs at Salida; Fair to Good
The fishing is tough with high water on the Ark. There is less water above Lake Creek flowing out of Twin Lakes towards Hayden Meadows. Consider fishing above Buena Vista if you want to avoid the rafters. The flows below BV make fishing out of a boat your best option. Fish in the deeper runs mid-channel in the and cover the shallow riffles from mid-day on if you see active surface feeding. It's all about PMD's and caddis lately.

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