Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Sunday August 24, 2014

Become a Clean Angler! Learn how at

Rio Costilla 46 cfs below Costilla Dam; Good
No change here. The Costilla continues to fish very well. The release out of Costilla Reservoir has been remarkably steady keeping fish in the same lies for most of the summer. 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. Hoppers make an obvious choice as well as any high riding attractor like royal wulff, stimulators, chubby chernobyls, and pmx's.

San Juan River 753 cfs below Navajo Dam; Very Good
The abundant rainfall has kept the Bureau of Rec from raising the release very much out of Navajo Dam. It's still a a bonus to have the extra water and a steady flow rate. Midges are hatching from 10:00 am till noon and baetis are still hatching in the afternoon below Texas Hole. Black, gray, brown, 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. Simon Canyon flashed a few of weeks ago pouring a lot of sand into the river. The fishing downstream of Simon Canyon has been affected. 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  59 cfs near Pecos; Good  
The Pecos River is currently running clear however, the river downstream of Holy Ghost Creek can muddy up after rainfall in those areas burned during last year's Tres Lagunas Fire. The Pecos River above Terrero will be much clearer  and is fishing well. Dry dropper rigs have been the top producers in the morning. Dry fly fishing improves once things warm up. 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, blue winged olives,  and PMD's. Dark nymphs like oops flies, psycho mays, feeding caddis, and bruised pmd's hung below a big dry work well in the morning and in the deeper runs for most 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 174 cfs at Cerro; Fair: 328 cfs at Pilar; Fair for trout, Slow for pike, Fair for smallmouth bass
The Rio has been clearing after it murked up from our summer rains.Good fall fishing on the Rio isn't far off. Rafting around Pilar has slowed although you can avoid them altogether by 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. The fish are mostly eating underwater. Fishing with big crane flies or stoneflies and streamers, and caddis 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 one gets an eat.

Jemez Mountain Streams  19 cfs above Jemez Pueblo;  Good
Cooler weather and much needed rainfall has improved the fishing on most of the Jemez mountain streams. The San Antonio in the Valles Caldera can muddy up after heavy rains, but the other streams aren't as affected. 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: 46 cfs above El Vado Reservoir; Fair: 295 cfs below El Vado Dam; Fair to Good: and  629 cfs below Abiquiu Dam;  Slow
The best fishing on the Chama River is the uppermost section accessed from Sargent WMA. This section can get murky after heavy rainfall so check clarity before you commit.  Attractor style dries like stimulators, humpies, wulffs, chubby chernobyls, and hoppers are working very well. The  river flowing into El Vado is low although fishing has improved some this stretch. The release below El Vado usually goes up on Friday afternoons and gets reduced on Sunday afternoons, so the weekend flow rate might not be reflected on this report. 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 12 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam; Slow: 13 cfs at Cimarron; Slow
The release out of Eagle Nest Dam has been very lowfor quite a while. Check those flows before you go. The water managers are being a little stingy and aren'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 alternative and 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 76 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; Good: 166 cfs at Mogote; Good
PMD's continue to hatch on the Conejos and blue winged olives are also out mostly on the cloudier days. These hatches will move upriver and we should see some of those bugs as far as the Pinnacles or meadows below Platoro. The meadow section is at a great level and the Pinnacles are wadeable. Look for a release out of Platoro below 150 to fish the Pinnacles. Big stimulators, chubby chernobyls, BWO's, light cahills, PMD's for the dries, and tungsten twenty inchers, pats rubber legs, PMD emergers, and bat wing mergers for your nymph selection.

Rio Grande 105 cfs at Thirty Mile Bridge; Fair to Good: 331 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap; Fair to Good
PMD's and red quills are the main hatches with some caddis in the mix. The release out of Rio Grande Reservoir varies a little, but hasn't affected the fishing much. This is good for the wading angler, however floatiing has become difficult unless you are below Wagon Wheel Gap.

Pagosa Area: 111 cfs on the Piedra at Arboles; Good: 78 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 better with more water and cooler temps. PMD's, red quills, and caddis are 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 some of the other streams in the area as a fallback if something muddies up. .

Animas River  417 cfs at Durango; Good
The Animas is murky but will clearer if we get a few days break from the rain. Look at fishing the tribs around Durango for some clearer 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 207 cfs at Granite; Good: 437 cfs at Salida; Good
The fishing is is good and the wading is easier now that the releases out of Twin lakes have come down for the season. Some instream work at Hayden Meadows may muddy the stream for a little while. The river below Salida can muddy after heavy rain. 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, red quills.  and caddis lately.

It's summer in New Mexico and water and fishing conditions and water flows 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 home 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 and closures.