Monday, February 23, 2015

Ed's Fly Fishing Report for Monday February 23, 2015

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San Juan River 357 cfs below Navajo Dam; Good
The lake turned over earlier this year and the clarity has been affected. The fishing is rated as good however. Visibility is better than eighteen inches right now. Bigger fare with some color and flash in the pattern will get more attention. Egg patterns, worms, and streamers make great attractors. Use a bigger midge or baetis pattern that has a little flash and you'll do better . Other than the clarity, the fishing hasn't changed much. 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 after a heavy rain that sent a lot of sand into the river. The fishing downstream of Simon Canyon is still being 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 ice near Pecos; Slow: at Villanueva State Park; Fair    
The warm weather of last week has improved the fishing on the Pecos above the village. This weekend's weather has slowed things down, but a few more days of sunshine and it'll be fishing better. Stonefly nymphs and baetis patterns have been shown the most love. Villanueva State Park was stocked in early January. Egg patterns, red and chartreuse copper johns, San Juan worms, are all good patterns for the stockers at Villanueva.

Rio Grande 294 cfs at Cerro; Slow: 610 cfs at Pilar; Slow for trout, Fair for pike, Poor for smallmouth bass
The Rio did go up in flow and did get murky with some localized snowmelt last week. The runoff has subsided but I expect a little higher flow and murky water as temps warm up again. The murky water has slowed the pike fishing, but the trout fishing is improved. Baetis patterns following an attractor like a crane fly larvae was working well for one of my customers. Most people heading for the Rio are looking for pike. 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  20 cfs above Jemez Pueblo;  Slow  The lower sections of the Guadalupe, Jemez, and East Fork will your best bet or the streams directly below some of the hot springs in the area. Expect the fishing to be slow unless you can get out during these warmer days of winter. The winter trout water on the lower Jemez does get stocked. It's bankers hours fishing. Try tying a dropper nymph on like copper johns or an egg pattern, or caddis pupa below a buoyant dry.

Chama River ice at La Puente; Poor: 55 cfs below El Vado Dam; Slow to Fair: and 51 cfs below Abiquiu Dam;  Fair to Good
The river flowing into El Vado Reservoir is too cold for any decent fishing. The release below El Vado dam has been reduced. The reduction in flows reduces the the length of river that has temps high enough to bring a trouts metabolism up enough to feed. The water actually gets colder as it flows downstream. The best water is from Coopers up to the dam. Streamers, stonefly nymphs and cranefly larvae have been the top flies. The release below Abiquiu has also had a significant reduction. The same effect also happens at Abiquiu where river will get colder the farther downstream from the dam you are, but to a lesser degree than in the high country around El Vado Reservoir. The catching is still good here albeit mostly for stockers. The state did put in some larger rainbows reared at the Los Ojos hatchery where they grew to fifteen inches before being stocked as part of a program to grow a larger more quality fish. Poaching has been rampant below Abiquiu dam. Game and Fish officers have been making visits, however it can be bad and even flagrant some days. Please report it to New Mexico Game and Fish or to the Army Corps of Engineers ranger who also patrols the river. There is only a three fish limit on the Chama below Abiquiu dam. The 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.

In Southern Colorado:

Animas River 227 cfs at Durango; Slow to Poor 
The Animas is a viable winter fishery around Durango. It is cold and not much is stirring. Some longer days and warmer temps will improve things here. Fishing with streamers and big nymphs like stoneflies with some flash may get the trout's attention in the softer water. The best fishing is going to be while the sun is on the water.    

It's still winter 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.