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Stream Report

Updated March 24, 2023
ISpringtime is upon us! The fishing is improving on the Chama, Rio Grande, Pecos, and Jemez streams! The lower Pecos is fishing fair and your best bet for the weekend.
New license year starts April 1st!

Pecos River
  • Hatches: maybe some midges and even less blue-winged olives 

  • Patterns: egg patterns, hot beadflies, stonefly nymphs, baetis nymphs


The river has increased in flow and is a bit murky. Fishing is pretty good however despite the clarity. The best fishing is from Mora Campground downstream to Dalton Day Use. A #12-14 stonefly nymph like a twenty incher and a trailing egg pattern or baetis nymph is the typical set up.    


The Pecos National Historical Park's spring fishing season opened March 2nd and runs through April 10th. See the Park's website at for more info.

Chama River
Village of Chama
  • Hatches: some midges, maybe

  • Patterns: Micromays, Perdichingons, Zebra Midges, 

Below El Vado

  • Hatches: none

  • Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Twenty Bombs, Sculpzillas, Searchers
Above Heron
  • Hatches: none

  • Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Sculpzillas, Stone Bombs, HDA Fave Variants

No Gage Available
Below Abiquiu
  • Hatches: midges

  • Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Sculpzillas, Zebra Midges, Searchers


Village of Chama: The upper Chama is too cold to fish and has some ice along the banks within the Sargent WMA.  There is some open water below town but the fishing is slow with the colder water.

Near Heron: The fishing here is still on the slow side of things. Fishing is definitely the best on the warmest part of the day. The "stairs" at Heron Lake State Park off of NM Highway 95 is still closed. The Heron outflow is reportedly still very murky so is you go stay above that.   

Below El Vado:  The  release out of El Vado is up following a similar increase at Abiquiu. I have had no first hand reports, but  the typical set up is to use flies that have some flash and a little color.  

Below Abiquiu:  The release here is up, but the water still has some clarity to it. You'll need to adjust here by adding quite a bit more weight to counter the extra current. is down to something fishable. Crane fly larvae and egg patterns make a great attractor fly with a trailing zebra midge off of that.  

The Chama River above El Vado Reservoir in the Rio Chama Wildlife Area, downstream of the stream gauge at Cooper's Ranch,  and below Abiquiu Dam are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits or catch and release only rules. Please report anyone to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.  The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam has a daily bag limit of 3 fish.

Rio Grande, Taos Area Waters
  • Hatches:​ some midges, even less Blue-winged olives 

  • Patterns:  Crane Bombs, Warden's Worries, Searchers, HDA Fave Variants, Beatis Bombs, Zebra Midges 


The Rio Grande is off color and a bit cold making the fishing slower here than other streams like the Pecos. It's a nice change if you've been fishing the only other river within an hours drive of Santa Fe. That may improve with a few days of warm weather. Pilar will have warmer water than the gorge so focus on the lower river. Similarly to the Chama, use a crane fly larva, San Juan worm or egg patterns trailed by a zebra midge or small perdigon. Try some bigger bunny leeches for pike. They are out and one of those casts could result in a catch.


Jemez Mountain Streams
  • Hatches:​ midges, Blue-winged Olives

  • Patterns: Queen Prince, HDA Favorites, Baetis Bombs


The lower Jemez River and the Guadalupe around Gilman Tunnels are showing signs of snowmelt. there is an increase in flow and a slight decrease in water temp. As with any stream at this time of year, go in the warmest part of the day, and have a backup plan. For more information on fishing the Valles Caldera next spring, please see their website for info at

The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Preserve is now under National Park Service rules. There is no longer a reservation system. It's all fisrt come first served until all of the backcountry access permits are issued for the day.  Please see the Preserve's website for more details. 

San Juan River

Navajo Lake State Park and the San Juan River Quality waters are now open! 


Hatches: blue-winged olives, midges

Patterns: UV Midge Emergers, Bling Midges, Johnny Flash, Split-Case BWO's

It's midge time on the San Juan! The release out of the dam has been somewhat  steady for quite a while now. Typically it's midges in the late mornings and evenings until the blue-winged olives get out of bed around noon. Please support the local Navajo Dam shops if you need stuff. They have had a tough time with COVID.  

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!

Conejos River
  • Hatches: some blue-winged olives 

  • Patterns: Pat's rubberlegs, Frenchies, micromays, HDA Fave Variants, caddis dries

  • Hatches: hoppers, some blue-winged olives

  • Patterns: micromays, red annelids, Zebra midges, uv midge emerger, PMD's, green drakes, caddis dries


The release out of Platoro is down to 11 cfs. Better fishing and warmer water can be found down river around Magote. Not much flying anywhere on the river except for a handful of blue winged-olives on a cloudy afternoon. The lower river is at a great level for early season nymphing. Stoneflies should be molting so  think stones and a trailing baetis for your set up. 

If you're fishing elsewhere in the area and need current flow data you can likely find information from these links.
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