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Stream Report

Updated May 26, 2023
IThe Chama, Rio Grande, Pecos, and most streams are still seeing a lot of runoff! The Valles Caldera, the Cimarron for moving water, or Fenton or Santa Cruz lakes are your best bets for the weekend.
The new license year
started April 1st!
Pecos Spring 2023.jpg
Pecos River
  • Hatches: maybe some midges and even less blue-winged olives 

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


The river is fluctuating in clarity and flow with rain mixing in with the snowmelt. The cooler weather we are expecting next week could help keep the snowmelt at bay. Check flows before you go, or call the flyshop. Some of the staff here live on the Pecos, so we will know conditions pretty much daily. The murkiest water is the lower Pecos where the arroyos a making the water dirty. There is some pockets, pools and soft water that is clear enough to fish from Bert Clancey to Cowles, or check out the Windsor or Panchuela. Note the parking are/trailhead at Panchuela is still closed, but you can hike up from Cowles.  

The Pecos National Historical Park's spring fishing season ended April 10th. See the Park's website at for more info on the summer season.

Pecos River
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

Below Abiquiu
  • Hatches: midges

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


Village of Chama: There is still a lot of runoff on the upper Chama and being fed by the tribs all the way to El Vado. It's way to high to fish. It could be until mid-June before we see fishable conditions on the upper river. Look to fish elsewhere.

Near Heron: Same for this section of the Chama. Too big to fish and it's going to be awhile before it returns to normal.  The "stairs" at Heron Lake State Park off of NM Highway 95 is still closed.    

Below El Vado:  The  release out of El Vado is way up matching the inflow. which is currently at 4000 cfs! Fish elsewhere.  

Below Abiquiu:  The release here is half of the flow from El Vado, but the river is muddy and the too high to fish.  The river typically will not clear back up until autumn. 

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 Chama
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 high and muddy and rising everyday. The river rafters ae loving this, but the fishers are not. If you do go, use bigger flies, flies with flash or sparkle and a fair amount of weight. It wouldn't hurt to have a backup plan either. All of the tribs from the Embudo into Colorado are in runoff and adding to the flow and keeping the water stirred up. 


Rio Grande River
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 going to have the most water and tougher to fish. The upper tribs like the East Fork out of the Caldera, The San Antonio along highway126, and the Cebolla are quite fishable. The Valles Caldera opened to fishing on May 15th. The cool mornings in the Caldera have made for a slow start to most days, but fishing does pick up once the sun has a chance to warm things up.  For more information on fishing the Valles Caldera, please see their website for info at

The Fishing Program on the Valles Caldera National Preserve is now under National Park Service rules. Please see the Preserve's website for more details. 

Valles Caldera
San Juan River

The Bureau of Rec is starting the Peak Spring Release today on May 13th! Release will ramp up to a peak flow on My 25th. Plan your trip accordingly!


Hatches: blue-winged olives, midges

Patterns: red annelids, San Juan worms, zebra midges, egg patterns


The release on the San Juan increased to 2000 cfs today, Friday the 19th. There will be a Peak Spring Release like the good old days. The release will ramp up to 5000 cfs. by the 25th The Peak Release will be back down to 500 cfs by June 9th. Plan your trips accordingly. I downgraded the fishing here a bit. The river becomes murky and the fish get displaced for a while until they settle to the new environment. Expect a lot of suspended debris in the current. Fishing conditions will get better even during high water once the river regains some clarity.

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!

San Juan River
Conejos River
  • Hatches: some blue-winged olives 

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

  • Hatches: some blue-winged olives

  • Patterns: micromays, red annelids, San Juan worms, stonefly nymphs


The release out of Platoro is down to 60 cfs. today. The main stem has also decreased in flow to with the lower release and cooler  weather. It's currently at 1600 and a challenge wading to say the least. Think stones and a trailing baetis with a hunk of weight for your set up. 

Conejos River
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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