Updated May 27, 2022
Go fishing, but
check for fire conditions before you go! There are places to fish. Call the flyshop for the latest.
The Santa Fe National Forest will close Thursday May 19th to all public entry! This unfortunately includes the Pecos River and it's tributaries including Cow Creek. Pecos Canyon State Park is also closed. Look elsewhere to fish.
The entire Pecos Watershed including Cow Creek is closed.
The Pecos National Historical Park's spring season has ended on April 11th. The opening of the summer season is scheduled for June 23rd. See the Park's website at http://www.nps.gov/peco/planyourvisit/fishing.htm for more info.
Village of Chama
Hatches: some Blue-winged Olives
Patterns: Micromays, Perdichingons, Twenty Inchers,
Hatches: midges, some Blue-winged Olives
Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Sculpzillas, Stone Bombs, HDA Fave Variants
Below El Vado
Hatches: some baetis
- Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Sculpzillas, Searchers
No Gage Available
Hatches: some Blue-winged olives
Patterns: Crane Bombs, Mop Flies, Sculpzillas, Zebra Midges, Searchers
Village of Chama: The upper Chama within the Sargent Wildlife Management Area is supposedly closed for elk calving according to NM Game and Fish, although people are fishing there. open . The river is still a little too high and cold. Let the water come down before fishing here.
Near Heron: This section of river accessed from the Heron Dam Spillway is closed due to construction through the end of the month. I will post it as open once I find out that it has. You can somewhat access this section above El Vado from NM Highway 112 through the Rio Chama Wildlife Area.
Below El Vado: Cooper's Ranch is open! The release out of El Vado is down for the moment. It's not ideal flows for fly fishing, but much can be fished from the bank here. Expect the river is murky so use flies that have some flash and a little color.
Below Abiquiu: The river immediately below the dam is open to the second cattle guard going downstream. The sections further down are managed by the Carson and Santa Fe National Forests and will close Thursday May 19th. The water is murky. I have had reports of people catching fish here despite the water clarity and high flows.
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: Midges, some Blue-winged olives
Patterns: Crane Bombs, Warden's Worries, Searchers, HDA Fave Variants, Beatis Bombs, Zebra Midges
The Rio Grande within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, Wild And Scenic section and Orilla Verde will remain open despite the surrounding Carson National Forest lands closing on Thursday May 19th. The Rio has come down in flow but that has been fluctuating with runoff in the warmer weather. The warmer weather is bringing out the rafters and kayakers as well. If you go, the best fishing is on bigger bugs, caddis pupa, or baetis nymphs. Not much action on dries. A double nymph rig under a strike indicator is the best setup.
The Cimarron below Eagle Nest Dam is closed. Eagle Nest Lake is open however.
The Carson National Forest is closed as of Thursday May 19th. This affects the Rio Pueblo near Penasco as well as the Rio Santa Barbara, and Red River upriver of Questa. Also affected are the Rio Vallecitos, Cabresto Lake, Hopewell Lake, Canjillon Lakes, and Trout Lakes.
Jemez Mountain Streams
Hatches: Blue-winged Olives
Patterns: Queen Prince, HDA Favorites, Baetis Bombs
The Santa Fe National Forest will close on Thursday May 19th. NM Highway 4 is open again west of Los Alamos. The Valles Caldera and Fenton Lake State Park are also closed. There aren't many places in the vicinity of the Jemez Mountains to fish. For future fishing opportunities in the Valles Caldera , please see their website for info at http://www.vallescaldera.gov/comevisit/fish/index.aspx
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: midges, some blue-winged olives
Patterns: UV Midge Emergers, Bling Midges, Johnny Flash, Split-Case BWO's
The San Juan is like pizza: it's always good fishing here and it's one of the few places that are open. The release is steady and the water is clear and is fishing well. Mostly because it's baetis time on the Juan. You'll see the most prolific hatches here now until October. It's still typically 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!
Hatches: some Blue winged-olives
Patterns: Pat's rubberlegs, Frenchies, micromays, HDA Fave Variants
Hatches: Blue Winged-olives
Patterns: micromays, red annelids, Zebra midges, uv midge emerger
The release out of Platoro has been lowered making for better fishing in the meadows. The river downstream of here picks up quite a bit of trib flow and it's big water along Highway 17. Use bigger stonefly nymphs and red San Juan worms in the murky water along highway 17. A trailing baetis nymph can help you pick up the pickier fish. A two fly set up under an indicator is still the set up for the bigger water here.