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New Mexico Fly Fishing Report & News
New Mexico fly fishing report, current local water and fishing conditions along with general fly fishing news and information.
NM Fishing Report ~ April 20th, 2013:Spring has arrived and recently we have had some great days on many of our rivers and streams. Most fishing locations are still somewhat at pre-runoff flow levels though the flows are starting to jump up a bit after a few warm days. Unfortunately, with the lower snowpack in the mountains this year, we may not see any really large runoff flows. This will mean great fishing conditions for the next couple of months but is a harbinger of some possibly very low water conditions for the summer. This being said, consider getting out fishing sooner than later and PRAY FOR RAIN! Right now, the fish are really aggressive and hungry. As well lots of bugs are starting to move, especially on the warmer days. Don't hesitate to contact us for up to date information, if you have any questions and/or would like to book a trip.
the Abeyta Ranch were taken within the last 4 weeks...
CHAMA & LOWER BRAZOS: The Chama River is fishing very well, depending on what section you go to. The flows below the dams are a bit high but still very fishable. We have been on the Chama a fair number of days in the last month and had some great trips. All the fish look very healthy and, mostly in the afternoons, seem very willing to bite. Another pleasant surprise is the number of large rainbows we have hooked into. The upper Chama and Lower Brazos are both running pretty hard with the snowmelt, but are still fishing quite well. The water is off color but still has pretty good clarity. Fishing big bugs fished under an indicator has been the most productive set-up, producing some pretty voracious strikes!
Picture: Picture: Amazing Chama rainbow - Nicely done Rick G.!
ABEYTA RANCH: For the last month or so, the fishing on the Abeyta Ranch has been really, really good, especially on the sunnier calm days. We have been catching about 10 browns for every rainbow and mostly really nice sized fish in the 16 to 20 inch range. There have been a few even larger ones in the 20+ inch size with the biggest brown so far this season being 24 inches; measured. The only issue is that on cloudier, windy days, the fish are hitting very lightly which makes setting the hook a bit more challenging. Big stonefly nymphs have been our best producing fly patterns - almost exclusively. The flows are still very low and the water has been very clear. As soon as the runoff starts to pick up and the water becomes a bit off color, the fishing should be epic.
Picture: Andy S. with a nice 21" Conejos brown from the Abeyta Ranch - Way to go!.
VALLECITOS: The Vallecitos has been fishing really well for the last month or so. The fish have been very hungry and there are lots of them; nothing really big but many to be caught. There have been a few browns in the 15 to 16 inch range but most of the fish are in the 8 to 14 inch size class. They have been hitting super hard and are easy to catch. We even have had a few trips where there was some dry fly action with a dry-dropper setup. The flows have been very fishable and the water, though a little off color, still looks really good.
Picture: Fishing on the Vallecitos in early April.
PECOS: The Pecos is fishing very well throughout. We have had some great trips on both the lower and upper sections. Though the fish aren't very big (usually in the 8 to 12 inch range), our clients have had some days with incredible action and many fish landed. Both rainbows and browns are hitting equally well on smaller nymphs. Great fun! The stream-flow is still very fishable in the 50 cfs (cubic feet per second) range. This may jump up a bit if we get a prolonged warm spell but there isn't a lot of snow left up high so there probably won't be to many days this spring that are blown out from high water conditions.
SAN JUAN: The fishing throughout all of the "Quality Waters" stretch on the San Juan has been very good throughout the spring. Since the end of March, the flows being released out of Navajo Dam have been around 550 cfs (cubic feet per second) but are going to be ramped up to 800 cfs on 4/22. This will make for great float-trips and good wade fishing in the side channels. The fishing is very good with the only issue being windy days. The winds should start to let up as we get into May.
Picture: Fish-ON! Late afternoon on the San Juan.
RIO GRANDE: The flows on the Rio have dropped substantially from where they were a month ago (they are holding pretty steadily in the 250 to 300 cfs range) and the river looks great. This being said, the fishing still seems to be a bit fickle. We have had some really good days along with some poor days. If the weather warms up a bit in the next week or so, the fishing should get really good. There are a few caddis showing and the mayflies are starting move in the afternoons. It shouldn't be long before everything breaks loose.
VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE: The Valles Caldera will be opening up for fishing on May 15th this season. We are going to try and get out to the Caldera to go fishing somewhere around May 1st to see how things look. As soon as we have had a chance to go check things out, we'll post a report. Please contact us for more information.
QUINLAN RANCH: QUINLAN RANCH: The ice on the lakes and ponds at the Quinlan Ranch is gone, the boats are in the water and the fishing is great! There are lots of nice fish being caught on streamers right now in Don's Lake. The roads to the upper ponds are still a bit muddy so we haven't had a chance to get up there yet. Hopefully we'll be able to get to the upper ponds at some point in the coming week or so; give us a call for an up-date.
We have put together a great 4 night/3 day package based out of the Quinlan Ranch. Please go to the Fishing Packages page for more information.
Picture: A beautiful Don's Lake rainbow that fell for a black leech.
BRAZOS RIVER RANCH: We should be able to start going up to the Brazos River Ranch by early June this year. The ranch's calendar for the 2013 fishing season is already starting to fill up. Give us a call if you are interested in booking a fishing trip up at the ranch. Please check out the Fishing Packages page for more for more information or give us a call if you are interested in booking a fishing trip up at the ranch. Please don't wait too long or the dates you are interested in going up there for may be filled.
Picture: Bill F. with a nice September rainbow on the BRR
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument Established:
The Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is an approximately 242,455-acre (area of public lands in Taos County, New Mexico, proclaimed as a national monument on March 25, 2013 by President Barack Obama under the provisions of the Antiquities Act. It consists of the Rio Grande Gorge and surrounding lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The monument includes two BLM recreation areas, a portion of the Rio Grande designated as a Wild and Scenic River, and the Red River Wild and Scenic River. The monument includes portions of the Taos Plateau volcanic field, cut by the gorges of the Rio Grande and the Rio San Antonio. Significant volcanic peaks include Cerro de la Olla, Cerro San Antonio and Cerro del Yuta, the tallest at 10,092 ft. The volcanoes and the rhyolite-basalt plateau, as well as the course of the Rio Grande, are the result of spreading along the Rio Grande rift, running from Mexico into Colorado. Large springs, some of them hot, are believed to be the outflow from flooded lava tube systems. Ecosystems vary from willow and cottonwood stands along the rivers to sagebrush plains on the plateau, transitioning to pinon pine in the hills and Douglas-fir in the mountains. The monument provides habitat for a variety of resident and migrant birds. Large mammals include elk, mule deer, pronghorn and bighorn sheep, as well as predators such as cougar, bobcat, river otters, black bears and coyotes. The plateau provides winter range for many of the larger grazing animals.
Permanent protection will ensure the continuation of backcountry fishing, hunting and opportunities for wildlife viewing. Stretches of the rivers within the proposed protected area will continue to be open for anglers to fish. As a permanently protected area, the Bureau of Land Management will manage the landscape in a way that would largely keep it free from energy development, infrastructure and roads that could have otherwise destroyed valuable natural and cultural resources and disturb the backcountry recreation experience of visitors to the area. Thus, the status quo of the lands proposed for monument designation will not be dramatically altered by its protection, but the community will know that that future generations could use and enjoy the area as it exists today.
New Mexico Has a New TU Chapter:
The Bosque Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU) has completed the process of forming a new chapter for Albuquerque and central New Mexico. The chapter has elected a board of directors and officers, who chartered the chapter at the June TU national meeting in Arlington, VA. The Bosque Chapter will fill a void in the New Mexico council of TU chapters and provide a home chapter for about 400 area members. Many of these members, who have been listed as "at large" or attending distant meetings will now have a home chapter. According to Arnold Atkins, the New Mexico TU council chairman, "the formation of the Bosque Chapter is possibly the most significant accomplishment of the TU New Mexico Council of the past year".
The TU Bosque Chapter hopes that all will attend their meetings and help build the chapter with ideas and plans for working together with all the other New Mexico TU chapters on conservation, education, fishing and other TU goals. Details of up-coming meetings and contact information can be found on the Bosque Chapter's website at: www.bosquetu.org
To learn more about Trout Unlimited click on this link: TROUT UNLIMITED WEBSITE
To become a member of Trout Unlimited, click on this link: BECOME A TU MEMBER
Rio Chama Flow Optimization Project:
The Chama River needs our help. The best way that we, as individuals, can do something to help the situation on the Chama River is to become involved. On May 10th, 2011 a group called The Rio Chama Flow Optimization Project (RCFOP) was formed to address the many issues facing the river. The primary focus of the RCFOP is to band together concerned individuals and organizations and establish a collaborative effort to manage streamflow/discharges in the Chama River system. The project's primary goal is to reinvigorate natural functions of the Chama river while satisfying water management objectives and improving fishing and whitewater recreation. The RCFOP is funded by a grant from the River Ecosystem Restoration Initiative and managed by Rio Grande Restoration.
Please take some time to read the following report/article on the conditions on the Chama River this fall. On the last page you will find contact information for the Rio Chama Flow Optimization Project - please consider supporting them in whatever way you can. Click on the link below to open the report (PDF file):