For more information
or to Book a Trip call!
If you don't get us, please leave a message. We are probably out fishing and will call you back.
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 ~ February 20th, 2014:Well here it is towards the end of February and, for the last few weeks, we have had super warm and sunny weather for this time of year. The daily high temperatures have been in the mid-50s to mid-60s and the overall conditions have been like springtime - in the afternoon on some days, we have been fishing in our shirtsleeves! The fishing, has been great in a few spots and good in many others, if you go to the right locations. This has been enjoyable but we still desperately need snowfall in the mountains. Hopefully there will be some major snows during the end of this month and into March that will add to our current snow-pack. Keep your fingers crossed. As always, don't hesitate to contact us for up to date information, if you have any questions and/or would like to book a trip.
SAN JUAN: Nothing much has changed since out last report and the "Juan" is still the most productive spot to fish right now. We have done a fair number of trips on the San Juan in the last couple of weeks and, especially with the nice weather, it has been really good. This should be the case throughout the rest of the winter. As of this writing, the flows being released out of Navajo Dam have been holding steady in the 310 cfs (cubic feet per second) range. This flow level has made the fishing great for both floating and wading. We are doing well fishing the deeper water spots from the boat and then getting out and wading in the shallower areas - the best of both worlds.
The water clarity is still pretty low (due to Navajo Lake having "turned over") with about 16 to 24 inches of visibility. This means that anglers can get away with much heavier tippet than usual (4X shouldn't be an issue) and larger flies are producing lots of fish. The fish are hanging in the deeper water early in the day but as the sun gets overhead and the water in the shallower sections warms, they are moving up into the riffles. The water does seem to be getting a little bit clearer each day. Recently, along with the standard array of lava and pupa patterns, fishing streamers, leeches and egg patterns has been a great bet and these patterns are bringing some very large fish to the net. This time of year the crowds are gone and you can have the river to yourself in many locations. Last weekend we didn't see another boat on the river for the two days we were fishing - amazing to basically have the San Juan all to ourselves! Check out the all-inclusive package we offer on the Fishing Packages page for more information on this option.
Picture Above: A nice "Juan-bow" that liked baetis nymphs last weekend.
Picture Below: Looking up at the Lower Flats last Saturday afternoon - pretty crowded.
CHAMA & LOWER BRAZOS: The fishing below Abiquiu dam has slowed substantially in the last couple of weeks but there are still a few nice browns to be had along with a smattering of stocked rainbows up closer to the dam. The water still looks great and the flows (which are currently in the 65cfs range) are perfect. If you are thing of fishing below Abiquiu, weekdays are the best time to go as there have been a lot of folks fishing this section of the Chama on the weekends. The flows out of El Vado dam have been holding steady in the 50cfs range. The fishing has been poor to fair with the best odds of catching being in the mid-afternoon. We have had a couple of decent days in this area but they entailed fishing hard, fast and covering a lot of water.
The fish seem to be "wherever you find them" and not holding in any particular type of water or eating any specific patterns. The fishing above El Vado on the upper Chama and in the Brazos is pretty much out of the question with both rivers being almost completely iced over. It does look like the ice in the upper river is getting ready to break up in spots and we could start to have some pretty good fishing in early March, if we don't get some serious cold weather.
Picture Above: Dan the man with a sweet 21.5" Abiquiu brown.
Picture Below: Beautiful wintertime Chama River rainbow.
RIO GRANDE: Due to the warmer weather and early snowmelt, the flows on the lower Rio have bumped up into the in the 650cfs to 675cfs range. The water still has its typical wintery greenish-gray look and is really cold. The fishing has been fairly slow but there is still a chance to catch a few fish, especially on warmer afternoons. The best bet will be in the lower sections of the river below Pilar or up in the Red River area. Big nymphs and streamers have been the most productive patterns for us recently. Be careful wading - there is still a lot of water moving and it is a really cold time of year to go swimming!
PECOS: Right now the upper sections of the river aren't really worth fishing. There is a fair amount of ice and the water is very cold, low and clear. You can still have a pretty good day on the lower sections of the river catching mostly "stockers", especially if you fish on a warmer, sunny afternoon. Small nymphs and buggers fished in the deeper water seem to be the best bet. All of the Pecos is now open to fishing and considering the how bad the fire was last June; it has come back amazingly well.
ABEYTA RANCH: There is very little open water on the Abeyta Ranch and the Conejos River - it is pretty much iced up. The best bet will be to wait until early spring just after ice-out; a great time to fish on the Conejos.
QUINLAN RANCH: The lakes and ponds at the Quinlan Ranch are now completely iced over - no fishing until spring. We are already starting to book our 4 night/3 day packages up at the ranch for the 2014 season. If you are interested in specific dates, please don't wait too long to get the ball rolling on making a reservation. Please check out the Fishing Packages page for more information.
THE MK & SPEAR U RANCHES: Fishing on both of these ranches is not an option - the river and lakes are iced-over. We'll just have to wait until spring.
THE VALLECITOS: As is the case with most all of the smaller, high altitude streams in our area right now, the water is low, clear and very cold! In the lower sections, the fishing is spotty at best and the trout gone into full-on winter mode. This means that warm, sunny afternoons will be the best bet for having any success. Probably better to go to the San Juan right now!
THE VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE: Closed for the season. Please give us a call for the status and an update of the 2014 fishing program on the Valles Caldera.
Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign
HOW A CULVERT REPAIR IMPROVES A STREAM: In many rivers throughout the U.S., outdated and environmentally unsound culverts block fish passage, in essence creating a series of dams on small tributaries to larger rivers. These culverts negatively impact fish spawning, block fish passage into these tributaries, and take away miles upon miles of fishable water. By repairing existing culverts, or by replacing these culverts altogether, fish are once again able to swim upstream. The process is simple and highly cost effective. In place of small, often elevated culverts, larger culverts are buried halfway into the streambed and filled with a natural bottom. This creates a more ecologically friendly passage for fish, and opens up miles of spawning grounds, habitat, and fishable water.
RECONNECTING STREAMS ACROSS THE US - CREATING MILES OF SPAWNING HABITAT & FISHABLE WATER: Help the Orvis-Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign reach its goal to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams by repairing or replacing poorly constructed culverts throughout the U.S. Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival - just as significant as a major dam - but the solution is dramatically simpler. Many need to be removed or modified, the cost is minimal, and the overall impact to many watersheds is significant. Funds raised by the Orvis-TU 1,000 Miles Campaign will go toward the engineering and removing of culverts, with the goal of reconnecting over 1,000 miles of fishable habitat. Presently, there are projects that involve culvert improvement or removal on Kinne Brook in Massachusetts, the upper Connecticut River in New Hampshire, the Shenandoah valley in Virginia, Big Slough Creek in Wisconsin, the Deschutes River in Oregon, the Bear River in Wyoming, and many others.
You can help reconnect rivers throughout the US by giving to the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign in 2014. Orvis is donating another $90,000 in matching funds so that every $100 you donate will become $200, for a total of another $180,000 in 2014. Every dollar you donate will be used to improve these streams, and the impact will be felt by fish - and anglers - all across the country for years to come.
Please send your check payable to Trout Unlimited (Memo: "1,000 Miles Campaign"), c/o The Orvis Company, 178 Conservation Way, Sunderland, VT 05250 or donate online by clicking on the link below:
Trout Unlimited Praises NWF Climate Change Report:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - September 5th, 2013: Trout Unlimited today praised a report released by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) that details the most current information available regarding the climate change impacts on, and threats to, America's valuable fisheries resources, and the potential impact to fishing.
TU's science team contributed to Swimming Upstream: Freshwater Fish in a Warming World. The report, which builds on past reports by TU and a coalition of fish and wildlife conservation groups, is a strong science-based call to arms to address harmful and nationwide threats to trout and salmon resources, and angling opportunity all across America.
Trout and salmon are on the front lines of the climate change battle. Trout and salmon depend on cold, clean, plentiful water to survive, all of which are threatened by predicted changes in air temperature and precipitation. Increased wildfire risk, decreased snowpack, droughts in some places, and intense floods in others, will radically impact trout and salmon habitat in the years to come. As the nation's premier organization for protecting, reconnecting and restoring coldwater fisheries, better understanding these changes directly impacts Trout Unlimited's core mission. Today's report confirms that by mid-century, the future for trout could be bleak-as much as 50 percent of suitable habitat for trout in the West could be lost, and a dramatic reduction of brook trout habitat in the East, including complete elimination from iconic watersheds such as Shenandoah National Park, could take place.
Using tools like the Conservation Success Index, TU's scientists are working to integrate predicted changes in the climate with current threats to trout and salmon habitat.
"Climate change is just another factor that greatly complicates the existing problems facing coldwater habitat," said Jack Williams, senior scientist for Trout Unlimited. "We were happy to work with the National Wildlife Federation to spotlight how challenging it will be to protect, reconnect and restore trout populations for future generations as the climate continues to warm. Adaptation projects that increase the resistance and resilience of our streams to impacts from climate change is an emerging focus for our organization. This is what TU has always been good at-implementing on-the-ground conservation strategies that keep cold water cold and plentiful to the benefit of fish and fishers alike."
TU projects that range from very large-opening a 1,000 miles of habitat on the Penobscot River with our coalition partners in Maine, to the very small-fixing culverts and removing small dams in Virginia-help to build resilience to climate change in fish populations. Working with landowners, farmers, ranchers, industry and government agencies of all shapes and sizes, TU specializes in these types of projects. However, the report also correctly calls for tackling the root of the climate change problem, greenhouse gas emissions-without meaningful reductions in emissions, much of TU's work could be outpaced by warming trends.
"NWF has long been one of TU's best conservation partners," said Williams. "We look forward to working with NWF to further enhance our understanding of climate change impacts on the nation's fisheries and our angling opportunities, but most importantly, fulfill the report's roadmap for curtailing climate change impacts on our fisheries."
Below is a link to the full NWF report. Whether or not you beleive in climate change, if you have any concern for the future of fly fishing it is a must read. Click on the link below to open the report (PDF file):
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):