March — 18 Fishing report

This fishing report, provided by the Department of Game and Fish and, has been generated from the best information available from area officers, anglers, guides and local businesses. Conditions may vary as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.


Animas River — The flow is 310 cfs. Fishing is reported as good for trout on upper stretches near Colorado border. Fly anglers are having good success with bead headed pheasant tails, prince nymphs and copper john’s all size 14-16. The river was stocked with 499 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Chama River — Upper section flow no read due to ice, no report on the fishing there. Below El Vado Dam, the flow is 98 cfs and the water is clear and low. Reports are slow for trout with not much success from anglers. The river below Abiquiu Lake was stocked with 1,300 triploid rainbow trout last week. Flow below Abiquiu is at 164 cfs.

San Juan River: Upper section — Catch and Release flow is 499 cfs. The visibility is reported at two to three feet in the river below the dam. Despite the murky water, big midge hatches continue to come off late mornings. Cluster patterns like Griffith’s gnats work on the gulping fish. Try a single black midge for the sippers. Egg patterns are also a hot producer right now with peach and yellow being the best colors. Dark bodied midge larvae and pupa as well as dark brown baetis are also getting attention.

Lower section — Open waters, fishing is good with night crawlers, salmon eggs and the same flies as for the upper section.

Abiquiu Lake — Fishing is very slow. The Army Corps of Engineers have switched over to winter staffing until 4/12 and all but a few primitive sites are closed for the season. No report on fishing at this time.

El Vado Lake — Fishing is reported as slow for trout on both sides of the dam. Some fish have been caught using worms, Power bait and spinners.

Heron Lake — Fishing continues to be fair to good for trout along the shore by the dam and at the boat ramps. Anglers are using roe sacks, power bait, spinners and worms.

Jackson Lake — Fishing is good for trout. Anglers are having success using Power Bait and any spinner with gold blades. The lake was stocked with 1,500 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Lake Farmington — Trout fishing is reported as good on the dam side of the lake using salmon eggs or trolling spinners like Blue Fox with rainbow holograms and Arnies with red and gold blades. Also good reports from anglers stripping woolly buggers from shore are taking fish.

Morgan Lake — Bass fishing is reported as fair to good. Success has been reported with Strike King 3 inch tubes and 7 inch black Finesse worms both in pumpkin combo colors.

Navajo Lake — The pike are on fire when using Rapala DT 6-16 and Rapala XR 12-14. Perch, yellow perch, hot steel, rainbow and gold are reported as the hot colors right now. Fish are averaging 30 inches with one at 38 inches. Trout are reported being taken at the Pine River boat ramp with worms and spinners. No report on other species.


Cimarron River — Flows below Eagle Nest Dam are .30 cfs and 6.2 cfs near Cimarron. Fishing conditions are slow due to water levels and cold weather. Conditions are not likely to improve much until spring when warmer weather and flows come back up.

Costilla Creek — The flow is 6.6 cfs near the town of Costilla. No report due to ice and low flows.

Red River — Flows at Questa 16 cfs and 39 cfs below the hatchery. Fishing is fair to good for rainbows below the hatchery with bead head nymphs and various flies. Bait fishermen might try spinners, salmon eggs or Power Bait. The river below Questa was stocked with 700 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Rio Grande — Flows are 391 cfs near Cerro and 544 cfs below the Taos Junction Bridge. Slow for pike, slow for trout, poor for smallmouth bass. The river did get a little murky with the warmer temps melting off some of the lower elevation snowpack. There are better reports on pike and trout at Pilar. Be persistent and focus on the tail outs of pools and right below the gravel bars. For trout, try a crane fly larvae or stonefly nymphs with a trailing caddis pupa or flashback pheasant tail. We could start seeing adult caddis in the next couple of weeks! Pike hunt by feel, large streamers that move water will get their attention. Vary your retrieves and change up the color of your flies to see which ones trigger a bite. The river from Pilar to Cochiti Lake was stocked with 3,640 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Rio Hondo — Flows are at 10 cfs. Lower section at confluence with Rio Grande is where the only opportunities are until spring. Trout are slow to fair with various flies, spinners and worms.

Rio Pueblo — Flow, no read due to ice and there is no report this week.

Cabresto Lake — Frozen over.

Charette Lakes — Fishing is reported as sporadic with some trout being landed in the range of 9 to 20 inches. Power bait is the choice from the bank and when trolling use small perch baits in green and orange. The lower lake was stocked with 2,499 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Clayton Lake — Fishing for trout is reported as good to excellent with limits being taken on Power Bait and worms. Fish are averaging 10 inches with some up to 15.

Eagle Nest Lake — The lake is now closed to ice fishing. Some open water on the lake is making shore fishing possible. Best bet is to use roe, Power Bait and salmon eggs.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya — Fishing is reported as good on both lakes using corn for stocker-sized trout. Lake Maloya still has a bit of ice on it but the edges are free.

Maxwell Lakes — Lake No. 13 is reported as slow with an occasional trout landed on Power Bait. Some fish are large up to 22 inches.

Santa Cruz Lake — No report. The lake was stocked with 3,999 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Shuree Ponds — Closed Dec. 31 and reopens July 1.

Springer Lakes — Fishing is reported as fair for small pike up to 26 inches on cranks and minnows.

West-Central, including the Jemez Mountains

Jemez River, East Fork, Guadalupe and San Antonio — Flow on the Jemez River is 41 cfs. Runoff has started but not enough to affect fishing. Fish are taking small dries and small nymphs presented on a dry dropper rig. As far as flies go, use buoyant fry flies to suspend a bead head dropper. Keep the droppers on the small side like No. 16-18. Spinners, salmon eggs, worms and Power Bait are also working. Best bet is to fish at and below Battleship Rock on the Jemez River. The river was stocked with 1,499 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Metro drainages — Trout fishing is reported as good with all methods taking fish. The drainages were stocked with triploid rainbow trout last week; Albuquerque with 700, Belen with 875, Bernalillo with 201, Corrales with 551and Peralta with 875.

Bluewater Lake — Fishing is reported as good for trout when using Power Bait from shore. No report on all other species.

Cochiti Lake — The lake is warming up; current temperature is 41 degrees with warmer water on the east side of the lake. The east side is only accessible by boat. Smallmouth bass are being landed on crank baits but reports are slow.

Fenton Lake — Frozen over, no ice fishing will be allowed due to unstable conditions. Upper Cebolla above the lake is fishing good for trout. Many anglers catching fish with most methods working. The Cebolla River was stocked with 250 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Tingley Beach: South Pond catch and release — Trout fishing in the South/Catch and Release Pond has been fair. Good reports from fly-rod anglers using midge emergers and black bunny leeches. No reports on dry flies this week but the warm afternoons are sure to bring up some midge hatches.

Children’s and Central Ponds — Trout fishing has been great. Anglers are catching fish on almost every kind of bait and tackle. The NMDGF Red River Hatchery delivered more than 4,752 triploid rainbow trout last week.

East-Central, including the Pecos River

Coyote Creek — Flow is .60 cfs. The water is low and fishing is slow with no pressure.

Pecos River — No read on flows near Pecos due to ice. The fishing is on the slow side but really improving with the warmer weather. There is good fishing down at Villanueva State Park, better if you can hit it on a weekday. Not much for dry fly fishing yet, so stick to nymphs. Egg patterns, red or green copper johns, prince nymphs, and scuds tend to fool most of the stocked fish. For the browns and holdover rainbows upriver of Villanueva, including Pecos National Historical Park, show them a zebra midge, juju baetis or flashback PT. Also anglers using spinners, worms and Power Bait are catching fish. The river from Villanueva to I-40 was stocked with 198 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Conchas Lake — Fishing is reported as good for crappie. The large and smallmouth bass are fishing fair. A few walleye are being taken. All fish are being caught in 30-40 feet of water drifting minnows.

Morphy Lake — Opens April 1.

Santa Rosa Lake — Lake levels are good but water is being released. Walleye are fishing good in 4-10 feet of water and crappie are starting to turn on and should improve as weather warms up. Fish are being caught using jigs and jigs with minnows. Smallmouth bass have also started to bite and are being caught when fishing for the walleye.

Storrie Lake — Fishing is reported as fair to good for trout using fireballs and cheese. The lake was stocked with 3,029 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Sumner Lake: Winter trout waters, stilling basin — Fishing remains slow at Sumner Lake. Water is being released from Santa Rosa Lake, and Sumner all this week. The area below the dam is closed temporarily for the release.

Ute Lake — The lake is starting to wake up and fish are being caught. White bass are fishing good in shallow water with jerk baits. Catfish are reported as fair on stink bait. Walleye are also reported as fair when jigging live minnows, no report on depth. As for the crappie and sunfish they have yet to start to bite but should turn on soon.


Gila River — The flow is 62 cfs and fishing is slow with very little pressure.

Rio Grande — The flow is 743 cfs below Elephant Butte Dam. Fishing is fair to good for walleye in the deep holes with shiners below both Elephant Butte and Caballo Lakes.

Bill Evans Lake: Winter trout waters — Fishing for trout is slow to fair using Power Bait and worms. Also, trolling is reported as slow to fair when using spinners.

Caballo Lake — Fishing is generally slow with light pressure. Water levels are low and will remain so until spring. Reports remain the same. Anglers having success are fishing the deeper holes but fishing for all species is slow. Minnows and night crawlers are working the best for now.

Elephant Butte Lake — Fishing pressure has picked up a bit with the warmer weather. Mixed reports on the white bass as slow to fair but no report on what is working. The fish are reported as scattered and being caught all over the lake. Catfish are reported as fair with shrimp on the north end of the lake. Stripers are reported as slow to fair by the dam. Anglers are using bluegill and white bombers. Crappie are reported as slow. No report on other species.

Glenwood Ponds — Fishing has been slow with light pressure.

Lake Roberts — Fishing is reported as fair to good for trout using bobbers with worms and Power Bait 4 feet below surface. Some limits are being taken.

Quemado Lake — No report.

Snow Lake — No report.


Black River — Flow is 5.2 cfs. Fishing is reported as fair for trout using worms, salmon eggs and Power Bait. The river was stocked with 186 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Bonito Creek — No report.

Rio Ruidoso — Flow is 2 cfs. Water levels are very low and fishing is reported as slow. Fish are holding in deeper holes. Power Bait, worms and salmon eggs are reported as working for stocker sized trout.

Bonito Lake — The lake opens April 1.

Bottomless Lakes: Winter trout waters — Good for trout when using worms, spinners, Power Bait and salmon eggs. Light pressure during the week but the lakes can get busy during weekends when weather is warmer. Pasture and Devils Ink Well are the two lakes in the park being stocked. The lakes were stocked with 498 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Brantley Reservoir — There has been light pressure and no current report. A mandatory catch and release is in place at Brantley Lake from the Department of Game and Fish. Pesticides, DDT’s have been found in the fish, do not keep or eat them.

Grindstone Reservoir — Fishing is reported as good for trout using spinners, marshmallows, worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs. The lake was stocked with 2,999 triploid rainbow trout last week.

Lake Van: Winter trout waters — Fair for trout when using worms, spinners, Power Bait and salmon eggs. No report on other species. The lake was stocked with 1,476 triploid rainbow trout last week.