NM fishing report, Sept. 20

This fishing report, provided by the Department of Game and Fish and thefishphone.com, 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.

East–Central, including the Pecos River

Coyote Creek — The flow is 0.57 cfs. Fishing is fair for trout. Better fishing reported in the beaver ponds downstream from the camp areas. The creek was stocked last week with 760 triploid rainbow trout and the pond with another 570.

Pecos River — The flow is 52 cfs. The river is fishing well and the water is clear even though there has been some rainfall somewhere over the Pecos watershed every day. If you see murky water down low, consider driving upriver to find clearer water. Use small flies during clear water and switch to a bigger, more flashy fly if the water is murky. Caddis, yellow sallies, hoppers, ants, and beetles have been the best producers dry fly wise. Nymphing with a dry dropper rig can end your slump if they aren’t coming up on your dry fly. Try flashback pheasant tails or a nitro caddis.

Conchas Lake — Fishing at Conchas lake is reported as slow with very few fishermen out and very few fish being caught. North Dock reports that white and black bass when trolling top water and plastics are your best bet. Some walleye have been picked up when trolling crank baits in 18-20 feet of water. No report on other species.

Morphy Lake — No fishing report this week.

Santa Rosa Lake — Water levels are low and launching boats is down to one at a time. Please use caution and common sense. The smallmouth bass fishing has been slow. Catfish have been fair using cut bait and stink bait. No report on other species.

Storrie Lake — Fishing is slow for trout using Power Bait, cheese balls and worms.

Sumner Lake — Fishing is slow for all species, no good reports as of late. Below the dam. Slow, no reports. The water level is very low.

Ute Lake — The main lake is clear and the river arms are lightly stained. With the cooler water fishing should start to pick up. Walleye are reported as slow using deep divers in 16-20 feet of water over submerged trees. White bass are reported as fair to good when using top water gear. Catfish are still fishing good with stink bait and liver in shallow water.


Animas River — The flow is 409 cfs. The river continues to fish fair to good for trout using various bead-headed nymphs, spinners and worms.

Chama River — Upper section flow is 75 cfs. Below El Vado, the flow is 591 cfs and the flow below Abiquiu is 568 cfs. The upper Chama flowing downstream to the village of Chama and into El Vado reservoir is picking up with the cooler temps and rain. Fishing is reported as fair. The river below El Vado is fishing good to excellent. All methods are catching fish with limits of rainbows being taken. Some brown trout are also reported being landed a bit lower down river from the spillway using black and gold Panther Martins. The river was stocked above El Vado last week with 427 rainbow trout; another 760 below Abiquiu Lake.

San Juan River: Upper section — Catch and Release flow is 687 cfs. Fishing is good. Midges are hatching all day long. At the moment they are very small, midge pupa and larvae, size 22 to 28, black, chocolate, dark grey, cream and olive have been the best. The hatch is strongest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Try fishing BWO’s from 2 p.m. to about 5 p.m. Dark or light gray, brown and olive have been the best colors in a size 20 and 22 — dry and wet patterns. Back to midges in the evenings. Black and brown have been best. Starting to see some good numbers of calibaetis in the mornings. White May flies size 18 or 20. Some fish are eating them; give them a try. Bunny leaches are great attractors — brown, black, purple, and white. If all else fails try fishing big foam patterns, especially in the morning. The lower river was stocked last week with 1,952 rainbow trout.

Abiquiu Lake — Not much has changed at the lake and conditions remain the same. Fishing is slow for all species including walleye with smaller-sized fish being caught. No report on other species.

El Vado Lake — Trout fishing is reported as slow to fair with better reports from the Chama River inlet and the dam. Fish are being landed with worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait and spinners. Reports of few large spotted bass being landed on the north end of the lake. One was 4 pounds, 6 ounces and another was bigger but filleted prior to weighing. The main boat ramp is open but the primitive ramps are closed due to high water.

Heron Lake — Salmon fishing has picked back up and is reported as good. Some anglers are having better luck than others. Fish are being caught at 30-35 feet deep with downriggers and lead-core lines. Anglers are having success with double whammies tipped with corn or garlic Power Bait. Best bet is to use a x-mas tree, large copper spinner or dodger to pick up the bite. Trout fishing is reported slow to fair when using worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait and spinners from shore. Better reports for bigger trout when trolling on the north end of the lake using Rapalas and Panther Martins.

Jackson Lake — Trout fishing is reported as fair using Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms form shore. Spinners and black wooly buggers are reported working well on the back side of the lake.

Lake Farmington — Trout fishing is reported as fair to good by the spillway using Power Bait, salmon eggs and worms. Best success is reported close to the dam.

Morgan Lake — Fishing is slow for bass with very little traffic at the lake.

Navajo Lake — Bass fishing is reported as very good when using CVD Strike King Lures in a shad pattern. Northern pike are reported as fair in the mornings when trolling along structure with big flashy lures. Salmon fishing is reported as good using green Arnnie’s tipped with Power Bait at 20-30 feet of water.


Cimarron River — The flow below Eagle Nest Dam is 5.6 cfs and 6.8 cfs near Cimarron. The release out of Eagle’s Nest Dam has continued to drop and fish are concentrated in the deeper runs and holes. Golden stones, scuds, and baetis nymphs have all been working. The river west of Cimarron was stocked last week with 2,303 triploid rainbow trout and the Gravel Pit Lakes with another 381.

Costilla Creek — The flow is 16 cfs near the town of Costilla and 12 cfs at the dam. Fishing is reported as fair to slow with the low flows. Various bead headed nymphs, stimulators with droppers and dry flies are catching the fish right now. The river was stocked last week with 381 triploid rainbow trout.

Red River — Flows are 19 cfs near Questa and 45 cfs below the hatchery. Trout are being found on the entire stretch of the river from the upper forks to the confluence with the Rio Grande. Below the hatchery is reported as the best bet though. All methods are producing fish. The river was stocked last week with triploid rainbow trout; above Questa 1,729.

Rio Grande — Flows are 117 cfs near Cerro and 238 cfs below the Taos Junction Bridge. Trout fishing is picking up in the wild rivers area. The low flows are creating some ideal conditions. Smallmouth bass are reported as good on streamers. Cover the deeper slower runs for the bass. Pike are fishing good to excellent. Large streamers are working in the slower soft water. 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 last week with 3,749 triploid rainbow trout.

Rio Hondo — The flow is 15 cfs and fishing is reported as fair in the upper stretches by the ski area. Dry flies, small spinners and worms are all working.

Rio Pueblo — The flow is 9.1 cfs. The fishing is fair. Same as the Rio Hondo. Dry flies, small spinners and worms are all working.

Cabresto Lake — The lake is closed for repairs to the dam.

Charette Lakes — Fishing is good in the deeper water. Try to avoid the moss. Topwater fly fishing is reported as good in the mornings and evenings. Perch are fair using small lures and worms.

Clayton Lake — Trout fishing is reported as fair to good when using Power Bait, worms or spinners. The lake was stocked last week with 3,799 triploid rainbow trout.

Eagle Nest Lake — Fishing continues to be good. The perch are reported as good from shore and better from anchored boats. Trolling is great for trout using lightweight tackle. Trout fishing is good when trolling topwater gear and hit and miss from the bank using Power Bait. This week is the Fish Fest; call 575-377-6941 for more info.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya — Sugarite Canyon State Park has reopened and fishing is good on Lake Maloya for trout. Fish are being landed using Power Bait and salmon eggs from shore. Fly fishing is reported as good in the early mornings and late evenings. Lake Alice has been affected by runoff from the fire and no fishing is reported there.

Maxwell Lakes — The water level is very low at Lake No.13 and fishing is slow.

Shuree Ponds — The water level on the upper pond is reported to be 50 percent down. This is making float tubing difficult and fishing is reported as fair overall. All methods are catching fish. Be sure to get past the weed beds for a better bite.

Springer Lakes — Fishing is reported as slow. Water levels are dropping due to irrigation so water levels are low.

West-Central, including the Jemez Mountains

Jemez River, East Fork, Guadalupe and San Antonio — Flow on the Jemez River is 18 cfs. Low water and ash washing into the river from the fire are plaguing the streams of the Jemez. The only really water worth fishing is the Cebolla or the Rio de las Vacas/Guadalupe watershed. Ash runoff from the Las Conchas fire has killed quite a lot of fish on the East Fork and Rio San Antonio, and the streambed is covered in it. This side of the Jemez has not been stocked since the fire started. On a good note, reports do say that the San Antonio is showing some signs of clearing and if the rains continue to subside it should start to come back pretty quickly.

Metro Drainages — Stocking has ended for the season and trout fishing is reported as slow.

Bluewater Lake — No report on trout. The tiger muskies are fishing good. The fish reported were caught on rattletraps while trolling and jerk baits from shore.

Cochiti Lake — The lake is open again with a few fishermen trying their luck. Reports of a few catfish and bluegill being taken, but traffic and water quality are still issues. More than 100 tons of debris was removed from the lake and there is plenty more on the shore. Water clarity is a problem with the ash from the fire being swept into the lake by runoff from rain.

Fenton Lake — Fishing for trout is reported as fair with worms and Power Bait.

Tingley Beach — Fishing for catfish in the Tingley Beach Children’s and Central Ponds has been fair. Best reports are from anglers using worms or hotdogs. No reports on largemouth bass. The rainbow trout stocking season for Tingley Beach is almost here. Look forward weekly stockings of 2,400 rainbow trout from October through April! No reports from fly-rod anglers at the South/Catch and Release Pond.


Gila River — The flow is 55 cfs and fishing is fair to slow with the best success in the upper reaches of the river on the West, East and Middle forks.

Rio Grande — The flow is 2.5 cfs below Elephant Butte Dam. Catfish are fair using worms, liver or stink bait. Walleye are reported as good here and better below Caballo Lake with worms and shiners.

Bill Evans Lake — Winter stocking for trout will resume late fall. No fishing report.

Caballo Lake — Fishing is slow. Water levels are very low. Best bet is below spillway on the Rio Grande.

Elephant Butte Lake — Fishing for white bass is reported as fair but slowing down. Most anglers are catching fish with shiners and spinners. Stripped bass are reported slow by the dam with a few fish being landed. No report on other species.

Glenwood Ponds — Fishing is fair for trout when using Pistol Petes, worms and Power Bait.

Lake Roberts — Fishing is reported as good for catfish with liver and worms. Trout fishing is reported as good with worms since the recent stockings. No report on other species.

Quemado Lake — Trout fishing is reported as fair. Anglers are having success using green Power Bait. No report on the tiger muskies.


Rio Ruidoso — Flow is 0.39 cfs. Fishing is reported as fair to good. The river was stocked last week with 626 triploid rainbow trout. Best bet is to fish the deeper holes were fish will be holding in the low water conditions. The river was stocked last week with 594 triploid rainbow trout

Bonito Lake — Trout fishing continues to be good in the mornings and evenings. Green and yellow Power Bait, spinners and black woolly boogers our reported working well. The lake was stocked last week with 3,444 triploid rainbow trout.

Bottomless Lakes — No report, stocking will resume in late fall.

Brantley Reservoir — There has been light pressure and no current report. A mandatory catch and release is in place at Brantley Lake because pesticides have been found in the fish. Do not keep or eat them.

Grindstone Reservoir — Fishing is reported as good with better fishing reported in the mornings and evenings for trout using worms, Power Bait and Pistol Petes.