fly fishing grrl
NM fishing report
find me on instagram @flyfishinggrrL and
on youtube: flyfishing grrl
find me on instagram @flyfishinggrrL and
on youtube: flyfishing grrl
Finally got out to the Jemez! Here's a quick update...
1. The Guadalupe is still way too high to fish. I can't wait until it's ready to go!
2. The San Antonio is in great shape. I had a superb afternoon fishing right off the highway.
3. I've heard great reports on the East Fork, but didn't get to it.
4. Fenton was fun! It fished especially well from the middle of the lake. I had fun just using a dry-dropper rig. The kind of nymph really didn't seem to matter to those stockers.
San Gregorio apparently had a winter kill... I'd suggest waiting until stocking to see how it's fishing.
Cimarron was great last week too. They've stocked the heck out of it, so there weren't as many browns as I like, but I could camp out in a spot and catch the same rainbows over and over.
Coyote Creek fished ok! It was my first time there. My advice would be to make sure you are getting a nymph deep enough down--the water was pretty high.
Rio Costilla fished well in the afternoon with dry flies for some cutbows. It was interesting--they were more in the fast water and the deeper pools were not fishing as well. Possibly they are overpressured.
Bonus: look in the little coves at Eagle Nest for carp and give them a try! I caught a great fish this last week.
I'm heading out to the Aldo Leopold Wilderness for a backpacking trip. There won't be much fishing...so catch a few for me!
Check out my Instagram @flyfishinggrrl for some pictures of the action!
Hopewell Lake. I spent my birthday there, and I've realized that this is the place where I fell for fly fishing. The fish fight especially hard and the rainbows are chunky. I caught my first brook trout here and fell in love with their vivid spots and the striking white stripes on their fins. I went with my stepfather when I was still a bit of a beginner a few years back, and for the first time during that trip I felt like I matched him in skill. It was (I think) the first place I float tubed. I caught my biggest brookie here, and I lost my largest rainbow here. I've also been humbled here--I occasionally get skunked and always freeze my ass off when I'm camping (or float tubing...or fishing from the shore...). I haven't made a video of Hopewell yet, and I think the decision is unconscious and some expression of reverence.
Anyway, to the report. The fishing (when it stopped threatening to storm) was good. While it was cloudy the fish hit on pheasant tail nymphs fished about 3 feet below the surface. A couple lure fisherman were tearing it up next to me, and I think trailing a wooly bugger from a float tube would be epic fishing right now, if you catch the water when it's a bit more still.
Then the sun came out. The fish started rising. I lost a big fish that struck at my stimulator (they were not being picky with the dries!). Actually, he tore off my entire rig, and leapt into the air multiple times trying to throw the flies. Anyway, then the catching really started happening and the fish were cruising a bit closer to shore. Every cast within two feet of a rise was rewarded with a strike on the dry or the dropper. I'm excited about the wet winter because the water is fishing a bit more like it did a few years ago.
So, Hopewell is a win. Please keep a couple for your campfire and throw the rest back. The fish are special here.
Hey There Everyone,
The fishing on the Cimarron seems to be slowing a bit... Likely it's from the influx of tourists who have over fished the waters just a little bit. But, less flashy things like pheasant tail and hare's ear nymphs seemed to work a bit better than more colorful patterns. The water level was fairly ideal...but I wasn't getting the strikes I normally do.
I've managed to catch a few big guys in the Gravel Pit "Lakes" the last couple weeks, but the fishing slowed considerably after Memorial Day.
Fawn Lakes are apparently closed due to flooding damaging the small dam there.
I'm on Summer Break now! So, look forward to some updates on other waters as I'm able to make some trips a bit further away from home. Heading to Hopewell Lake tomorrow, and I hope to hook into some brookies! My next goal is to get to the Jemez to see how those waters are doing! After moving from Santa Fe, a day trip out there isn't practical...I've been missing those waters!
Tomorrow is the big 3-0 birthday. Today I'm reflecting on my 20's and how this was the decade I fell in love with fly fishing. I'm feeling blessed to be sitting here with a view of Wheeler Peak from my desk and to have countless small streams to explore up here in Northern NM.
If you have any other reports to share from the rivers in your area of NM, please comment below!
Sorry for the delayed post, everyone! I spent the last week moving and wrapping up some final events for my school year. I haven't been doing too much fishing with this craziness.
Quick report--I did get take a quick trip out to Tingley Beach in Albuquerque while I was in the area. It's definitely getting a bit too warm for the trout. The trout were not biting in the catch and release pond at all... except I did manage to get a bass! Picture below.
Cimarron is a bit high, but it'll fish well if you get your nymph down far enough. Lake Maloya will be fishing well. I've heard good reports from Fenton, and in past years I've had very good luck in late May/early June there before it heats up and the algae takes over. Keep an eye on flows for rivers... I think run-off will be going for a good long while still but when it subsides the fish will be biting.
Anyway, here I am sitting here up in Northern NM, and it's snowing again...
The Cimarron River is a bit lower again and in the slower sections it looks to be very good fishing. I'm going to try to get on there later this week if it's not raining too much. I did talk to a guy from Houston who said it fished well today. Definitely dry-dropper time, and lengthen your dropper if you're not getting strikes. The "Red Chile" catch and release water has some runs that are looking really good.
A friend of mine fished the Cebolla and had some luck. It looks like the Jemez River proper is way too high still, but some of the other streams might be fishable.
Lake Maloya fished pretty well on Friday. The fish struck on a prince nymph a 2-3 feet below the surface sporadically, but got a bit more picky later in the evening. A small (around size 18, I think) parachute adams ended up being the fly! I hope to save you the trouble of trying a bunch of different things.
I'm a teacher, and I'm counting down the days to the summer fishing adventures. So so soon.
Anyway, tight lines!
Hey All! The Cimarron River is now in run-off, with a lot of water coming down from the mountains in the State Park. I imagine with perseverance you could catch some fish with nymphs, but it really would likely be frustrating.
A friend of mine had some luck in the first bit of the Cebolla below Fenton Lake--could be worth a try! All rivers are pretty much blown-out--an inconvenience for now, but a great thing for the health of our rivers and forests. (San Juan is always worth a try--reports haven't been great, though...)
So, it's definitely time to head to some lakes. I took some young students from my school to Eagle Nest Lake and the students caught a few fish even in the middle of the day! Otherwise, head to Lake Maloya, Fenton, or one of the tribal lakes. I called the ranger office about Hopewell, and it's still icy. That's one of my favorite places, and I can't wait until it's fishable.
Hi there! Since I've become a bit more of a "country girl" this past year I've discovered that I want to strive for a more complete experience of the outdoors and not be as obsessive about fly fishing. (Meaning, I may take two days off of fishing to do something outdoors.) So, this weekend I headed out backpacking in the Chama River Canyon Wilderness. I hiked my butt off and found a couple of elk sheds!
Anyway, it's still the time to try for still water or the Cimarron. Pretty much all other rivers are in run-off. This week I decided I would focus on some tips for the Cimarron. Last time I fished I was trouble shooting my own fishing and tried to make a mental list tips I should share. I've since forgotten some of them, but at least I'll have something to write about later on when I do remember them.
1. Early in the season definitely use a dry-dropper. This week they seemed to key in on a lighter colored hare's ear nymph. I'd recommend using a beadhead so it'll sink into the fast currents more quickly.
2. If you find the fish are primarily hitting the dry (in the summer, usually), take off the dropper. This helps you cast into tighter areas and have fewer tangles.
3. The fish have started to move into the faster pockets (my last Youtube video is already inaccurate...). Cast directly above rocks where the current is slower for a chance at picking pockets.
4. You'll get a lot of glare in the evening because you will face the sunset when you are fishing upstream. Wear a hat with a brim and good polarized sunglasses. I like to watch for strikes that I guess are in the area of my fly and set the hook. It can be frustrating, but that time of evening makes for great fishing!
5. I'll think of more later on!
Now that it's truly fishing season, I'm going to try to update every Monday. At least, when I'm not out fishing on Mondays!
I'll start out with my places not to go: the Chama, upper Rio Grande, Jemez. These rivers are still high and murky with run-off and will likely not be productive. It looks like lower down on the Rio Grande at the John Dunn bridge and in the Pilar area are starting to fish well, but I haven't been there myself yet.
I floated Lake Maloya last weekend and had a great time. There were a lot of risers in the evening. I tried out a wooly bugger, but they seemed to like nymphs better. They hit darker colored nymphs hard that were fished only about 3 feet below the surface. I also caught a few on a caddis once they started rising (I imagine the dry fly fishing would be even better with a smaller dry fly, but I was using it as my strike indicator and didn't feel like changing it up as it was getting darker).
The Cimarron River is also doing well. The flows are quite controlled coming out of Eagle Nest Lake and the fish are biting! As usual, I recommend a dry-dropper on this river in this time of year. In the summer, take off the dropper if they are hitting the dry more often--that will help you catch fewer trees.
My main recommendation is to go to whichever stocked pond you choose! It's time to relearn how to set the hook on some stockers and make the bait dunkers jealous. ; )
Hey there folks, if you're enjoying the slightly more recent updates on this site, please spread the word about my Instagram and Youtube pages--@flyfishinggrrl. I love helping answer questions. I don't mind giving advice, even though I might keep my exact favorite spots a bit more secret. To me, all fly anglers are on the same team and with catch and release (and responsible harvesting, which is also important!) we can keep the streams healthy even if we share some tips and tricks. So far here in NM, our streams are uncrowded enough that I want to share the love (I know it's not the same in all states). A new Cimarron River video will be coming out soon, so keep an eye out for it.
Anyway, I went on a lake adventure the last few days. I tried out some lakes so you wouldn't have to.
So, here goes...the report.
It's the season for some lake fishing. This is when you can catch some larger fish that survived under the ice. This is when you can catch those fish before bait fishermen catch them and harvest them, so get out there!
I headed out to Nambe Falls Lake for opening weekend, which also ended up being the fishing derby weekend. I thought that was a bit weird, but the ranger told me they meant to open up the week prior, but weren't able to. Last year I got there on opening day and had one of my best fishing days of the year. I had a great day this year, although not quite as epic--around 15 fish that were around 15 inches (I hope they were only 15 inches--you'll see why below).
FYI, you can't do the derby in a float tube (or any other boat). I decided to forgo the $500 and $1000 prizes rather than fish from the shore with a bunch of other anglers. I decided not to measure any of my fish so I wouldn't go through heartbreak. But...the top prize went to a 16" fish. I'm not going to try to guess what length my fish were...and I've decided to convince myself I would've never caught the fish from the shore anyway.
But, if you get to Nambe Falls Lake in the next few weeks you'll have great fishing. It's expensive-- $18 to fish and $15 for a boat added on. But, for the next few weeks it will be worth it. From opening at 7 am to about 11 am you'll get constant strong strikes on wooly buggers from a float tube. My suggestion is to focus your efforts on the area around road 3 where the inlet is. I had a lot of success around the submerged plant life.
I also took a trip out to Charette Lakes. I fished for a short while... and it really was just too windy and big. I read about it in books from a good few years back, and I think it's just too difficult to fly fish. I also took a few too many risks in my goofy old car on that rough road around the lake.
Kind of the same story with Maxwell Lake 13. But, it's a bit smaller and lot less deep. So, if you ever catch it when it's not windy, it would be good floating and possibly good fishing with a sinking line for primarily warm water species.
And now--Sandia Lakes! I only fished about an hour toward midday on my way back up north. It is $12 for a small catch and release pond. Very very worth it. I had a hell of a time setting the hook (after a while I decided that the fish were very fast since they are in a catch and release pond, but it was probably me). But, I caught 3 good sized fish and it would have been much better in the morning right when they opened.
There's the update! Any small stocked lake will be worth going to just to make sure you still know how to set the hook.