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Weekly Fishing Report Oct. 10

on October 10, 2017 - 3:24pm
By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post

The heavy rains we had last week dramatically raised streamflows across Northern New Mexico. In some streams, the flow is two-to-three times what they would normally be at this time of year.

This is great news for the fish, which will benefit from the heavier flows and murkier water. They will be more difficult to catch and will have a lot more food to feed on. The fall-spawning brown trout may have better natural reproduction, with less chance of their spawning redds where the eggs are hatching being left high and dry by low water levels.

The up side is the trout are active and feeding. Lake levels should be good and with the temperatures dropping, trout will be feeding in the shallows. Streamflows should drop, unless we get more rain, and the water will clear. This should make for some topnotch late fall fishing.

These fall rains also help the grasses in the pastures and meadows put on some late growth and go into the winter with moisture in the ground. It helps the trees and perennial undergrowth too. All in all, the benefits of fall moisture are many and the drawbacks few.

The elk-hunting rifle seasons started this past weekend. My grandnephew brought back a nice little bull.

There will likely be snow on the northern mountains and the combination of snow on the peaks and the colors of the fall foliage makes for a great time to get out and see Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.

Last week I suggested that Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo might be a good place to try despite the reports of slow fishing. The fishing picked up this past week and is now rated as fair-to-good. With plenty of water coming in from the Santa Cruz River, this lake should fish well for the rest of the fall.

The fishing at Fenton Lake has been very good and some big rainbow trout have been caught. The brown trout are becoming active and there are some lunkers in Fenton that might be hooked ths time of year.

While in the Fenton Lake area, if you have children you might give the Seven Springs Brood Pond a try. Fishing here is limited to anglers 12-and-under. It’s located just north of Fenton Lake at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery. It is well-stocked and has some big fish.

The fishing at Eagle Rock Lake near Questa is good and the fishing in the nearby Red River has been good.

Eagle Nest Lake has been fair for trout and northern pike. A 44-inch, 21-pound northern pike was caught there last week. The fishing for perch has been good. Although small, these fish are really good eating.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton have been good. If you’re in that area, drive into Colorado and take a drive on the Highway of Legends. The mountain scenery is spectacular and there’s some good fishing along the way.

Navajo Lake in the Four Corners area has been the only spot reporting good snagging for kokanee salmon. Portions of Navajo Lake are closed to snagging, but those areas that are open near the dam have been good. The fishing for bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, has been good. You’re likely to hook some northern pike while fishing for bass at Navajo, too.

The San Juan River below Navajo Dam is actually running below normal and at a level that’s ideal for fishing. The catch-and-release Quality Waters for the first three miles or so below the Dam have been fishing well. Although the Quality Waters are known throughout the country for big rainbow trout, there is a population of brown trout in the San Juan. The fishing for browns might actually be a little better below the Quality Waters.

The bank fishing for rainbow trout is fair at Heron Lake and pretty soon there may be some lake trout caught from the bank at Heron as the water cools. The kokanee salmon snagging season opens Nov. 11 at Heron.

The flow in the upper Chama River above El Vado Lake is above normal. This stretch of the Chama has some big brown and rainbow trout. You will need to hike down to the river from Heron Dam. The flows below El Vado Dam are a little heavy, but the fishing has been fair for brown and rainbow trout. The streamflow below Abiquiu Dam is still too heavy and muddy for good fishing. Check the streamflows below El Vado and Abiquiu Dams to see when they start dropping. That will improve the fishing conditions.

The smallmouth bass fishing at Abiquiu Lake is fair and a few walleyes are being caught. I expect anglers to start catching more trout at Abiquiu as the water cools down.

Flows in the Rio Grande are two-to-three times normal for this time of year. River rafters and kayakers will have the rare opportunity to have a good fall season on the Rio Grande. The fishing will be a little more difficult. Check the streamflow and watch for a drop in the streamflow levels, which should make for better fishing conditions.

There has been heavy snowfall in the mountains of Northern Colorado and it won’t be long before heavy snow starts falling in the mountains of Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Get out and enjoy the fall scenery now.


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