By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors
With streamflows running low for this time of year and the State Game and Fish Department making heavy stockings of rainbow trout throughout Northern New Mexico, the fishing has been very good for anglers.
With the exception of those days when the wind is blowing hard, the mild weather has made for good conditions.
Los Alamos anglers have several good choices in the nearby Jemez Mountains. Fenton Lake has been heavily-stocked with rainbow trout this spring. Most recently, the Department stocked 2,201 rainbow trout April 13 at Fenton. There are also some wild brown trout at Fenton. It looks like they’re catching fish on practically everything from bait to flies, so whatever method you prefer, you’re likely to catch some trout.
The nearby Seven Springs Brood Pond, also known as the Kids Pond was stocked with a total of 402 rainbow trout last week. This Pond also holds some nice-sized brown trout. The angling here is limited to anglers 12 years of age or younger. This is a good spot to take the kids where they can catch some fish with a chance of hooking a big one. It’s located by the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery, where they raise Rio Grande cutthroat trout.
The Cebolla River, which flows into and below Fenton Lake, was stocked April 18 with 819 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good here, so you can try a little stream fishing in addition to the lake.
The Jemez River is running very low at 17.9 cubic-feet- per second. It was stocked April 18 with 1,700 rainbow trout. The low water will likely concentrate trout in the deeper pools. The East Fork of the Jemez River and the Rio San Antonio are also fishing well. All of these streams also hold wild brown trout. The low water makes for good dry-fly fishing in the afternoon.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been heavily-stocked with catchable rainbow trout this spring and anglers have been catching their limits here. The Department stocked 2,849 rainbow trout April 18 at Santa Cruz. In addition, the Department stocked 300 rainbow trout averaging almost 16 inches in size at Santa Cruz. There are also wild brown trout in Santa Cruz. Although most of the catch will be catchable-size rainbows, there are some big fish in this lake.
The fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye at Abiquiu Lake has yet to take off. There are also some big trout here. Abiquiu Lake was stocked with 112,000 small rainbow trout (under 5 inches) last week. Anglers might try fishing lures that imitate small rainbow trout with the possibility of hooking a big walleye or brown trout, which will feed on these recently-stocked fish.
The fishing in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam has been slow because they are releasing a lot of water into the Chama below the Dam. The fishing in the Chama River below El Vado Dam has also been slow for the same reason.
El Vado Lake has been a hotspot for smallmouth bass. Anglers fishing for bass have also been hooking other species like brown trout and there was a report of a big largemouth bass being caught.
The bank fishing for holdover rainbow trout has been good at Heron Lake and another small lake trout was reportedly caught here. There are some big lake trout here but with most anglers fishing Power Bait and salmon eggs for the rainbow trout, they are not being caught. If you have a second rod stamp, you might try rigging up one rod with Power Bait for the rainbow trout and then casting a spoon or spinner for the chance of hooking a lake trout.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake is running high, although flows are below normal. This stretch of the Chama will fish better when the water starts to drop.
Laguna del Campo, a small lake near Los Ojos, will open for fishing next Tuesday (May 1). This lake is well-stocked and also has some big trout. Angling is limited to anglers 15 years or younger and 65 years or older. The limit is three fish-per-day.
The fishing has been good at the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. This is a good time to catch a bigger-than-average trout at Los Pinos, which has not yet been stocked so your catch will be holdover trout. It is flowing below normal for this time of year.
The streamflow on the Rio Grande is well below normal at 243 cubic-feet- per second at Taos Junction Bridge. Normally, the flow this time of year would be over 1,000 cubic-feet- per second. This has made for excellent fishing conditions on the Rio Grande, particularly for fly fishermen. With the annual caddis hatch going on, this has been a good year to fish the Rio Grande. When the fish aren’t rising to dry flies, try drifting nymphs. Spinners and worms have also been catching fish in the Rio.
The Red River has been fishing well and a big rainbow trout was caught last week. The Red River Hatchery Pond has been very good too.
The fishing at Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout using worms and Power Bait. They’ve even been catching some big northern pike on Power Bait at Eagle Nest.
The Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam is running low and the fishing has been fair with flies and with bait below the Special Trout Waters.
Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has been good for rainbow trout using worms and Power Bait. They’ve been catching some big, holdover rainbows at Maxwell Lake 13.
Lake Alice and Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton were stocked last week. Lake Alice received 500 rainbow trout and Lake Maloya 3,000 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good at Lake Maloya.
Morphy Lake State Park was stocked April 18 with 3,000 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good at this little lake near Las Vegas.
Storrie Lake State park near Las Vegas has been fair for trout. There are also catfish in Storrie Lake and anglers with a second rod stamp might try rigging one rod for trout and the other for catfish, which should start biting soon.
The Pecos River between the town of Pecos and Cowles was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,500 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good. The flow on the Pecos is low and well-below normal for this time of year. This makes for good fly-fishing conditions, but does not bode well for later this year. The flow on the Pecos at Anton Chico below the town of Pecos is already at zero.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been fishing well and this little lake is well-stocked with rainbow trout. Every now and then a lucky angler hooks a lunker here.
Over in the Four Corners area, the fishing for bass and northern pike at Navajo Lake is picking up and has been good.
Anglers fishing for pike and bass with crank baits and jerk baits have also been hooking some brown and rainbow trout The San Juan River below Navajo Dam is flowing at 600 cubic-feet- per second. The fishing in the Quality Waters has been fair-to- good with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters below the Quality Waters has been fair-to-good.
Although the winter trout stockings of rainbow trout at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque have stopped, the trout fishing is still good and they’re starting to catch some catfish now.
If you’d like to take a trip to Southern New Mexico, several lakes have been fishing well.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been good for practically every species found there. It’s been very good trolling for white bass. The fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been good and they’ve caught some big largemouth bass. Walleye fishing has been good, as has the fishing for catfish.
Lake Roberts near Silver City has been very good for both catfish and trout. You might get lucky and hook a Gila trout, which have been stocked in Lake Roberts.
The fishing for largemouth bass has been good. Lake Roberts has been designated as a trophy bass lake. The limit is two-bass- per-day. There is a 14-inch size limit on largemouth bass.