The monsoon moisture that we have been receiving has helped raise the streamflow in some rivers and streams here in Northern New Mexico. This has improved the fishing conditions.
The rains have also helped ease the danger from wildfires. The rains appear to have all but extinguished the Sarca Fire, which was visibly burning in the Pecos Wilderness Area in Sangre de Cristo Mountains behind Espanola a couple of weeks ago. The Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest are open for camping and fishing.
Still, streamflows remain below normal for most of the streams and rivers. Water levels in local reservoirs are still falling. Under low streamflow conditions and warm water temperatures, trout become stressed. Best to give them a break and resume fishing for them later in the season when the temperatures cool down. Areas of rivers where the streamflows are controlled by releases from beneath dams are also good places to fish.
Our neighboring state of Colorado also is experiencing low streamflows and warm water temperatures. Here, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Department has instituted voluntary closures on several rivers to protect the trout. Voluntary closures are just that. You can still fish, but anglers are asked to refrain from fishing to ease the stress on the trout under these difficult conditions. Anglers that do fish and release their trout are asked to quickly play and gently release their fish so they do not add to the stress these fish are experiencing.
Despite the low flows and warm temperatures, the New Mexico State Department of Game and Fish continues to heavily stock waters throughout Northern New Mexico, so there are plenty of stocked trout available to anglers. Fishing for warm water species like bass, catfish, perch and bluegill also is good this time of year.
The fishing for smallmouth bass is still pretty good at Abiquiu Lake. The walleye have moved to deeper water, although I suspect they’ll move into the shallows to feed early in the morning and late in the evening. The fishing has been good in 15-to-30 feet of water during the day. You’ll likely catch some bluegills fishing worms beneath a bobber. Fishing for catfish at night should be worth a try.
The water level at Abiquiu Lake keeps dropping and caution must be exercised when launching boats. Check with the Abiquiu Project Office at 505.685.4371 for possible closure of the boat ramp.
The streamflow in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is still too high for good fishing conditions. Keep an eye on the streamflows here. If they drop to 200 cubic-feet-per-second or less, the fishing can dramatically improve.
The streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam July 30 was 300 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair for brown trout and rainbow trout. The fishing is slow.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake is running low. They are releasing water from Heron Lake and the fishing in the Chama below Heron Dam could be good thanks to the influx of cold water.
The fishing for rainbow trout from the bank and from boats has been fair-to-good at Heron Lake using spinners and Power Bait.
Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos has been slow-to-fair for trout. Try fishing here early and late in the day. This lake closes at sundown.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been fair-to-good for trout using Power Bait and worms under a bobber. Try flies during the evening rise at Hopewell.
The fishing has been good at the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border north of Tres Piedras.
In the Jemez Mountains, the fishing has been fair-to-good at Fenton Lake. The Cebolla River, which flows into and out of Fenton Lake, was stocked July 27 with 600 rainbow trout. The fishing has been very good. The fly-fishing in the Rio San Antonio in the Valles Caldera National Park has been good for brown trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery was stocked July 27 with 600 rainbow trout. The fishing has been very good.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is low and the boat ramp is closed. The fishing is slow.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande is low. Rain can make the water here murky at times. The fishing has been fair-to-good for brown trout and rainbow trout.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is running low but continues to be heavily-stocked. It was stocked July 24 with 1,267 rainbow trout. There have been no reports but if you can find the stocked fish you’ll likely limit out.
The Red River continues to be heavily-stocked and the streamflow isn’t too bad below the Red River Fish Hatchery. It was stocked July 23 above the town of Questa with 2,701 rainbow trout. It was stocked July 24 below the town of Questa with 1,179 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good.
The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked July 24 with 400 rainbow trout. The fishing has been very good.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa wasn’t stocked last week. The fishing remains very good thanks to earlier stockings of rainbow trout.
The Fawn Lakes at the Fawn Lakes Campground near the town of Red River has been very good for stocked rainbow trout.
No reports from the Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal. These Ponds are stocked with good-sized rainbow trout, but suffer when the water gets too low.
Eagle Nest Lake has been a hotspot for perch with several limits being reported. The limit on perch is 20 fish-per-day, so that’s a lot of fish. Worms, small grubs and Power Bait have been the baits to use. The trout fishing has been fair-to-good. You may hook both perch and trout using worms or Power Bait. Eagle Nest was stocked July 25 with 4,914 rainbow trout.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State park opened up for fishing last week and it was heavily-stocked July 26 with 2,425 rainbow trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes near Maverick Campground were stocked July 26 with 355 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 100 rainbow trout averaging over 15 inches in size. The fishing at the Lakes has been good.
There were no reports from Maxwell Lake 13. The trout fishing here is likely pretty slow. Fishing for catfish and largemouth bass might be worth a try.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton continues to have good fishing that’s best early in the morning.
The fishing has been fair for rainbow trout at the Charette Lakes. Still no reports on the perch fishing.
Morphy Lake State Park remains closed due to repairs on the dam.
The fishing has been slow at Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas was stocked July 24 with 1,000 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
The recent rains have really benefited the Pecos River and Tuesday it was flowing at a healthy 70 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 3,000 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good and they are also catching some brown trout.
Monastery Lake near the town of Pecos was stocked July 24 with 1,022 rainbow trout and the fishing has been very good here. The Cowles Ponds north of the town of Pecos have been good for stocked rainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, the San Juan River below Navajo Dam has seen fluctuating streamflows, but the fishing is still good in the Quality Waters using a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Waters has been fair-to-good.
The fishing has been good at Navajo Lake for northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and perch. No reports on how the fishing has been for kokanee salmon.
Cochiti Lake has been good for catfish. The fishing has been fair for a mixed bag of crappie, perch, white bass and northern pike. The fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass has been slow-to-fair.
Bluewater Lake near Grants is the place to go if you want to try and catch a big tiger muskie. These fish have pretty much taken over this lake and every week they catch some big ones here. Be sure to use a steel leader when fishing for these toothy critters. Big jerk baits, crank baits, large streamers and swim baits are the lures to use. They catch some on water dogs (a big species of salamander) and on pieces of hot dog. You might hook a catfish if you are using hot dogs.
The fishing was good for catfish at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque thanks to a July 26 stocking of 471 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size.
The fishing remains good at Elephant Butte Lake despite a falling water level. The best fishing has been for catfish and white bass. The fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and bluegill has been fair-to-good.