It seems the word got out about anglers catching big fish at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo.
There was a lot of activity on Facebook concerning Santa Cruz Lake last week. The State Game and Fish Department had stocked Santa Cruz Oct. 7 with 218 rainbow trout averaging 20 inches in size and anglers were catching them.
Santa Cruz was stocked again Oct. 17 with 5,370 catchable-size rainbow trout. There are plenty of fish swimming in Santa Cruz Lake right now.
The temperature is getting downright cold in the mountains now. I checked the temperature in Chama Monday morning and it was a bone-chilling eight degrees.
Sunday, the wind beat you up as it was blowing hard all day. Still no snow, but snow is forecast in the mountains for today (Oct. 24), with more cold temperatures.
The last couple of weeks I have been saying that Albuquerque anglers should check to see when the Department would start stocking trout at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque. It has started. Tingley Beach was stocked Oct. 15 with 1,500 catchable size rainbow trout and with 201 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size.
The fishing was reported as slow but it should pick up rather quickly when these stocked trout start biting.
There are still no reports from El Vado Lake or Eagle Nest Lake about any kokanee salmon being snagged. It seems like the only place to go is Navajo Lake, where it is still reported as good.
The fishing remains good at most of the smaller lakes in Northern New Mexico.
The fishing has been good at Fenton Lake and they are catching some of those big, stocked rainbow trout. No reports of any brown trout.
The Rio Cebolla at Fenton Lake was stocked Oct. 16 with 431 rainbow trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at the Seven Springs Fish Hatchery north of Fenton Lake continues to give up big trout to young anglers under 12 years old. The fishing has been good.
In the Chama area, the fishing has been good at the Trout Lakes near Cebolla for stocked rainbow trout. It has been fair-to-good at the Canjilon Lakes and at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. All these lakes were stocked earlier with good-sized rainbow trout and there may still be some of them swimming around.
The fishing remains good in the Chama River below El Vado Dam and there are some nice brown trout here as well as stocked rainbow trout. The fishing below Abiquiu Dam in the Chama River is still slow and streamflows here still need to come down for the fishing conditions to improve. This area has been heavily stocked and once conditions improve it should be very good here.
Abiquiu Lake remains low and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended to launch boats.
The upper Chama River is low and clear. The fishing has been good but it has been cold in the Chama area. Expect ice in your rod guides early in the morning.
The fishing has been slow at El Vado Lake and Heron Lake. Kokanee snagging season opens Nov. 1 at Heron Lake. It will be interesting to see how the snagging is this year. It has not been that good the last couple of years. At one time, this was a prime spot for snagging. Maybe it can come back, although low water levels at Heron have hurt the fishery.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been fair-to-good and they are still catching a few of those big rainbow trout that were stocked earlier in the season. No reports on the wild brook trout also found here.
The Rio de los Pinos north of Tres Piedras near the Colorado border has been good and is running low and clear. The weather has been cold here and the trout will soon be gathering in the deeper pools to spend the winter. Terrestrial fly patterns have been working well but nymphing may be more effective soon as the cold weather kills off the grasshoppers and other terrestrial insects. Look for brown trout spawning here.
The Rio Grande is in prime fishing conditions with flows a little below normal and good water clarity. Brown trout should be spawning. The fishing should be very good. The weather has been cold in the Questa area. Hiking into the Rio Grande Gorge can be rewarding this time of year, but expect the temperature to drop dramatically when the sun starts going down.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is running low. There are stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout here.
In the Red River/Questa area, the Red River Hatchery pond was stocked Oct. 15 with 399 catchable-size rainbow trout and 100 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size. The fishing is still good in the Red River below Questa. Eagle Rock Lake near Questa has been good and there may be some of those big rainbow trout stocked a few weeks ago still swimming around.
Still no reports on the Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal. If you have an elk hunt here you might bring your fishing rod along and give them a try as they are well-stocked with good-sized fish.
The fishing has been good for rainbow trout and for northern pike at Eagle Nest Lake. No reports on perch fishing or salmon snagging.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good and brown trout should be active now. The flow here is a little high as they are releasing water from Eagle Nest Lake.
Maxwell Lake 13 was stocked Oct. 17 with 8,559 channel catfish. Most people fish for trout at Maxwell Lakes, but there are some big catfish here. The trout fishing should be good as the water is cooling down. This lake closes for fishing Oct. 31 to protect migrating waterfowl. Sandhill cranes are starting to show up here.
Stubblefield Lake was stocked with 2,205 channel catfish. The walleye in this lake should be moving into shallow water to fatten up for the winter. It could be worth a try.
The trout fishing at Lake Maloya has been good. There are small perch in this lake that can be a nuisance when fishing with worms.
Clayton Lake closes for fishing Oct. 31. The trout fishing has been fair-to-good. Catfishing has been good.
The fishing could be worth a try at the Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer. They have rainbow trout and yellow perch. It seems like the fishing pressure is very light here. They close to fishing Oct. 31.
There were no reports from Storrie Lake near Las Vegas. The trout fishing here should pick up as the water cools down.
The fishing has been good in the Gallinas River near Las Vegas.
The streamflow in the Pecos River is low, clear and a little below normal. It was stocked Oct. 15 with 500 rainbow trout. There are some nice, wild brown trout here. The fishing has been good.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked Oct.15 with 1,001 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good at this little lake. Conchas Lake on the Canadian River should be slowing down as the bass, walleye and catfish here start transitioning to deeper water where they will school up and spend the winter.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 514 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Water with a variety of fly patterns. The fishing in the Bait Water has been good with flies, worms and spinners.
As already mentioned, kokanee salmon snagging at Navajo Lake has been good. No reports on any other species.
The stocking of trout has started at Tingley Beach. There should be regular stockings of trout from now until mid-spring at this popular urban fishing hole.
The bass fishing in the Albuquerque area drainage canals has been goo. This should slow down as the water cools down. Stockings of trout should begin here shortly.
The fishing is slowing down at Elephant Butte Lake. The fishing for white bass has been fair. Bass fishing has been slow. The fishing for catfish has been fair-to-good.
Anglers have reported a fish die-off in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam due to low water levels.
The trout fishing has been good at Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso. Some nice-sized fish have been caught from earlier stockings. The fishing has been fair-to-good at Alto Lake.
The trout fishing at Lake Roberts near Silver City should be good. It has both rainbow trout and Gila trout. There are also catfish here and some big largemouth bass.
Bill Evans Lake near Silver City was stocked Oct. 16 with 1,633 rainbow trout. Bill Evans Lake is better known as where the state-record largemouth bass was caught. There are still some big bass caught here from time-to-time.
The winter stocking of trout in the small municipal lakes and ponds throughout Southern New Mexico should begin shortly.