By GEORGE MORSE
After a week of unseasonably warm weather for late August and early September the weather turned noticeably cooler today. It felt more like September.
The streamflows have held up well throughout the summer and the trout have come through in good shape. Fall angling, with its cooler temperatures and beautiful colors, promises to be excellent.
One spot I would like to point anglers to is Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. This little lake received a stocking Sept. 4 of 120 big rainbow trout that averaged 18.7 inches in size. There were likely a few real lunkers exceeding 20 inches in size in this bunch of big stockers. It also received a stocking of 561 smaller rainbow trout.
The angling here is limited to anglers 14 years of age or younger, as well as those 65 years of age or older. An adult may fish if in direct supervision of younger anglers. This is a nice spot. The weather in Chama is dipping down into the 40’s at night, so the trout will be becoming more active as the water cools down. Keep an eye out for ospreys, which like to snatch trout from this lake.
Another good spot would be the Lagunitas Lakes. They received a stocking Sept. 3 of 1,599 catchable-size rainbow trout and 100 rainbow trout averaging 15.9 inches in size. It’s kind of a long drive over dirt roads to reach these lakes, but it’s a beautiful area. There’s good blue grouse hunting around the lakes. Bull elk will likely start to bugle soon if they haven’t already.
The Chama area is one of the most beautiful areas in the state when the aspens start to turn and the weather cools down. The Chama River above El Vado Lake has good angling and it was stocked Sept. 2 with 1,590 rainbow trout. The wild brown trout here should be getting more active as they prepare for their spawning season.
In the Chama River below El Vado Lake, the fishing has been good. The flow is a little high. It was stocked with Sept. 5 with 1,068 rainbow trout. Lots of wild brown trout here.
Nearby, the Canjilon Lakes were stocked Sept. 4 with 1,216 rainbow trout. There’s good grouse hunting near these lakes. The nearby Trout Lakes near Cebolla were stocked Sept.5 with 1,016 rainbow trout.
Hopewell Lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla has been fishing well and there are still a few big trout left from earlier stockings. This lake has wild brook trout and they should be more active as they get ready to spawn. Male brook trout are especially colorful as they develop bright, red bellies prior to spawning.
There is also good grouse hunting near here and plenty of elk. You should hear some bull elk bugling here soon.
The Rio de los Pinos north of Tres Piedras near the Colorado border is running low and clear. Brown trout should be becoming more active now. The fly fishing in the “Green Chile Water” section has been very good this year.
Last week I said to keep an eye on the Rio Grande and it looks like that was good advice. The streamflow is coming down and the water clarity is improving. The fishing in the Rio Grande Gorge section has been fair-to-good using spinners. There are plenty of wild brown trout here and some rainbow trout. There are even a few northern pike. You might even hook a Rio Grande cutthroat trout, as they have been heavily-stocked in recent years.
Abiquiu Lake is still low and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for launching boats.The fishing has been fair-to-good for walleye and smallmouth bass. It has been fair for catfish. There are some big trout in Abiquiu and they may start biting as the water cools down.
The water level is low at Abiquiu and a four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the launching of boats. Swimming is still prohibited due to the presence of blue-green algae. Do not let your pets drink water from the lake.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 371 cubic-feet-per-second. That’ okay for fishing, but the water is still very murky. There are some very big trout here. Later this fall and during the winter the water clarity gets better and that’s a good time to fish here.
Over in the Jemez Mountains area, the Seven Springs Brood Pond has been producing big fish for little kids all summer long. The fishing here is for kids younger than 12 years of age. Lots of big rainbow trout are stocked here along with hundreds of catchable-size rainbow trout. There are also some big, wild brown trout. It was stocked Sept. 4 with 451 rainbow trout.
Fenton Lake is fishing well and is heavily-stocked. There are some big, stocked rainbow trout from earlier stockings. There are also some big, wild brown trout that should become more active in the fall. It was stocked Sept. 4 with 2,200 rainbow trout.
The streams in the Jemez Mountains are running low and clear. Nearly all these streams hold wild brown trout. Some of them are surprisingly big for such small streams. This is a good time of the year to hook one. Use a stealthy approach and concentrate on undercut banks.
These streams are also stocked with rainbow trout. The Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake was stocked Sept.4 with 399 rainbow trout.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is still too warm and has not been recently stocked. The fishing here will likely get better when the water cools down.
The flow in the Rio Pueblo near Penasco is low. The fishing has been fair.
The Red River/Questa area continues to receive heavy stockings of trout from the Red River Fish Hatchery.The Red River above Questa was stocked Sept. 4 with 699 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.3 inches in size. The Red River below Questa was stocked with 701 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 200 rainbow trout aveaging 16.3 inches in size. The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked Sept. 4 with 399 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.3 inches in size. The fishing at the Hatchery Pond is for kids 14 years-of-age or younger and for adults 65 years-of-age or older.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was not stocked last week. There should be plenty of trout here from earlier stockings and it will likely have more stockings. The fishing has been good.
Still no reports from the Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal. It’s a long drive over dirt roads to reach these ponds. It’s a beautiful area and home to a large herd of elk. They are well-stocked with good-sized rainbow trout.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good for perch and fair for northern pike.
The Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. From Tolby Campground to the first bridge over the river onus Highway 64 is limited to fishing with flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground will likely be stocked this week and some of these fish will be good-sized.
Not a lot of reports from lakes in Northeast New Mexico. The fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge should get better for holdover rainbow trout as the weather cools down. Stubblefield Lake has fishing for largemouth bass, walleye and catfish.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been good all summer and is well-stocked. This is a good area to spot some wild turkeys and mule deer.Although not stocked last week, it will likely be stocked again soon.
Not many reports recently from the Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer. They should be worth a try when the weather cools down.
The flow in the Pecos River has stayed good all summer. Last year there were fish kills here due to low, warm water. This year the trout have had much better conditions and the fishing has been good. The Pecos River between the towns of Pecos and Cowles was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,999 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos has been fair-to-good for trout. It was stocked Sept. 5 with 999 rainbow trout.
The Cowles Ponds have been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 1,220 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Water using a variety of fly patterns. There has been some dry-fly action. The Bait Water has had few reports. It is likely at least fair-to-good and should be stocked soon. There are some really big, wild brown trout here in addition to the stocked rainbow trout.
The kokanee salmon fishing at Navajo Lake continues to be good for anglers trolling spinners tipped with corn in water 45-to-75 feet deep. This bodes well for the upcoming snagging season, which begins Oct. 1 at Navajo Lake. The fishing for catfish has been good and the fishing for northern pike has been fair-to-good.
The fishing at Cochiti Lake has been slow-to-fair for catfish, perch and smallmouth bass.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been fair-to-good for stocked catfish. It is still too warm for the stocking of rainbow trout here at Tingley Beach, but that should resume soon this fall.
The fishing for white bass has been very good at Elephant Butte Lake. Jigging with Kastmasters and slab spoons seems to be the preferred technique. Catfishing has been good. Bass fishing has been a little slow.
Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso has been receiving some heavy stockings of rainbow trout and the fishing has been good from kayaks.
Lake Roberts near Silver City has been good for catfish. The trout fishing should pick up as the water cools down. You might hook a Gila trout here.