The weather has been hotter than normal for late August and early September. I would bet that right now that’s making it tough for elk and deer hunters during the early archery season.
This time of year I like to cruise the Forest Service roads looking for blue grouse, which are excellent eating. I’ll get out and walk spots where I have bagged grouse in previous seasons. If I happen to come across a tassel-eared squirrel or a cottontail rabbit, I’ll also try to harvest them. I might spot some band-tailed pigeons, but I need to remember to print the free permit off the web I’ll need should I harvest one.
This is a great time to be outdoors, as the weather will hopefully be cooler. Near the end of September the aspen leaves should be turning golden and the mountains ablaze with color. If you are a hunter, be it for big game or small, fall is the time of year you most look forward to.
It’s also a good time to be fishing. As the water temperature cools down, the trout will be more active. Brown trout and brook trout spawn this time of year and their colors will deepen, especially on the males. Streams are running low and clear, making for excellent fly fishing.
Keep an eye on the Rio Grande, as the streamflow is really coming down now. The water is getting clearer. For most of the summer, fishing conditions on the Rio Grande were less than ideal and the fishing pressure light. There should be a lot of holdover rainbow trout and wild brown trout willing to bite. If you hike into the Rio Grande Gorge around Arsenic Springs, you might hook a Rio Grande cutthroat trout. They have been heavily-stocked here in recent years.
Lately, I have noticed a lot of fishing holes sending in no reports. It seems like fishermen are avoiding these spots. One spot that should be worth a try are the Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal. They have been heavily-stocked with good-sized fish. The Valle Vidal is a beautiful spot, but a long drive to reach. Maybe that’s what is keeping anglers from going there, as it is best done as an overnight trip.
The Jemez Mountains area holds some of the most beautiful fall scenery and they are a good fishing destination
Fenton Lake has been fishing well lately and several big trout were caught last week. It was stocked Aug. 30 with 374 rainbow trout.
The streams in the Jemez area are running low and clear. The conditions for fly fishing are good, but use a stealthy, upstream approach to avoid spooking the fish. The Rio Cebolla near Fenton Lake was stocked Aug. 30 with 399 rainbow trout. The headwaters of the Rio San Antonio in the Valles Caldera National Preserve is loaded with wild brown trout and the fishing has been good. This is meadow fishing and hopper fly patterns are effective.
San Gregorio Lake has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout.
The water level at Abiquiu Lake is still low and a four-wheel drive vehicle is needed for launching boats. The fishing has been fair for walleye.
The streamflow in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam was 545 cubic-feet-per-second. At least one fly fisherman reports good fishing with small, yellow-colored flies. The water here is still very murky.
The streamflow in the Chama River below El Vado Dam was 605 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
Heron Lake and El Vado Lake report slow fishing.
The Upper Chama River is running low and clear. The fishing has been good around the town of Chama. They are releasing water from Heron Lake into the Rio Chama, so from Heron Dam outlet to El Vado Lake the Chama River is running much heavier and is a milky green.
A big trout was caught last week at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. The fishing was reported as fair-to-good.
The Canjilon Lakes continue to be heavily-stocked and the fishing has been fair-to-good. They were stocked Aug. 26 with 2,060 rainbow trout.
Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout.
The fishing has been fair-to-good in the Rio de los Pinos north of Tres Piedras near the Colorado border. It was stocked Aug. 27 with 1,803 rainbow trout.
The water is still too warm at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo. Fishing should pick up when the water cools down.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco has been running low and clear. It was stocked Aug. 26 with 1,199 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair.
In that area, the Sipapu Pond was stocked Aug. 26 with 66 rainbow trout.
The waters in the Red River/Questa area continue to be well-stocked. Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was stocked Aug. 29 with 501 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 216 rainbow trout averaging 16.6 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The Red River Hatchery Pond at the Red River Fish Hatchery south of Questa was stocked Aug. 26 with 406 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 106 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in size.
The Red River above Questa was stocked Aug. 29 with 2,901 rainbow trout. The East Fork of the Red River and the West Fork of the Red River were each stocked Aug. 29 with 300 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
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 trout. It was stocked Aug. 28 with 2,425 rainbow trout. The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were stocked with 355 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 15.4 inches in size.
The fishing has been good at Lake Maloya in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton.
Coyote Creek at Guadalupita State Park near Mora was stocked Aug. 26 with 1,400 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
Storrie Reservoir near Las Vegas was stocked Aug. 28 with 3,035 rainbow trout. The fishing should pick up here. The Gallinas River near Las Vegas was stocked Aug. 27 with 999 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked with 201 rainbow trout.
The streamflow in the Pecos River was 41.8 cubic-feet-per-second. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,999 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked Aug. 28 with 900 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 191 rainbow trout averaging 15.7 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam is a heavy 1,704 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Water with a variety of fly patterns despite the heavy flow. Be careful while wading in the San Juan. No report on the fishing in the Bait Water, but it should be at least fair.
The trolling for kokanee salmon at Navajo Lake continues to be good, boding well for the upcoming salmon-snagging season. Anglers have been trolling spinners tipped with corn at 45-to-75 feet deep. The fishing has been fair-to-good for northern pike in the Pine River arm of the lake.
Cochiti Lake has been fair-to-good for catfish.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque was stocked Aug. 29 with a total of 561 channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size. The fishing has been fair-to-good.
The State Game and Fish Department stocked channel catfish averaging 18 inches in size in municipal ponds throughout Southern New Mexico last week. Fishing is usually good following these stockings.
The fishing for white bass at Elephant Butte Lake has been very good. Catfishing has been good. With the hot temperatures in the high 90’s to near or over 100-degrees, nighttime fishing for catfish is often the best fishing with cooler temperatures than during the heat of the day.