Weekly Fishing Report

by Staff Reporter / Dec 15, 2017 / comments

Weekly Fishing Report

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

With the cold evening and early morning temperatures in Northeast New Mexico and the Moreno Valley, lakes in this part of the state have seen ice form along the edges. Temperatures have been dropping into the teens and single digits here.

Eagle Nest Lake has seen this happening. Some of the ice melts off during the day and there is some bank fishing for rainbow trout. It won’t be long before the bank fishing is done as more ice forms. Once that happens, the lake will close down until it is determined that the ice is thick enough to safely walk out on. Then the ice-fishing season will start. There are some anglers that actually prefer to fish Eagle Nest through the ice. Before making a trip to Eagle Nest, be sure to check on the fishing conditions. Call (575)-377-1594 for conditions.

Lake Alice in Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is a small lake that has completely iced over and is closed to fishing right now. Lake Maloya, a larger lake above Lake Alice and also in Sugarite Canyon, is still ice free and the fishing has been good. Ice may start to form here soon too. Call (575) 445-5607 for conditions.

At Storrie Lake State Park near Las Vegas, ice has been forming on part of the lake. There is still water open for bank fishing, which has been fair for rainbow trout.Call (505) 425-7278 for conditions.

Heron Lake State Park near Tierra Amarilla is ice-free and the fishing has been good for rainbow trout. The fish they are catching at Heron are holdover fish from earlier stockings and they are good-sized. I still expect anglers to catch some lake trout from the bank at Heron this time of year. Heron Lake looks like the best spot for bank fishing here in Northern New Mexico. Call (575) 588-7470 for conditions.

The Chama River above El Vado Lake is likely starting to get too cold for good fishing. Below El Vado Dam, the flow on the Chama is still running higher than normal, but the fishing has been good here. This is normally one of the better destinations for stream fishing during the winter.

The fishing at Abiquiu Lake slowed down last week. It had picked up recently after a stocking of small rainbow trout, but those trout has likely dispersed now. Trout fishing is probably your best bet at Abiquiu now. The fishing for smallmouth bass and walleye is just about done now and won’t pick up until the water starts to warm up again in the spring.

The streamflow below Abiquiu Dam still remains much heavier than normal (932 cubic-feet-per second), making fishing here difficult at best. Like I’ve been saying, regularly check the streamflow below Abiquiu Dam on the United States Geological Survey (USGS) streamflow website. Once they lower the streamflow below Abiquiu Dam, the fishing will get better at this location. Because the fishing conditions here have remained difficult for a long time, there has been very little fishing pressure here. I expect some big brown trout and holdover rainbow trout to be caught here when fishing conditions get better.

I did get a report of someone catching four nice-sized trout below Abiquiu. The best spot to fish is probably the area where there are a number of shelters and picnic tables that have been installed near a bend in the river. The hatchery truck can drive right down to the river here and this is where most of the stocking of rainbow trout takes place. The State Game and Fish Department stocked 504 rainbow trout averaging over 12 inches Nov. 15 and 514 rainbow trout were stocked Dec. 5 averaging 10 inches. There is a big pool here where most of these stocked trout will stay.

The streamflow in the Rio Grande dropped noticeably last week and fishing conditions improved. The Pilar area is normally a good spot to try during the winter, in part because this is where most of the stocking of rainbow trout takes place. The fishing in the Orilla Verde Recreation Area can also be good too. The Red River below the Red River Fish Hatchery can be good this time of year.

The Pecos River is running low and clear. The fishing has been fair. Because of the cold water, fly fisherman should try slowly drifting nymphs through the deep holes. Monastery Lake near Pecos has been good and is ice-free. It was recently stocked with 250 rainbow trout from the nearby Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery.

The flows on the San Juan River below Navajo Dam are low at 391 cubic-feet-per-second, making for good fly-fishing conditions in the Quality Waters below the Dam. Further downstream, the fishing in the Bait Waters has been fair.

The fishing may be over for the winter at Fenton Lake, which iced over last week. Ice fishing is normally not allowed at Fenton because warm springs beneath the lake can create dangerously thin ice in areas of the lake. Check with the state park office (575) 829-3630 for conditions.