Fishing Report April 23
By George Morse
Although the weather was cool and wet Tuesday, most of the preceding week was warm and dry. The spring runoff has started to pick up and the streamflows throughout Northern New Mexico have significantly increased. Rivers and streams are running high and will continue to rise well into May.
Fishing streams and rivers during this time can be difficult due to the strong flows and murky conditions, but some big trout can be caught at this time.
This is a great time to fish the larger lakes from the bank, as the trout and other species will be cruising the shallows looking for food.
Brazos Falls is reported to be running now and with the heavy runoff it should be spectacular this year. Look for it springing out of the Brazos Cliffs near Tierra Amarilla.
The bank fishing at Abiquiu Lake picked up last week and anglers are catching walleye, brown trout and smallmouth bass on worms and minnows. Try fishing with a bobber to avoid the many snags in Abiquiu. You might also try crank baits and lures like Rapalas. It is still difficult to launch boats at Abiquiu. Look for water levels to start rising here soon.
The streamflows in the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam and El Vado Dam have increased to over 1,000 cubic-feet-per-second and fishing will be slow at both locations due to the heavy flows. The Chama River below E Vado Dam was stocked April 15 with 620 rainbow trout.
The fishing at El Vado Lake has been good for perch, smallmouth bass, brown trout and carp. The smallmouth bass are mostly small.
Fishing from the bank at Heron Lake has been fair for rainbow trout. No reports on lake trout or kokanee salmon.
The upper Chama River above El Vado Lake is swelling with runoff. The flow at La Puente was a heavy 1,910 cubic-feet-per-second and above the town of Chama the flow was 356 cubic-feet-per-second. The upper Chama River was stocked April 15 with 1,240 rainbow trout.
Laguna del Campo, a small lake near Los Ojos, will open for fishing May 1. This is a popular spot with locals and is heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. There are some big fish in this little lake. Fishing is limited to anglers 14 years-old and under and to anglers 65 years-old and older. An adult may fish if in direct supervision of younger anglers.
The small lakes like Canjilon Lakes and Trout Lakes are likely still inaccessible due to snow and muddy roads.
In the Jemez Mountains, spring runoff is in full swing. The Jemez River is flowing at 339 cubic-feet-per-second and the fishing is slow. Good fishing has been reported in the East Fork of the Jemez River and in the Cebolla River near Fenton Lake. The Jemez River was stocked April 17 with 2,012 rainbow trout. The Cebolla River was stocked with 390 rainbow trout. The Rio de las Vacas was stocked with 998 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been good at Fenton Lake for rainbow trout. There are some big brown trout in Fenton Lake. If you’d like to try for a big brown, try worms or nightcrawlers. Browns are not the suckers for Power Bait and salmon eggs that rainbow trout are.
The fishing has been good at the Seven Springs Brood Pond, which is limited to anglers under 12 years of age. It was stocked April 17 with 374 rainbow trout.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo is full and flowing over the spillway. The fishing has been fair-to-good. There are some big brown trout here too.
The Rio Grande is starting to swell with runoff and is now flowing at 1,100 cubic-feet-per second at Taos Junction Bridge. The fishing has been fair. No word yet on the annual caddis hatch that normally begins in late April and May.
The tributaries to the Rio Grande that flow down from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains are swelling with runoff. The Red River is flowing at over 100 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good. The Fishing at the Red River Hatchery Pond has been good. The Red River below Questa was stocked April 19 with 699 rainbow trout. The Hatchery Pond was stocked April 19 with 400 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been very good at Eagle Rock Lake near Questa.
Eagle Nest Lake has been very good for rainbow trout with Power Bait. Surprisingly, they have been catching a few big northern pike while fishing for trout with Power Bait. The perch fishing has been slow.
They are not letting a lot of water out of Eagle Nest Lake, so the fishing in the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. Closer to the town of Cimarron, the flow is much heavier. No report yet or any stocking reports from the Gravel Pit Lakes.
No reports from Maxwell Lake 13, but the fishing should be good here.
The fishing has been good at Lake Alice and very good at Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton. Lake Maloya was stocked April 18 with 3,000 rainbow trout. Lake Alice was stocked with 499 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been fair-to-good at the Charette Lakes between Wagon Mound and Springer.
The fishing at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas has been good thanks to a heavy stocking April 15 of 3,037 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been good in the Gallinas River near Las Vegas.
The Pecos River is really swollen with runoff and was flowing at 427 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been fair and some big fish are being caught. The Pecos was stocked between Cowles and Pecos April 17 with 2,500 rainbow trout.
The fishing at Monastery Lake has been good. It was stocked April 17 with 250 rainbow trout.
No reports from the Cowles Ponds, but they should be worth a try. They were stocked April 17 with 200 rainbow trout.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 418 cubic-feet-per-second. The water is still murky but the fishing has been fair in the Quality Waters and Bait Waters. The Quality Waters were stocked twice last week with a total of 25,330 small rainbow trout. There are some enormous brown trout in the Quality Waters and they are likely having a feast on these recently-stocked fish.
The fishing has been fair at Navajo Lake for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The fishing for trout has been fair. The fishing for northern pike is slow.
The fishing has been fair at Jackson Lake and fair-to-good at Lake Farmington.
The fishing has been slow at Cochiti Lake. Some big largemouth bass and northern pike are being caught.
The fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been good for trout. Anglers are catching a few largemouth bass. It was stocked April 15 with 500 rainbow trout.
The Albuquerque area drainage canals are no longer being stocked with trout. There are a few catfish being caught. The fishing is slow.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been very good for crappie. White bass and a few walleye. The fishing has been fair-to-good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. The fishing for catfish has been good.
The fishing for crappie at Caballo Resrvoir right below Elephant Butte Lake has been very good. A few walleye are being caught. The fishing has been fair-to-good for catfish and fair for largemouth bass.
They are still not releasing any water into the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam.
The fishing has been fair-to-good for trout and catfish at Lake Roberts near Silver City. The fishing has been slow-to-fair for largemouth bass.