Fishing Report July 16, 2019
By George Morse
The weather has entered what we like to call “monsoon season” here in the Southwest. Mornings may start out warm and clear. In the afternoon, thunderstorms develop over the mountains due to the heating of the air, which causes it to rise. Once it cools down enough, the moisture in the clouds starts to condense and fall as rain (even sometimes as hail). These storms generate a lot of energy with frequent lightning strikes. They tend to develop over the mountains, with storms at lower elevations being more scattered in nature.
Come prepared for these storms by packing some rain gear with you, particularly if you are fishing at higher elevations. Take cover if you see lightning or hear thunder. Remember, lightning can strike miles away from the actual storm and it doesn’t have to be raining where you are for lightning to strike.
The weather has turned hot at lower elevations. Lakes at lower elevations heat up. Trout in these lakes will seek deeper water and cooler water temperatures. The best fishing is early in the morning and in the late evening. Walleye fishing is often best early and late too. Catfishing on summer nights can be very good.
Streamflows throughout Norther New Mexico continue to drop and are at good levels for fishing. The one exception is still the Rio Grande, where the flows remain high and the water murky. The fishing is slow on the Rio. The streamflow Tuesday was 2,160 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge.
Although water levels at Abiquiu Lake remain low and the water still murky, the fishing for walleye and catfish is picking up. Nightcrawlers are a good bait for both species. Tube jigs and curly tail jigs will also catch walleye and maybe a few smallmouth bass. The fishing for bluegill has been good with worms. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for the launching of boats.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is flowing at 391 cubic-feet-per-second. The water is still very murky and the fishing slow. It needs to clear up a bit.
The fishing in the Chama River below El Vado Dam has been good and some large brown trout are being caught, as well as stocked rainbow trout. The streamflow was 314 cubic-feet-per-second.
The fishing for bass was good near the dam at El Vado Lake. The trout fishing has been fair at the north end of the lake where the Chama River flows into the lake.
The fishing has been slow at Heron Lake.
The streamflow in the upper Chama River at La Puente was 338 cubic-feet-per-second. This is a good level for fishing. The water is clear and the fishing has been good.
There have been no reports recently on the fishing at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. This lake is likely warming up and the best fishing will be early and late. This lake closes at sunset.
The fishing at the Canjilon Lakes has been fair-to-good. Some nice trout are still being caught thanks to recent stockings of big rainbow trout.
No reports on the Trout Lakes near Cebolla. They have been stocked but the fishing has been slow.
The fishing at Hopewell Lake between Tierra Amarilla and Tres Piedras has been good and some big trout are being hooked thanks to recent stockings of good-sized rainbow trout. This lake also has wild brook trout.
The fishing has been good in the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. The streamflow here is dropping and it has been heavily-stocked with rainbow trout. There are wild brown trout here and brook trout in the headwaters, which are in Colorado.
Over in the Jemez Mountains, the fishing in the small streams like the Jemez River, East Fork of the Jemez River, Rio Cebolla, Rio San Antonio, Rio Guadelupe and Rio de las Vacas has been good and streamflows are low. The dry-fly fishing has been good. These streams have stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout.
Fenton Lake has been slow, possibly due to an algae bloom on this lake. It tends to get weedy at Fenton as the summer progresses.
There are lots of big trout swimming in the Seven Springs Brood Pond near Seven Springs Fish Hatchery north of Fenton Lake. It was stocked July 11 with 205 rainbow trout averaging 18.2 inches in length. The fishing here is for kids under 12 years-old and it has been good. There are also some big brown trout here.
The fishing has been good at San Gregorio Lake thanks to a recent stocking of rainbow trout.
The fishing has been fair at Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo. This lower-elevation lake tends to warm up during the summer and the trout retreat into deeper water.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco has been good for wild brown trout and it is well-stocked with rainbow trout. The water level and clarity are in good condition for fly fishing. It was stocked July 11 with 1,200 rainbow trout. In that area, the Sipapu Pond was stocked with 66 rainbow trout.
The Red River below the town of Questa was stocked July 9 with 699 rainbow trout and the fishing has been good. The Red River above Questa was stocked with 2,699 rainbow trout. The East Fork and the West Fork of the Red River were each stocked with 299 rainbow trout. The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked with 400 rainbow trout.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa has been fair-to-good for stocked trout.
The Shuree Ponds on the Valle Vidal were stocked July 8 with 500 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in length. No reports on the fishing. These ponds are restricted to angling with flies and lures with a single, barbless hook.
Eagle Nest Lake has been good for rainbow trout. The perch fishing has been good using flies early in the morning and in the evening. The fishing for northern pike and kokanee salmon has been slow.
The fishing in the Cimarron River in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good. The first 1.4 miles below Tolby Campground are catch-and-release using flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. Below the bridge on US Highway 64, any angling method can be used and the limit is five trout-per-day.
The fishing in the Gravel Pit Lakes near Maverick Campground has been good for stocked trout.
The fishing was fair for trout at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Recently, there was a picture of a beautiful mule deer buck in velvet on the Refuge. This area gets lots of thunderstorms. There were no reports from Stubblefield Lake in the same area. It should be worth a try for largemouth bass, walleye and catfish.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton has been good for trout. It was stocked July 10 with 3,000 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 400 rainbow trout averaging 15.8 inches in length. There were no reports from Lake Alice.
The fishing has been slow for walleye and trout at Clayton Lake. The boat ramp is closed.
There were no reports from Coyote Creek at Guadalupita State Park near Mora. It should be good as it was stocked July 11 with 1400 rainbow trout.
The fishing has been slow at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas. The trout fishing is usually slow here in the summer. The better fishing is at night for catfish.
The Gallinas River near Las Vegas was stocked July 10 with 999 rainbow trout. The Gallinas Ice Pond was stocked June 13 with 201 rainbow trout. There were no reports on the fishing, but it should be pretty good.
The streamflow in the Pecos River was 99.4 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good for brown and rainbow trout. Between the towns of Pecos and Cowles, the Pecos River was stocked twice last week with a total of 2,999 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked July 12 with 900 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 95 rainnbow trout averaging 15.3 inches in size.
No reports from the Cowles Ponds, where the fishing is almost totally dependent on recently-stocked trout.
The fishing has been good at Conchas Lake on the Canadian River. It has been very good for bluegill. It has been good for crappie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and white bass. The fishing has been fair-to-good for walleye and fair for catfish.
The fishing at Santa Rosa Lake was fair-to-good for bass, walleye and crappie. Night fishing for catfish was good. The lake level has dropped, but should stabilize soon as heavy releases into the Pecos River are no longer taking place. The fishing should be good for catfish in the river below the dam.
The fishing has been fair-to-good at Sumner Lake for bass and walleye.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 1,070 cubic-feet=per-second. The water in the Quality Waters is clear above the Texas Hole and murky below the Texas Hole. The fishing is fair with small fly patterns above the Texas Hole and fair with larger fly patterns below the Texas Hole. The fishing is fair-to-good in the Bait Water.
The kokanee salmon fishing at Navajo Lake is the best in the state. Anglers have been catching limits trolling spinners tipped with corn at 20 to 40 feet. The fishing has been fair-to-good for bass and northern pike. It has been slow for crappie.
No reports from Jackson Lake or Lake Farmington.
The fishing has been slow-to-fair at Cochiti Lake for bass and catfish.
The fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been fair for bluegill and slow-to-fair for catfish.
The fishing was good for white bass at Elephant Butte Lake. The fishing has been slow-to-fair for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie. The fishing for catfish has been good.
The fishing in the Rio Grande below Elephant Butte has been fair for walleye.
Caballo Lake below Elephant Butte has been good for white bass, walleye and catfish.
Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso has been fair for trout. It was stocked twice last week with a total of 3,001 rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair for perch.
The fishing has been slow at Lake Roberts. The water is likely getting a little warm for trout. The best fishing might be at night for catfish.