By George Morse
This year is turning out to be one for the record books. Streamflows remain very high and are not likely to come down very much for some time. On the Rio Grande in Colorado, streamflows are so heavy that Mineral County and Rio Grande County in Southern Colorado have closed the Rio Grande to ALL water sports due to the dangerous conditions.
All that water is headed downstream to New Mexico. It would not be surprising if heavy streamflows continue into July this year. Another river with its origin in Colorado is the Animas River in Aztec. It was measured at an astonishing 6,850 cubic-feet-per-second and is causing some flooding in Aztec.
In addition, the weather has stayed very cool. A recent trip to Platoro at the headwaters of the Conejos River in Colorado over the weekend found Platoro Reservoir still almost totally ice-covered with very little open water to fish. This is the latest that I can remember that happening. Many high mountain lakes are still locked under a cover of ice and snow in Colorado.
With streamflows running high even in the smaller tributaries of the Rio Grande, it’s better to fish the edges closer to the bank as trout will be staying out of the stronger main current. The best fishing seems to still be in the smaller lakes and ponds, which have been heavily-stocked. Several small lakes were stocked with good-sized rainbow trout last week.
I usually don’t single out one destination to fish, but anglers should try to take a trip to the Canjilon Lakes this week. They were stocked several times last week. A total of two stockings of rainbow trout totaling 2,835 catchable-size (10-inch) fish were made. In addition, they were stocked June 6 with 350 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. These little lakes are stiff with trout right now.
The fishing at Abiquiu Lake is still just slow-to-fair for crappie, smallmouth bass and walleye due to murky water conditions. Because they are not holding much water back in Abiquiu, a four-wheel drive vehicle is once again highly-recommended for launching boats.
The Chama River below Abiquiu Dam is still running strong at 1,780 cubic-feet-per-second and the fishing is slow. It was stocked June 4 with 1,017 rainbow trout.
The best fishing on the Chama River has been below El Vado Dam, where the flow Monday evening was 992 cubic-feet-per-second. Anglers have been catching brown and rainbow trout. It was stocked June 5 with 575 rainbow trout.
The fishing at El Vado Lake is slow for perch.
The fishing has been good at Heron Lake fishing from the bank for rainbow trout. The fishing has been fair trolling spinners tipped with corn for kokanee salmon.
The Chama River above El Vado Lake was stocked June 5 with 1,017 rainbow trout. Streamflows here are still heavy at 2,640 cubic-feet-per-second at La Puente and 1,160 cubic-feet-per-second above the town of Chama.
The fishing has been very good at Laguna del Campo near Los Ojos. The fishing here is for anglers 14-years of age or younger or 65 years of age or older. The limit is three fish. An adult supervising younger anglers may also fish.
The fishing has been good at Hopewell Lake for rainbow trout and brook trout. It was stocked June 4 with 2,049 catchable-size rainbow trout and stocked June 6 with 150 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size.
Still no reports from the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border. Judging by conditions on other nearby rivers, streamflow here is likely very heavy. The upper Rio de los Pinos at Cumbres Pass is flowing out of its banks and causing some flooding.
Over in the Jemez Mountains area, Fenton Lake remains a good spot to try. Anglers are catching brown and rainbow trout. It was stocked June 7 with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size.
The Jemez River was stocked June 6 with 1,001 rainbow trout. Streamflows are still heavy in the lower Jemez River and the fishing is slow. The upper Jemez River, the Cebolla River near Fenton Lake and the Rio San Antonio near La Cueva are better. The Cebolla River was stocked June 6 with 499 rainbow trout. The Rio San Antonio was stocked June 6 with 750 rainbow trout.
The Seven Springs Brood Pond at Seven Springs Fish Hatchery was stocked June 6 with 499 catchable-size rainbow trout and stocked June 7 with 200 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. The fishing has been very good. Fishing here is limited to anglers under 12 years of age.
Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo has been good from the bank and from boats for rainbow trout. There are some wild brown trout here.
As already mentioned, streamflows in the Rio Grande are very heavy and the fishing has been slow. It was stocked June 3 above Pilar with 250 rainbow trout. It was also stocked at Pilar with 1,599 rainbow trout.
The Rio Pueblo at Penasco is running high at 185 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good.
The Red River is also running high. The Red River above the town of Questa was stocked June 5 with 1,999 rainbow trout and stocked below the town of Questa June 4 with 701 rainbow trout. The fishing is slow because of the heavy streamflow.
The Red River Hatchery Pond was stocked June 4 with 399 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. The fishing here is for anglers 14 years of age and younger and 65 years of age and older. It has been very good.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa has been very good for stocked rainbow trout.
Eagle Nest Lake has been fishing very well for fly fisherman. They have been catching rainbow trout and perch using sinking-tip lines with leech and chironomid fly patterns. Fly fishermen have also been catching some big northern pike using streamers. Nick Streit of the famous Streit fly-fishing family of Taos caught two 44-inch northern pike last week. Be sure to use steel leaders when fishing for these toothy critters. Remember, all northern pike caught have to be kept and not released back into the lake.
Other anglers have also had good fishing for rainbow trout at Eagle Nest using lures and bait. It was stocked June 7 with 129,998 small (3-inch) rainbow trout that will hopefully grow quickly to a catchable-size.
The Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam in Cimarron Canyon State Park has been good for rainbow trout and has some wild brown trout. It was stocked June 6 with 2,426 rainbow trout.
The Cimarron Gravel Pit Lakes were stocked June 6 with 355 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 45 rainbow trout averaging 16.8 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The fishing at Stubblefield Lake has been fair for walleye and largemouth bass. There were no reports from Maxwell Lake 13. The trout fishing here may be slowing down as the water warms up.
The fishing has been good at Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State park near Raton. The Friends of Sugarite Canyon have purchased and stocked several hundred pounds of big trout this week.
Clayton Lake was stocked June 3 with 4,000 rainbow trout. The fishing has been good for trout with some largemouth bass and catfish also being caught.
There were no reports from the Charette Lakes
The fishing in Coyote Creek at Guadalupita State Park near Mora was good.
The fishing at Storrie Lake near Las Vegas was good for trout and fair-to-good for catfish. A 36-inch catfish was caught last week.
The fishing in the Gallinas River near Las Vegas was good for trout.
The streamflow in the Pecos River is heavy at 613 cubic-feet-per-second. The Pecos River between the towns of Cowles and Pecos was stocked twice last week with a total of 1,500 rainbow trout.
Monastery Lake near Pecos was stocked June 7 with 900 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 95 rainbow trout averaging 14.3 inches in size. The fishing has been good.
The fishing has been good at the Cowles Ponds.
The fishing at Conchas Lake on the Canadian River has been good for largemouth and smallmouth bass. It has been fair-to-good for crappie, white bass and catfish. It has been fair for walleye.
The fishing at Santa Rosa Lake near Santa Rosa on the Pecos River has been fair for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and walleye.
The fishing at Sumner Lake on the Pecos River between Santa Rosa and Fort Sumner has been fair-to-good for catfish, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. It has been fair for white bass.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was scheduled to be increased to 5,000 cubic-feet-per-second, but is now at 3,950 cubic-feet-per-second as the heavier release is being re-evaluated. During these high flows some of the best fishing is found by hiring a guide and floating the river in a drift boat. The fishing has been good with a variety of fly patterns in the Quality Water. The Bait Waters were stocked June 3 with 1,060 rainbow trout.
Navajo Lake has been fair for crappie, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The fishing for northern pike has been slow-to-fair. The fishing for kokanee salmon was slow.
No reports from Jackson Lake and the fishing at Lake Farmington has been slow.
The fishing has been slow-to-fair at Cochiti Lake for catfish and carp. The fishing is slow for northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and white bass.
The fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been fair for stocked catfish.
The fishing at Elephant Butte Lake has been fair-to-good for white bass. The fishing was fair for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. The fishing for catfish was good.
The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Dam was flowing at 2,360 cubic-feet-per second. The fishing has been good for catfish and fair-to-good for white bass and walleye.
The fishing at Lake Roberts near Silver City has been good for rainbow trout and Gila trout. The fishing has been fair-to-good for largemouth bass. This is a trophy bass lake and the limit is two bass-per-day 14inches in length or longer.
The fishing at Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso has been good for trout and bluegill. The Annual Youth Fishing Day will be held Saturday. For more information, call (575) 257-5030.