By George Morse
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Thanks to some vigorous stocking by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, there are two areas in Northern New Mexico that look like they’ll be hotspots this week.
The first is the Canjilon Lakes. There are plenty of good-sized trout swimming around here. The Department stocked 1,061 rainbow trout Aug. 7 that averaged 13.4 inches in size. A day later Aug. 8, the department stocked 230 rainbow trout averaging 18 inches in size. At 10,000 feet in elevation, this area offers a cool escape from the heat and nice camping spots. These lakes are sm all and shallow. Flies and the traditional trout baits like salmon eggs, Power Bait and worms should be effective.
The other area centers around the Red River. The Department stocked several lakes and streams in this area. The area also offers cooler temperatures and plenty of camping spots. The town of Red River has plenty of restaurants and motels.
The Red River below the Red River Fish Hatchery was flowing at 85.3 cubic-feet-per-second Tuesday, which is above average for this time of year. The fishing has been good in the river, which is kept well-stocked with rainbow trout. There are also wild brown trout here. Below the town of Questa, the river was stocked Aug. 6 with 700 rainbow trout.
Above the town of Questa the river was stocked twice with a total of 3,159 rainbow trout.
In addition, the Hatchery Pond at the Fish Hatchery was stocked Aug. 6 with 400 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 80 rainbow trout averaging 15.7 inches in size. The Red River City Ponds were stocked Aug. 5 with 316 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 68 rainbow trout averaging 16.5 inches in size. There are also high mountain lakes like Goose Lake and Middle Fork Lake for the adventurous angler.
Finally, Eagle Rock Lake near Questa was stocked Aug. 6 with 816 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 53 rainbow trout averaging 15.7 inches in size. Nearby Cabresto Lake is not stocked but has wild brook trout and some cutthroat trout.
In other areas of the state, the fishing remains pretty good. The upper Chama River above El Vado Lake is flowing above average. It was stocked Aug. 8 with 1,064 rainbow trout. There is a public fishing area just below the town of Chama. Other good spots are below Heron Dam and in the Rio Chama Wildlife Area. Below El Vado Lake, the streamflow Tuesday was 266 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good here and it was stocked Aug. 7 with 1,072 rainbow trout.
The fishing is slow right now in Heron Lake and El Vado Lake. Below Abiquiu Dam, the flow in the Chama River Tuesday was 242 cubic-feet-per-second. This area was stocked Aug. 7 with 1,072 rainbow trout, but the water here remains very murky. The fishing is slow.
The fishing at Hopewell Lake has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brook trout.
The fly-fishing on the Rio de los Pinos near the Colorado border north of Tres Piedras has been good.
The streamflow in the Rio Grande actually rose last week thanks to recent rains and was 1,530 cubic-feet-per-second at Taos Junction Bridge. The best bet here seems to be using spinners to catch brown trout and northern pike. The vibration of the spinner blade attracts some strikes despite the murky condition of the water.
The fishing is kind of slow in the Jemez Mountains area. The recent rains have muddied the lower areas of the streams. The upper areas are fishing better, but insect repellant is recommended due to lots of horse flies. There were no reports from Fenton Lake and weed growth here is probably discouraging anglers from fishing. Fishing is still fair at the Seven Springs Brood Pond for anglers under 12 years-old. Weed growth is getting heavy here too. The best fishing appears to be at San Gregorio Lake, where the fishing has been fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout.
There were no reports from Santa Cruz Lake near Chimayo. The trout here have likely retreated to deeper water and it has not been stocked for about a month.
The Rio Pueblo near Penasco is flowing well, although a little below normal. The fishing has been fair-to-good.
Eagle Nest Lake has been fair-to-good for perch with worms. The fishing for rainbow trout has been fair. It was stocked Aug. 6 with 9,805 small rainbow trout. Anglers might try lures resembling rainbow trout to entice a strike from a northern pike. Weed growth is getting heavy here and anglers need to look for pockets of open water.
The Cimarron River below Eagle Nest Dam in Cimarron Canyon State Park is running a little low at 9.6 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing is still fair-to-good for stocked rainbow trout and wild brown trout. The Gravel Pit Lakes at Maverick Campground were not stocked last week, but there are likely some trout still remaining from earlier stockings.
The fishing picked up at Stubblefield Lake and some nice largemouth bass, walleye and catfish were caught last week.
The trout fishing at Maxwell Lake 13 on the Maxwell Lakes National Wildlife Refuge has been fair-to-good using flies. The fishing at this lake is holding up well this summer.
Lake Maloya at Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton is still fair-to-good for trout. There were no reports from Lake Alice.
The fishing at Clayton Lake has been slow and the boat ramp is closed.
There were few reports from other lakes in Northeast New Mexico. Fishing is likely kind of slow due to warm water.
The streamflow in the Pecos River is really holding up well this summer and on Tuesday was 75.1 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good and some nice fish, both brown trout and rainbow trout, are being caught. The Pecos River between the towns of Pecos and Cowles was stocked last week with a total of 2,998 rainbow trout.
There were no reports from either the Cowles Ponds or from Monastery Lake. They were both recently stocked and the fishing should be at least fair if not good. Monastery Lake was stocked Aug.8 with 901 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 95 rainbow trout averaging 16.1 inches in size. The Cowles Ponds were stocked with 179 catchable-size rainbow trout and with 20 rainbow trout averaging 16.1 inches in size.
Over in the Four Corners, the streamflow in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam was 1,060 cubic-feet-per-second. The fishing has been good in the Quality Water with a variety of small fly patterns. No reports on the Bait Waters fishing, but it should be fair-to-good.
The fishing for kokanee salmon at Navajo Lake has been holding up well this summer. It has been good trolling spinners tipped with corn at 40-to-50 feet deep. The fishing for bluegill has been good. The fishing for bass and northern pike has been slow.
The fishing at Cochiti Lake has been fair for catfish.
Tingley Beach in Albuquerque has been fair for catfish. The fishing has reportedly been fair-to-good for bass and bluegill in the Albuquerque area drainage canals.
Elephant Butte Lake has been good for white bass and catfish. The fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass has been slow. The Rio Grande below Elephant Butte Lake has been fair for catfish. The fishing for white bass has been good at Caballo Lake and the fishing has been fair for walleye.
Grindstone Reservoir near Ruidoso was stocked twice last week with a total of 3,000 rainbow trout. However, the fishing was described as just slow-to-fair for catfish.
The fishing at Lake Roberts near Silver City has been fair-to-good for catfish and fair for largemouth bass. Lake Roberts is a trophy-bass water and the limit is two-bass-per-day 18 inches or longer in size. Nearby Bill Evans Lake is also a trophy bass water. The fishing here is described as slow but a 12-pound bass was caught and released last week.