Weekly Fishing Report

by Staff Reporter / Dec 10, 2017 / comments

Weekly Fishing Report

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

The trout fishing at Abiquiu Lake is picking up finally as the water cools down. One good thing about catching trout at Abiquiu is that most of them are either wild or were stocked as fingerlings and have grown to catchable size in a natural environment. This helps give their meat that nice orange color and makes their flesh firm.

The other side of the colder water temperatures is that the fishing for walleye and bass at Abiquiu will slow down. You might still pick up a few walleye and bass now, but the best fishing this time of year at Abiquiu is for trout.

They are still releasing a heavy flow of water into the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam. It’s pretty obvious that the water managers in the state are trying to store as much water as they can farther downstream in Elephant Butte Lake. That water will be used to irrigate next year’s crop of Hatch green chile.

Still, keep an eye on the streamflow below Abiquiu Lake in the Chama. When they finally cut back the streamflow below Abiquiu Dam, the fishing will get better. There are some very big trout in the Chama River below Abiquiu and I expect some lunkers will be caught here when the fishing conditions improve.

The fishing in the Chama River below El Vado Dam remains good for brown and rainbow trout. Above El Vado Lake, the fishing has been good in the Chama.

The bank fishing for rainbow trout remains good at Heron Lake. I still think that they should start catching a few lake trout from the bank at Heron.

Close to Los Alamos, the fishing at Fenton Lake has been fair to good for brown and rainbow trout. If you’d like to try for one of those wild brown trout, some of which grow very big at Fenton, try worms or artificial lures. Brown trout do not seem as fond of Power Bait or salmon eggs that the more gullible hatchery-raised rainbow trout are.

The Rio Grande is flowing above normal for this time of year. Fly fishermen like to toss big streamer patterns and try to catch northern pike in the Rio Grande this time of year. Pike are predatory fish that like to wait in ambush for their prey to swim by. They prefer slower water than trout. The area around Pilar and the Orilla Verde Recreation Area are good spots to try for them.

The trout fishing in the Rio Grande is fair this time of year too. Fly fishermen should try drifting nymphs or San Juan worms.

The fishing for rainbow trout at Eagle Nest Lake has been good with Power Bait and spinners. Some of these trout have been good-sized (over 20 inches). It’s hard to say when Eagle Nest will begin to freeze over, but temperatures in the Moreno Valley have been dipping into the teens and single digits. Until it starts to freeze, Eagle Nest Lake should be a good destination for bank fishing. Once it freezes, you’ll have to wait for the ice to get thick enough for safe fishing. Eagle Nest is probably the best ice-fishing destination in New Mexico when conditions are right.

Lake Maloya near Raton has been fair-to-good for trout. Lake Maloya doesn’t freeze over like it used to and like the rest of the state, Raton has been getting warmer-than-average temperatures.

The Pecos River is running low and clear. The fishing has been fair for trout and fly fisherman should try drifting nymphs. Monastery Lake near Pecos is still fishing very well.

The fishing in the San Juan River below Navajo Dam in the Four Corners area has been good and the streamflow here is below normal, making for excellent fly-fishing conditions. The Quality Waters are catch-and-release only and anglers are limited to the use of artificial flies and lures with a single, barbless hook. There have been reports of hatches of blue-winged olives (a species of mayfly), so there might even be some dry-fly action. If you’d like to keep some fish, the Bait Waters further downstream should be good and you can use whatever means you wish here. There will be several closures of day-use areas this winter along the San Juan due to enhancement projects along the river.