by Van Beacham
Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado Finally Getting Rain!!
The high flows the last 2 weeks produced some great fishing and some nice fish but it was tough for some people. Well, now the flows are down and it’s much easier to wade and the dry fly fishing is better but the fish are a little spooky.
Low flows and warmer than usual temperatures have made fishing a little tough on some streams while others like the Rio Grande, Red River and the streams on Trinchera Ranch have been fantastic!
Valle Vidal and Rio Costilla Opened July 1st
Rio Costilla – Flows 19cfs, water temperature 59 to 66. Flows have been optimal but were lowered a couple of days ago. Dry fly fishing should be excellent until the fish get pounded for a few days then expect short, quick strikes. RG Cuts are averaging 8 to 10 inches, some larger fish this year for sure. Golden stones (small and large), pmds, ginger dunns, caddis and a variety of moths in abundance are hatching right now! Use any good imitation and get a good drift and you’ll catch some fish. The fishing pressure has been moderate lately but the fish will soon get picky so get out soon!
Trinchera Ranch is Perfect Right Now!
When it gets hot everywhere else this is the place to go. Right now through August is the time to be fishing the magnificent high country streams on Trinchera Ranch. Let one of our guides show you this stunning ranch with over 30 miles of excellent fly fishing on 3 streams, multiple creeks, ponds and high mountain glacier lakes on over 175,000 acres of pristine wild land and peaks that soar to over 14,000 feet. It’s all dry fly fishing here and although there are hatches, usually a good drift is all that is required. You’ve got to see this place to believe it!
Trinchera Creek – The Ranch recently did some incredible stream work on the lower Trinchera and the fishing has improved considerably! The upper Trinchera is my favorite place to fish for Rio Grande cuts and there are some up to 16 inches in there. We are just finishing up on a one mile section that we enhanced and cleared just enough to make it good and fishable while maintaining the integrity of the habitat. It has made previously unfishable water fishable for the first time ever, thus virgin waters. Come check it out!
Sangre de Cristo Creek – Fishing has been good for nice RG cuts (a couple here and there over 16 inches) and a few brookies using a variety of flies including Royal Wulffs, ginger dunns and terminators.
Ute Creek – Fishing has been good for 8 to 12 inch cutbows and rainbows (some to 18 inches) down low and excellent up high near the falls for brookies and some RG cuts. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth and the fish are spectacular!
Cimarron River / Holy Water
A beautiful “wild” Holy Water rainbow
Cimarron River – Flow – 12 cfs. Water temperature — 59 to 65 degrees. With the higher flows lately dry fly fishing has surprisingly good and nymph fishing has been great for those that know how to fish the higher water on the Cimarron River with almost non-stop action until the recent heat wave, although we are getting relief now. Now it’s slowing on the hatches just a little and mid day fishing has been a little tougher. Nevertheless fishing remains good most of the day with morning and evening being best. Fish have been crushing large dry flies as a variety of stone flies and moths have been hatching in abundance. When they’re feeding on a hatch, fish are everywhere with the larger fish at the heads of riffles and pools and on shelves and under any shade. PMD’s are still hatching but now there are strong hatches of caddis and ginger dunns in the evenings as well as midges in the beaver ponds.
While the entire river can be good, the best fishing is on our exclusive private stretch known as the “Holy Water”. In this ¾ mile stretch directly below Eagle Nest Dam, the water is richer and the fish are larger (due to less pressure and C&R only flyfishing by reservation). There are a ton of wild cutbows and rainbows that just started taking hold during the last drought and some are getting big along with the normal wild, colorful browns. Tricos are hatching in abundance every day on the Holy Water resulting in some good dry fly fishing for some large sippers. The trico’s are followed by pmd’s and then yellow Sally’s and it ends with an evening caddis hatch. Midges hatch morning and evening as well and should not be overlooked.
We also have a beautiful Hacienda and rustic cabins on the property available for overnight rentals. See our listing on VRBO for complete Hacienda prices, availability and inquiries.
Rio Grande Gorge and Lower Tributaries Not Too Bad
A nice cutbow.
Rio Grande – Flow at Cerro 70 cfs, below Taos Junction Bridge 210 cfs. The water is low and clear for the Rio up high. Recent rains are causing some turbidity recently. Fishing was stellar this year and continues to be good especially from the Taos Junction Bridge upstream to about Cerro. Early mornings and evenings are best with some good suceess using large caddis, moths, terminators and stimulators with a long dropper and a medium size bead head nymph.
Nymph fishing with double hackles, stone flies, crane flies and Miller caterpillars can be very productive when fish aren’t on the surface. Look for late evening and night time action using white and brown Millers. Skitter them on the surface in the riffles.
Don’t hesitate to call us for current conditions and up-to-date forecasts 1–866-502‑1700.
The Rio Grande is one of the most difficult rivers to understand, making a guide from the Solitary Angler invaluable.
or call 1–866-502‑1700
Lower Red River
Lower Red River – Flow — 68 cfs.
The lower Red as expected has been excellent this spring and summer and continues to fish well.
There are tons of cased caddis in the river still, indicating good caddis hatches yet to come, so look for it to continue for the next two weeks at least.
Sangre de Cristo Mountain Lakes and Streams
All the streams coming out of the Sangre de Cristos in New Mexico are lower than normal and have been good and continue to fish well using a variety of dry flies. Again the moths have been abundant on all streams so large bushy dry flies are still working well. Hopefully the thunderstorms will continue, keeping the forests open, water levels up, the water cool and the fishing good!
Culebra Creek – Optimal Flows!
A nice Culebra Rainbow
Culebra Creek – Water flow 32 cfs out of the reservoir, 52 cfs down low. Water temperature 62 to 70 degrees — With Sanchez Reservoir being so low the releases have been low and a lot of silt is being sucked out with the water making the water murky. Once the murky water joins the main Culebra at the top of section 2a it gets diluted and the water is a little clearer and cooler. From section 2a down through section 5 the fishing has been fair for big browns and bows.
It’s not nonstop action every day and fishing is best from early morning until early afternoon when it gets too warm. The monsoons have started, bringing some relief and so we will likely see the water temps start creeping downward. There has been action with some aggressive feeding on the shelves during hatches of pmd’s, small golden stones and evening caddis. Hoppers are already thick on some sections too. They’ve been taking dries at times for sure during hatches but mostly it’s been assorted nymphs, worms and leaches or dry-droppers.
So if this pattern continues, expect good but not high flows when they are releasing water, but it may stay a little off color due to silt flushing out of the very low reservoir. So far it has not been too bad from section 2a on down; in fact it makes the fish a little less spooky with some turbidity.
Solitary Angling Club
If you are a Member of the Solitary Angling Club you can just call and reserve your section and go fish. If you aren’t a Member of the Club, you need to call us today and either join the Solitary Angling Club or book a guided trip for this spring or summer!!
to get an application to join the SAC!
Only a Few Left!
Coming Soon– Wyoming Fishing Report!!!
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