New Mexico Fishing Report – April 12, 2011

This fishing report, provided by the Department of Game and Fish and, has been generated from the best information available from area officers, anglers, guides and local businesses. Conditions may vary as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.

There were few changes to the fishing report this week.


Animas River – Fishing is reported as good for brown and rainbow trout. Fly anglers are having good success with bead-headed pheasant tails, prince nymphs and copper john’s all size 14-16. All other methods are also working.

Chama River – Fishing is reported as good above Heron Lake for rainbow trout using salmon eggs, Power Bait and worms. Below El Vado Dam, reports are good for trout using various flies, spinners, worms and Power Bait.

San Juan River – Upper section, catch and release — The visibility is reported at two to three feet in the river below the dam. No changes here; the midge hatch has been epic, large clusters from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The best fishing will be with midge pupa and larvae, size 22 and 24, clusters are working well. You can find fish eating midges of all colors, dark midges have been best, black, brown, dark gray and olive. Some fish have been eating cream as well. Try fishing BWO’s from 11 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Dark brown and olive been the best colors in a size 22 and 24. Back to midges in the evenings. Black and brown have been best. Colored larvae will catch fish all day long, red, orange, white, black, pink, apricot. Bunny leaches are great attractors and eggs the size of a pea in pink, orange, apricot, peach and cheese are all working well. Lower section – Open waters, fishing is good with night crawlers, salmon eggs and the same flies as for the upper section.

Abiquiu Lake – No report. The Army Corps of Engineers have switched over to winter staffing until April 12 and all but a few primitive sites are closed for the season. No report on fishing at this time.

El Vado Lake – Fishing is reported as fair for trout on both sides of the dam. Some fish have been caught using worms, Power Bait and spinners.

Heron Lake – Fishing is slow for trout due to low water levels. The lake is down 45 feet from last year, making it hard to find the rainbows. Anglers are catching lake trout from 5 pounds up to 22 pounds when trolling broken back lures.

Jackson Lake – Fishing is good to excellent for trout. Anglers are having success using Power Bait and any spinner with gold blades. The lake was stocked two weeks ago with 1,500 triploid rainbow trout.

Lake Farmington – Trout fishing is reported as good on the dam side of the lake using salmon eggs or trolling spinners like Blue Fox with rainbow holograms and Arnies with red and gold blades. Also good reports from anglers stripping woolly buggers from shore are taking fish.

Morgan Lake – Bass fishing is reported as slow.

Navajo Lake – The pike continue to be fishing well when using Rapala DT 6-16 and Rapala XR 12-14. Perch, yellow perch, hot steel, rainbow and gold are reported as the hot colors right now. Fish are averaging 30 inches. Trout are reported being taken at the Pine River boat ramp with worms and spinners. No report on other species.


Cimarron River – Fishing conditions are good with trout being taken on various bead-headed nymphs in the quality waters. Worms, salmon eggs and Power Bait are catching their fair share on the lower river throughout the state park.

Costilla Creek –No report.

Red River – Fishing is fair to good for rainbows below the hatchery with bead head nymphs and various flies. Bait fishermen might try spinners, salmon eggs or Power Bait. Upper river is starting to turn on using the same methods but fishing is a bit slower.

Rio Grande – Slow for pike, Slow for trout, Poor for smallmouth bass. There are better reports on pike and trout at Pilar. Be persistent and focus on the tail outs of pools and right below the gravel bars. For trout, try a crane fly larvae or stonefly nymphs with a trailing caddis pupa or flashback pheasant tail. For the pike, whisters and red and white Daredevils are reported as the best bet.

Rio Hondo – Lower section at confluence with Rio Grande is best. Trout are slow to fair with various flies, spinners and worms.

Cabresto Lake – No report. Road is clear.

Charette Lakes – Fishing is reported as fair with some trout being landed in the range of 9 to 20 inches. Power Bait is the choice from the bank and when trolling use small perch baits in green and orange.

Clayton Lake – Fishing for trout is reported as good to excellent with limits being taken on Power Bait and worms. Fish are averaging 10 inches with some up to 15.

Eagle Nest Lake – The lake is 100 percent thawed. Fishing for trout and perch is reported as good. Best bet is to use roe, Power Bait and salmon eggs.

Lake Alice and Lake Maloya – Fishing is reported as good on both lakes using corn and worms for stocker sized trout.

Maxwell Lakes – Lake No. 13 is reported as slow with an occasional trout landed. Some fish are large up to 22 inches. Best success is reported using Power Bait, Worms and spinners.

Santa Cruz Lake – No report.

Shuree Ponds – Closed Dec. 31 and reopens July 1.

Springer Lakes – Fishing is reported as fair for small pike up to 26 inches on cranks and minnows.

West-Central, including the Jemez Mountains

Jemez River, East Fork, Guadalupe and San Antonio – Fish are taking small dries and small nymphs presented on a dry dropper rig. As far as flies go, use buoyant dry flies to suspend a bead head dropper. Keep the droppers on the small side like No. 16-18. Spinners, salmon eggs, worms and Power Bait are also working. East Fork, Guadalupe and Lower San Antonio are starting to awaken for spring and fishing is reported as fair using the same methods as the Jemez River.

Metro drainages – Trout fishing is reported as good for trout with all methods taking fish. The drainages were stocked two weeks ago with triploid rainbow trout and rainbow trout; Albuquerque with 702, Belen with 876, Bernalillo with 201, Corrales with 550 and Peralta with 876.

Bluewater Lake – Fishing is reported as good for trout when using Power bait from shore. No report on all other species.

Cochiti Lake – The lake is warming up, current temperature is 41 degrees with warmer water on the east side of the lake. The east side is only accessible by boat. Small mouth bass are being landed on crank baits but reports are slow.

Fenton Lake – The ice has melted and the lake is fishing good for trout using Power Bait and salmon eggs. The Cebolla River above the lake is fishing good for trout. Many anglers catching fish with most methods working.

Tingley Beach – Trout fishing in the South/Catch and Release Pond has been good. No report on what’s working. Children’s and Central Ponds: Trout fishing has been great. Best reports are from anglers fishing with bait about 18 inches off the bottom.

East–Central, including the Pecos River

Coyote Creek – The water is low and fishing is slow with no pressure.

Pecos River – Not much change here; the fishing is on the slow side but really improving with the warmer weather. There is good fishing down at Villanueva State Park if you can hit it on a weekday. Not much for dry fly fishing yet, so stick to nymphs. Egg patterns, red or green copper johns, prince nymphs, and scuds tend to fool most of the stocked fish. For the browns and holdover rainbows upriver of Villanueva, including Pecos National Historical Park, show them a zebra midge or juju baetis or flash back peasant tail. Also anglers using spinner, worms and Power Bait are catching fish.

Conchas Lake – Fishing is reported as good for crappie. The white bass are fishing fair. A few walleye are being taken. All fish are being caught in 10 – 15 feet of water drifting minnows and from the docks.

Morphy Lake – Opened April 1. No report.

Santa Rosa Lake – Lake levels are down about 12 feet and winds have been challenging. Walleye are fishing good in 4 -10 feet of water and crappie are starting to turn on. The crappie being caught are of good size. Fish are being caught using jigs and jigs with minnows. Smallmouth bass have also started to bite and are being caught when fishing for the walleye. No reports on catfish.

Storrie Lake – Fishing is reported as fair to good for trout using fireballs and cheese.

Sumner Lake – No report this week.

Ute Lake – The fishery is waking up from the cool winter, Reports of all species being caught. White bass reported as excellent, trolling up the Ute arm has been the ticket the last 3-4 days. Limits have been taken. Walleye reported as fair to good, trolling will catch one here and there, but minnows on the bottom in 12-30 feet of water will catch a few more. Work the edges of the main river channel. Largemouth reported as fair; work the edges in the back of the coves with crank baits or throw plastics in the dead cottonwoods. Smallmouth reported as fair to good with nightcrawlers or minnows on the flats around the lake that are near the main channel. Channel cats reported as excellent; fish stink baits up the Canadian for your supper. Crappie reported as poor.


Gila River – Fishing is slow with very little pressure.

Rio Grande – Fishing is fair to good for walleye with shiners below Elephant Butte and Caballo Lakes.

Bill Evans Lake: Fishing for trout is slow fair using Power Bait and worms. Also, trolling is reported as slow to fair when using spinners.

Caballo Lake – Fishing is generally slow with light pressure. Water levels are coming up but still low. Anglers having success are fishing the deeper holes but fishing for all species is slow. Minnows and night crawlers are working the best for now.

Elephant Butte Lake – Good reports on the white bass and nice-sized fish being landed when using shiners on jigs. The fish are reported as scattered and being caught all over the lake. Catfish are reported as good with shrimp on the north end of the lake. Stripers are reported as slow by the dam. Crappie and walleye are reported as slow but a few fish have been landed here and there. No report on other species.

Glenwood Ponds – Fishing has been slow with light pressure.

Lake Roberts – Fishing is reported as fair to good for trout using bobbers with worms and Power Bait 4 feet below surface. Some limits are being taken.

Quemado Lake – No report.

Snow Lake – No report.


Black River – Fishing is reported as fair for trout using worms, salmon eggs and Power Bait.

Bonito Creek – No report.

Rio Ruidoso – Water levels are very low and fishing is reported as slow. Fish are holding in deeper holes. Power Bait, worms and salmon eggs are reported as working for stocker sized trout. The river was stocked with 1,249 triploid rainbow trout two weeks ago.

Bonito Lake – The lake opened April 1. Trout fishing is good on salmon eggs and Power Bait.

Bottomless Lakes: Fair for trout when using worms, spinners, Power Bait and salmon eggs. Light pressure during the week but the lakes can get busy during weekends when weather is warmer.

Brantley Reservoir – There has been light pressure and no current report. A mandatory catch and release is in place at Brantley Lake from the Department of Game and Fish. Pesticides – DDTs — have been found in the fish, do not keep or eat them.

Grindstone Reservoir – Fishing is reported as good for trout using spinners, marshmallows, worms, Power Bait and salmon eggs. The lake was stocked three weeks ago with 2,999 triploid rainbow trout.

Lake Van: Fair for trout when using worms, spinners, Power Bait and salmon eggs. No report on other species.