Top Rivers for Fly Fishing in New Mexico
Our beautiful state has some of the best fly fishing in America. This is because we can fish most lakes and streams throughout the entire year. Whether you’re exploring high mountain creeks, large rivers or steep gradient streams you’re sure to catch some beautiful trout, pike and bass. Many of our guides spend their time off fishing these waterways and we have compiled a list of our favorite spots for fly fishing New Mexico.
Top Rivers for Fly Fishing New Mexico
- Rio Grande
- Red River
- Eagles Nest Lake into Cimmaron River
We just can’t get enough of this wild and scenic river. From rafting to fishing, there is so much to offer on the Rio Grande. Our favorite sections include the Wild Rivers section, Orilla Verde and right around the John Dunn Bridge. Most of these sections are also wonderful for rafting and if you’re planning an overnight trip with us (such as the Wild and Scenic Two Day, Taos Box Overnight or 24 Hours on the Rio Grande), be sure to pack your rod and reel for some evening fishing at the riverside campground. The best time to fish are the cooler months especially in the fall. You’ll be catching brown trout and Rio Grande trout, the state fish of New Mexico, as well as some pike.
One of the Rio Grande’s tributaries is teeming with wild and stocked fish. If you’re looking for wild brook and rainbow trout be sure to head up north near the town of Red River whereas downriver near Questa is the Red River hatchery. This hatchery produces about 1.7 million rainbow trout per year and stocks our rivers with 500,000 catchable 10-inch fish. If you’re looking to get a little further off the beaten path check out Goose Creek, Goose Lake, Bitter Creek, Pioneer Creek and Pioneer Lake. These are all tributaries of Red River and have plentiful cutthroat and rainbow trout.
We offer guided half-day and full-day trips on the Red River, perfect for both experienced anglers and beginners. Teaming up with Red River Angler and Sport, we ensure a memorable experience in the stunning Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Come connect with nature and improve your fishing skills while enjoying the serene beauty of the Red River. We customize each trip based on the experience you desire, current area fishing conditions, size of group and experience level.
Eagles Nest Lake into Cimmaron River
North of the mountain town of Angle Fire is an alpine lake in Eagles Nest. This lake is home to Kokanee salmon, rainbow trout, catfish, yellow perch, small mouth bass and more. Boat rentals are available at the marina but this lake is also ideal for shore fishing. This lake is commonly occupied by ice fishers in the winter as well. The tailwater of the Eagles Nest Dam feeds into the Cimmaron River which also provides wonderful fishing due to its dense aquatic insect population. There are 8 miles of public access in the Cimmaron Canyon which boasts 4,000 catchable brown trout per mile!
Choosing a guided outfitter like New Mexico River Adventures for your fly fishing expedition in New Mexico offers a host of valuable benefits. With experienced, local guides by your side, you gain access to their in-depth knowledge of the region’s waters, ensuring you’re fishing in the most promising spots. They understand the nuances of local fishing conditions, including seasonal changes, water levels, and fish behavior, which can make or break your angling experience. Moreover, most guiding services (like us) take care of all the logistics, from equipment to permits, so you can focus on the joy of fishing.
When planning your fishing trip in New Mexico always visit the New Mexico Fish and Game website for current rules and regulations. The best way to find the perfect fishing spot is with a guided trip offering outfitting, gear, the perfect fly and more!
Once you know where to head gather your gear. Of course, you’ll need your rod, reel and line as well as a few flies. Your local angler or fly fishing store can aide you in making sure you have the right tools for the job. Cooler months will require full waders whereas during warmer months you can wear neoprene socks with wading boots. Other clothing to consider is for sun protection and a fishing vest to keep all your flies and accessories nearby when deep in a stream. To land your catch make sure that you have a net handy as well as a camera for that perfect shot before release. Lastly, don’t forget your fishing license which can be purchased in many of the local towns to these rivers and lakes. We can’t wait to hear about your catches and be sure to pack your rod and reel during your next overnight New Mexico rafting trip!