Runoff is in full flower on all our area streams and only the Cimarron and Culebra are fishing well right now. The flow on the Culebra has just started to rise as irrigation season begins and the inflow should improve fishing considerably thru May and June. The Cimarron has been fishing well for the past month and should continue thru June and the Stonefly Hatch. We are fishing the Ute Creek Ranch and the Cimarroncita and both are doing well with the snowmelt adding to whatever is being released from Eagle Nest. We still have access on the Culebra.
We kicked off the season with the Superfly competition on the Conejos. Jon Harp put on another great event and we had the usual Conejos weather, wind, snow and one beautiful day for the finals. The snowpack above Platoro is in good shape and summer flows from the resevoir should be adaquate. The river should be fishable by mid June in time for the Stonefly and Green Drake hatches.
The Rio Grande Cutthroat Restoration Project on the Rio Costilla [Valle Vidal] is in the second year of a 15 year duration. They applied a piscicide to the upper reaches of Commanche Creek and all the tributaries thereof. They put a fish barrier by the Little Costilla Peak trail along the road to Shuree and will restock that area this summer with pure Cutts. They will concentrate on the lower part of Commanche and its tributaries this year so the Rio Costilla will still fish well from July 1st thru September.
The Rio Grande and the Red are getting to peak flows and should be chugging for a while. The Red should improve over the last few years. After the flash flood event in ’07, which killed a lot of brown trout the fishing in the canyon fell off precipitously and still hasn’t returned to its former glory. We were down last fall a few times and had fair days. The river looked good as far as gravel, bugs and health of the fish were concerned. The numbers should improve this year barring another cataclysmic event.
Rita has been in the Bahamas, Yucatan and currently in Montana doing what she does best, catching lots of fish. She will be back in NM by June 1st and guide here until mid August and then she is back up north and a month of guiding on the Kootenai, Yaak and Clark Fork in NW Montana. She has been doing some drift boat guiding on those bigger Montana rivers. This winter I got to Baja and fished the Sea of Cortez for a few weeks but mostly watched the snow fly and prowled the upper Rio Grande looking for Northern Pike.