ANGLERS' GOOD FORTUNE.Byline: STACI MATLOCK
Some Santa Feans ready for warm weather were dismayed by last Friday's little snowstorm and wintry win·try also win·ter·y
adj. win·tri·er also win·ter·i·er, win·tri·est also win·ter·i·est
1. Belonging to or characteristic of winter; cold.
2. temperatures. Not Toner Mitchell, a flyfishing guide and manager of The Reel Life.
April snows translate into more runoff water in the rivers and better fishing into the summer.
"I get nervous when we don't get a big snowy winter" and snow into April, said Mitchell, who grew up in Santa Fe Santa Fe, city, Argentina
Santa Fe, city (1991 pop. 341,000), capital of Santa Fe prov., NE Argentina, a river port near the Paraná, with which it is connected by canal. .
Mountain snowpack snow·pack
An area of naturally formed, packed snow that usually melts during the warmer months.
1. and ongoing runoff mean most reservoirs and lakes should remain at good levels into early summer.
Fishing has been slow to good recently on several of the state's rivers. Mitchell and other anglers say the fishing will keep getting better as the snow melts off and river flows calm.
Late snows also decrease the chances of wildfires shutting access to rivers on the national forests. "I breathe easier if there's no big fires by July 4," Mitchell said. "If they have to close the forest, it's bad for business."
Hardcore anglers seem to find a place to fish in New Mexico all year, but the official season for new fishing licenses began April 1.
One of the new state laws that anglers should be mindful of this year gives the Department of Game and Fish authority to inspect boats and require decontamination decontamination /de·con·tam·i·na·tion/ (de?kon-tam-i-na´shun) the freeing of a person or object of some contaminating substance, e.g., war gas, radioactive material, etc.
n. if aquatic invaders are suspected of hitching a ride.
The Aquatic Invasive Species Control Act approved by the state Legislature in March takes immediate effect in an effort to prevent the spread of zebra and quagga mussels, among other aquatic invaders. The mussels have been reported in neighboring states, except Texas, and are not yet affecting New Mexico's waters. The mussels spread by traveling on boats, water craft and other equipment. Anglers and boaters are asked to clean their gear especially when traveling from an infected state to New Mexico.
A two-fly rule is in effect on the San Juan River San Juan River
River and outlet of Lake Nicaragua, southern Nicaragua. It flows from the lake's southeastern end, forms the border of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and empties into the Caribbean Sea; it is 124 mi (199 km) long. and guides report Game and Fish officers are checking anglers for licenses, barbless flies and the number of flies on rigs.
Here are a few fishing tips and predictions for some of the state's waters from experienced anglers and guides.
Wind wrought havoc on lake guides from Heron Lake to Elephant Butte Reservoir Elephant Butte Reservoir is a reservoir on the Rio Grande in the U.S. state of New Mexico, 5 miles north of Truth or Consequences. It is impounded by Elephant Butte Dike and is the largest reservoir in New Mexico. from mid-March to mid-April.
Desert Bass fishing guide JR McManus reported canceling several guiding trips on Elephant Butte Butte, city, United States
Butte (byt), city (1990 pop. 33,336), seat of Silver Bow co., SW Mont.; inc. 1879. It is a trade, ranching, and industrial center. and Don Wolfley because of high winds. "Hopefully, the winds will be behind us by Saturday," Wolfley said. "I'm keeping my fingers crossed."
Heron Lake is still recovering from a drought that drained it into 2003 when water levels dropped so low the boat ramps and the marina closed. "It's really coming back," said Wolfley. "The boat ramps are operable operable /op·er·a·ble/ (op´er-ah-b'l) subject to being operated upon with a reasonable degree of safety; appropriate for surgical removal.
adj. . They're letting water in from Willow Creek and it's flowing in at 500 cubic feet per second A cubic foot per second (also cfs, cusec and ft³/s) is an Imperial unit / U.S. customary unit volumetric flow rate, which is equivalent to a volume of 1 cubic foot flowing every second. ," he said.
Wolfley said fishing for lake trout lake trout
or Mackinaw trout or Great Lakes trout or salmon trout
Large, voracious char (Salvelinus namaycush) found widely from northern Canada and Alaska to New England and the Great Lakes, usually in deep, cool lakes. , a cold-water-loving fish, is great on the lake now. His clients have caught 10- and 13-pounders in the past week. He likes spinners such as Blue Fox and Panther Martin for lake trout. Tip the hooks with cut bait from suckers and carp for even better strikes, he recommends.
When the water warms up the kokanee kokanee
a freshwater salmon of lakes and rivers in W North America [after Kokanee Creek, in British Columbia] salmon will start schooling. "That's a lot more action. You get a lot of strikes," Wolfley said. For the kokanee, he prefers beaded lures by Mack. Whatever is used, plop plop
v. plopped, plop·ping, plops
1. To fall with a sound like that of an object falling into water without splashing.
2. white corn on the hook Adj. 1. on the hook - caught in a difficult or dangerous situation; "there I was back on the hook"
dangerous, unsafe - involving or causing danger or risk; liable to hurt or harm; "a dangerous criminal"; "a dangerous bridge"; "unemployment reached dangerous tips. "They look like maggots. That's part of the kokanee's natural food."
McManus has guided anglers on Elephant Butte Reservoir for 18 years through his guide service and he has plenty of tips for catching big ones. But he encourages his clients, as many guides do now, to release fish after they're caught.
McManus, a longtime bass-tournament competitor, said Elephant Butte Reservoir levels took a dive for a few years until 2006. Now the water levels are recovering and fishing is improving every year, he said.
Anglers can fish for large-mouth, small-mouth and white bass, catfish, striped bass striped bass
moronesaxatilis. , blue gill and walleye walleye, in medicine
walleye: see strabismus.
walleye, in zoology
walleye or walleyed pike: see perch. at the 40-mile long reservoir.
"For someone who doesn't know what they're doing, live bait (like minnows and worms) is always best," McManus said.
McManus finds for more experienced anglers, white or chartreuse-colored crank bait works well for most bass species at the lake.
McManus said the fish are sluggish when the water temperature is below 55 degrees, like on windy or cloudy days. "Big heavy winds pull cold water off the bottom of lake and push it to top," he said. He said the best fishing is when the air temperature is warm enough to boost water temperatures up for several days. Then drop a line into shallower spots where the water warms more quickly.
McManus likes a 10-pound bottom-weighted test line with bait floating 18 inches above for a typical rig to catch bass. On striped bass, he uses a heavier 15- to 17-pound test line. "You could catch a real big fish," said McManus, whose largest striper to date weighed 521o2 pounds.
Walleye spawn in shallower depths in spring when the water temperature hits around 60 degrees. They feed then at 10 to 15 feet deep, McManus said.
Rick Castell, the northwest area fisheries biologist for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, made his predictions for fishing in early April. In an agency publication, he wrote Navajo Lake in northwestern New Mexico is "always a good bet." The lake's high levels should mean "adequate spawning" for game fish in the spring, he wrote. Castell notes crappie crappie: see sunfish.
Either of two deep-bodied freshwater North American fish species (family Centrarchidae) that are popular as food and prized by sport fishermen. Native to the eastern U.S. fishing is usually good in mid-May, and predicts black bass fishing will be fair to good. Anglers are reporting better luck with northern pike.
At Abiqui" Lake, Castell predicts trout fishing will remain poor while fishing for walleye will be good. He thinks there will be fair fishing for crappie, large-mouth and small-mouth bass fishing.
The San Juan River, the Rio Grande and the Pecos River are likely to have average to a little above average flows into June.
Guides at High Desert Angler in Santa Fe rated the San Juan River below Navajo Dam as fair to good. "The release from the dam is still murky but improving with visibility reportedly at 2-4 feet. Midge midge, name for any of numerous minute, fragile flies in several families. The family Chironomidae consists of about 2,000 species, most of which are widely distributed. The herbivorous larvae are found in all freshwaters; the larvae of some species live in saltwater. nymphing is the most productive," according to the shop's guide blog.
The peak spring release from Navajo Lake into the San Juan by the Bureau of Reclamation was reduced from three weeks to 14 days and is expected to start around May 18 with a one-week ramp up Ramp Up
To increase a company's operations in anticipation of increased demand.
A company might 'ramp up' operations if they just signed a contract creating substantially more demand for their product.
See also: Demand, Economies of Scale , the Bureau of Reclamation said on Friday. The water then will roar out at 5,000 cubic feet per second. It will be reduced to about 500 cfs by mid-June.
Fishing on the Rio Grande has been slow for pike, trout and small-mouth bass, according to fishing reports. Reports on the caddis hatch are mixed, but Mitchell said it is happening and progressing rapidly north up the river. "There's a huge amount of food available in the river (for fish)," said Mitchell, who is also the new president of the Truchas Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
He said the Rio Grande has great fishing right after spring runoff and right after the irrigation irrigation, in agriculture, artificial watering of the land. Although used chiefly in regions with annual rainfall of less than 20 in. (51 cm), it is also used in wetter areas to grow certain crops, e.g., rice. season is over.
Fishing on the Chama River is good, but fluctuations in flows because of periodic water releases from dams can make it challenging because the changes confuse fish.
Lower, slower flows after spring runoff also are less dangerous for flyfishers wading the river. Mitchell said visitors and novice flyfishers should call fly shops to find out the normal flow for streams.
Anglers can pick up a Santa Fe National Forest map to find good fishing spots on Rio Cebolla, Rio Las Vacas, Jemez River main and east forks, and the Guadalupe River. Jemez streams are stocked regularly with rainbow trout rainbow trout
Species (Oncorhynchus mykiss) of fish in the salmon family (Salmonidae) noted for spectacular leaps and hard fighting when hooked. It has been introduced from western North America to many other countries. from March to September.
Contact Staci Matlock at 986-3055 or email@example.com.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
u For fishing reports from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/recreation/fishing/index.htm
u High Desert Angler posts weekly http://highdesertangler.blogspot.com
u Coalition of San Juan anglers www.sanjuanriverforum.com/
u For more information about bass fishing, visit www.bassresource.com.
u To check stream flows see the U.S. Geological Survey's Web site at www.nm.water.usgs.gov.