Your Best Spring Fishing in New Mexico

Your Best Spring Fishing in New Mexico
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

When it comes to spring fishing in New Mexico, bass and trout fishing are your best bets. Here are the places you want to hit  and what tactics to use.


March, April & May


If your dream is to spend time tossing tiny flies to large rainbows, then you should make plans to spend a few days on the famed San Juan River; it just might be the best trout tailwater in the southwest. This Land of Enchantment jewel begins below Navajo Dam in northwest New Mexico, and rumor has it there are as many as 75,000 trout roaming throughout the first four-mile section of quality water below the dam. With spots along this section affectionately called Caddis Corner, Texas Hole, Lunker Alley, Baetis Bend and Frustration Point, it's easy to believe that such a large number of trout swim these waters.


Needless to say, a fishery of this magnitude does see its share of wading visitors, and there's not too many days, even in Spring, that you are not standing next to another angler at one of its famous runs, riffles or holes. Despite this, catch rates in this stretch are very high, with the latest estimates showing one trout per hour being fooled. Add to this that trout averaging 16 to 17 inches in length, and 20-plus inch brutes are not in short supply, and it's to easy to put the blinders on and forget about the other anglers you'll be sharing the water with. Who knows, you many need some help netting a pig.


These are educated tailrace trout that live in a rich biomass environment, so your drift must be dead and your imitation worthy. Flies need to be small and tippets thin, so don't even think about bringing your size #18 and #20 flies, smaller #24 to #26 patterns are the norm. And if you're not using 6X fluorocarbon tippet or smaller, you might as well stay home. In early spring, midge larvae and pupa patterns always gets their share of looks, as well as leech, scuds, egg and worm imitations. When the calendar flips to April and May, blue-winded olives are added to the meal ticket, and on those perfect cloudy days, be ready for the floaters to be inhaled on top.

Don't forget to share your best fishing photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!


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