Blue Stream Fly Fishing
Fly Fishing Report for:

Chama River - Below Abiquiu - New Mexico

Hatch Chart - Best Access/Spots - Local Fish - About

Water Flow Chart

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Using Water Flow Charts & Weather Reports: Begin with our water flow charts to grasp stream velocity and volume – look for stable or rising trends to pinpoint ideal fishing times. Learn to interpret sudden spikes or drops, which can indicate potential challenges. Next, consult our weather reports to understand ambient conditions. Pairing the two, you can anticipate fish behavior, choose the right gear, and select the best fishing spots. Use these tools together for a holistic approach to your next fishing adventure.

In-Depth Weather

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Directions To Location

Hatch Chart

Month Hatch Time of Day Recommended Fly Sizes Popular Fly Patterns
January Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Griffith's Gnat, F-Fly
BWO Late Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph
February Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Griffith's Gnat, F-Fly
BWO Late Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph
March Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
BWO Afternoon #16-#18 PMD Nymph, Sparkle Dun
April Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
May Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
June Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis
Yellow Stones Afternoon #12-#14 Stimulator, Prince Nymph
July Tricos Morning #20-#22 Trico Spinner, Griffith's Gnat
Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
August Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
Tricos Morning #20-#22 Trico Spinner, Griffith's Gnat
September BWO Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph
Caddis Evening #14-#16 Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis
October BWO Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph
Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Zebra Midge, Griffith's Gnat
November Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Griffith's Gnat, F-Fly
BWO Late Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph
December Midges Afternoon #20-#22 Griffith's Gnat, F-Fly
BWO Late Afternoon #16-#18 Olive Emerger, PMD Nymph

While we strive to ensure the precision of our hatch charts, some reflect broader river region insights. Through ongoing partnerships with local guides and fly shops, we’re committed to refining our data. Should you notice any inconsistencies or have feedback, we welcome you to reach out. 

Best Fishing Spots

The Chama River, situated below Abiquiu, possesses a variety of ideal fly fishing spots loaded with trout. These spots can offer thrilling experiences to both novices and professional anglers.

  • The Tailwater Stretch: Providing year-round fishing, it is a world-class fishery filled with rainbow and brown trout.
  • Rio Chama Wild and Scenic River Area: This location is famous for its beautiful scenery and large brown trout.
  • El Vado Ranch: Full of native trout and stunning landscapes, it has been a favorite among anglers.
  • The Chavez Canyon: This location is packed with pocket water and deep pools, making it perfect for fly fishing.

While the tailwater stretch focuses on technical fishing, the other areas provide a more relaxed experience, where you can fish a dry fly with ease. The Chavez Canyon is perfect for adventurous individuals with its tricky spots but remunerative trout pools.

Best Access Points

The Chama River Below Abiquiu is a fly fishing hotspot with many accessible points. Here are some of the best spots to consider:

  • Abiquiu Dam: Situated just below the dam, it offers abundant Rainbow and Brown trout. One caveat is that the water can become murky after heavy runoff or water releases.
  • Cooper’s El Vado Ranch: A private stretch with day permits providing controlled fishing pressure and well-managed habitats.
  • Chama River State Park: This spot is ideal for bank fishing or float tube.

However, it’s important to consider the water release schedules from Abiquiu Dam, as high water flows can affect fishing conditions. Also, remember to check for private property and always respect signage.

Local Fish

  1. Brown Trout: Noted for their distinctive reddish-ddot pattern along their flank, these elusive fish are a prize catch for many fly fishers.
  2. Rainbow Trout: An iconic freshwater fish with beautiful variegated coloring that often leaps out of the water when hooked.
  3. Brook Trout: Smaller than its rainbow and brown counterparts, the brook trout has a sweet, mild flavor that anglers appreciate.
  4. White Bass: Known for their flashy fighting style and the excitement they bring to the angler.
  5. Channel Catfish: Typically not considered a fly fishing species, however, they can be very aggressive and put up a great fight.
  6. Pike: While not as common, some anglers have success landing these toothy predators on a fly at the Chama River.
  7. Yellow Perch: Offering great visuals to anglers, Yellow Perch love to bite and put up a nice fight for their size.
  8. Smallmouth Bass: Often overlooked by trout anglers, smallmouth can be a fun challenge on a fly and put up an aggressive fight.

About The River

The Chama River below Abiquiu has a rich history that’s as dynamic as the river itself. In northern New Mexico, this place is a paradise for water enthusiasts and history fans alike.

The river’s history traces back to the ancestral Pueblo people who thrived in the area around 800 AD. Residing in the Chama River Valley, they were among the earliest agricultural societies in North America.

  • The river served as a crucial source of water for their corn, beans, and squash cultivation.
  • The fertile soil in the area was handy for growing crops and led to the establishment of many settlements.

In the mid-16th century, Spanish explorers first documented the river and used it as a travel route, further shaping its history. Today, the Chama River below Abiquiu is popular for rafting, fishing, and historical exploration.

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