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This year there is a new rule for Ice Fishing on Eagle Nest Lake that we are very excited about. In the past years the rule stated that the lake would be closed to ice fishing if the ice were under 9 inches, with our new rule we will be allowed to fish when the ice reaches 5 inches deep! This means more ice fishing! We're pumped and we hope you are too! If you have never ice fished before we recommend giving it a try! We have all the equipment for rent as well as guided trips! On our trip we will provide a insulated, heated ice fishing tent for comfort in all weather conditions, gas powered auger, lures, and rods reels and snacks! We can show you a good time on a guided trip without you having to break the bank to buy equipment to ice fish! During the winter these fish are swimming around looking for any opportunity to feed in the cold water, leaving the fisherman with the best chances to land a trophy sized fish that Eagle Nest Lake is known for! With all of that being said I am going to lead into the current water conditions for the fishing in the area!

Eagle Nest lake is begging to build ice on the edges of the lake and we are hoping to have a solid freeze soon to get the ice fishing season off to a good start. The month of November was slow and steady for Salmon Snagging and seems to continue so better get out and snag them before the lake freezes! Trout fishing has been awesome in the lake for the last few weeks and seems to be picking up a bit making the anticipation of ice fishing build even more! Perch are biting as well. I have spotted a few pike in the past weeks following my fly to the edge of the shoreline but I haven't seen anyone catching them.

The dropping temperatures in the Cimorron Canyon are causing the river to freeze over but right now some open water can be found on the river but with every night a little more freezes over. As you move downriver away from the dam chances of finding open moving water increases. Gravel pit lakes are about 90 percent frozen leaving best spots in the river. Find a large open hole or short stretch of moving water but be as sneaky as possible. Low water conditions has these fish spook at the first shadow they think they see.

The Red River has been fishing very well. The upper section of the river is about all frozen or covered in snow leaving the best fishing to be found near and down river from Questa, NM. The section near the hatchery has been fishing good but there is a lot of snow so watch for slippery areas. The confluence of the Red River & Rio Grande has been fishing good, the hike will definitely warm you up! Take a thermos with soup!

The Rio Grande has been fishing great. The Pilar area has been fishing well for pike and for trout, with the flow holding around 700 cfs. If you're targeting bigger pike, size up to a 1/0 or 2/0 fly for best results. Smaller streamers will still get you results and also get opportunities at trout and small mouth bass. Nymphs are working well for trout. There are still a few good hatches in the warmest part of the day. If you would like to order any flies or up to date info please call The Shack 505-974-9168.

I will post again soon about our upcoming Ice Fishing Tournament which will be held on the last Saturday in January! I'll also post again as soon as the lake is open to ice fishing.



The Cimarron River has been fishing well for rainbow trout. With the low water conditions and average release from the Eagle Nest Lake Dam that has been lower than 10 cfs for the entire month. Brown trout require being stealthy, with casting from further, using smaller flies, and smaller tippet (like 6X) so that they don't spook as easy. Cold Nights and Warm Days are leaving the bug hatches and species spread out through the day. In other words if caddis hatching best chances are caddis, if the evening duns are hatching throw the dun patterns, if nothing is hatching terrestrials like hoppers, ants or beetles are working awesome. Most of the Rainbows are freshly stocked leaving them easier to catch with almost any fly but to key in on the browns and smarter rainbows that have been holding over, matching the hatch is necessary.

Hot Flies;

Parachute Pheasant Tail Sz. 14-20

Pale Evening Dun Sz. 14-20

Pheasant Tail Natural or Flashback Sz. 14-20

Polly Wing Emereger Sz. 16-22

Caddis Dry & Nymph Sz. 14-16

Amber Tail Sz. 14-20

Grass Hopper Sz. 14-8

Hares Ear Sz. 14-20

Ant brown/black Sz. 14-16

Eagle Nest Lake fishing is picking up. With cold weather moving in and cold rain showers in the evenings the lake is finally starting to cool off. This means big fish moving out of the deep into the shallows to feed on bugs, crayfish, minnows, and other fish. On Aug 12 a 8.12 pound, 29 inch Rainbow trout was caught in Eagle Nest Lake since then big trout have been reeled in more frequently. Snagging season is almost here so some salmon can be caught looking for food before the spawn. Pike fishing will increase in the shallows as it cools down these big pike get the instinct to feed before the lake freezes over. Fall is one of the best times of year to attempt these big fish! Time to plan some fishing before the lake freezes over.

The Red River is fishing great from the quality waters above town all the way to where the Red pours into the Rio Grande River below the hatchery. The quality waters are fishing best with a smaller selection of flies. Grass hopper dragging a small sz 18-20 mayfly nymph behind it is one of my favorite combos to use. Near the US Forrest campgrounds June Bug & Fawn lakes have been fishing well with a variety of Dry Fly and Nymph dropper combo. Dry flies are working great closer to the hatchery and Rio Grande River but a double nymph combo starts to become the best chance to increase numbers of fish hook ups. The Red River hatchery restoration project looks great and seems like exploring a whole new river. heavy machinery was used to make deep hole after deep hole with churning water to create oxygen. This is going to be a must fish destination this fall when the brown trout are moving up to spawn,

Hot Flies;

Parachute Adams Sz.14-20

Parachute Pheasant Tail Sz. 14-20

Pale Evening Dun Sz. 14-20

Pheasant Tail Natural or Flashback Sz. 14-20

Polly Wing Emereger Sz. 16-22

Caddis Dry & Nymph Sz. 14-16

Amber Tail Sz. 14-20

Grass hopper Sz. 14-8

Copper John Sz. 12-20

Zebra Midge Sz. 12-22

Rio Grande River has been fishing great! The flows have finally dropped to perfect conditions to fish. Dry flies will catch you some fish but your best bet is to use long leader with heavy nymphs and a dependable strike indicator to find the right depth that the big fish are feeding at. Pilar area is fishing great and the hike down to wild rivers is definitely worth right now

Hot Flies;

Grass Hopper Sz 14-8

Amber Tail Sz 10-18

Pheasant Tail Sz. 12-18

Prince Nymph Sz 12-18

Stone Fly Patterns Sz 12-18

Caddis Larve Patters Sz 12-16

Crane Fly Patters Sz 6-12

Rio Costilla and Valle Vidal are fishing the best it has been all year. Dry flies and dropper nymphs are doing the trick. The average fish size definetly seems to be up this year the cutthroat have had a lot of water to swim and grow in this year with high release from Costilla Reservoir. Comanche Creek and Shuree Ponds are fishing the best they have been in years.

Hot Flies;

Parachute Adams Sz.14-20

Parachute Pheasant Tail Sz. 14-20

Pale Evening Dun Sz. 14-20

Pheasant Tail Natural or Flashback Sz. 16-20

Polly Wing Emereger Sz. 16-22

Caddis Dry & Nymph Sz. 14-16

Amber Tail Sz. 16-20

Grass hopper Sz. 14-8

Copper John Sz. 18-20

Zebra Midge Sz. 16-22

Ant Sz 14-16

For more conditions or to book a Guided fishing trip Call Eagle Nest Fly Shack @ 505 974 9168


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