Lower Rio Grande Fly Fishing

In the Rio Grande Box below the convergence with Red River is, in my opinion, the best fishing on the Rio Grande–namely La Junta Run and Cedar Springs. Deep runs, pocket water and pools offer an opportunity to catch some large fish. I have had my rod tip slap the water so hard that I’ve almost lost the rod without seeing what pulled it down.

The Rio Hondo feeds the Rio Grande near the bridge and is a very productive stream east to the village of Arroyo Hondo at NM 522. There are some abundant hatches in the spring and fall. Dry flies and small nymphs work well.

East of Arroyo Hondo, stair-stepping upstream, fishing is good in the Rio Hondo for rainbows along NM 150 up to where several campgrounds are located. This entire run from the Rio Grande to Twining is a productive fishery with small to medium-sized trout.

Heading south past the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge for about 12 miles is the convergence of Rio Pueblo de Taos. This 12 mile run is difficult to fish because of the terrain. I would highly recommend a guide for this area. At a minimum do not hike this area alone.

From the Rio Pueblo de Taos downstream to Pilar is about 5 miles. The Rio Grande is easily accessible along NM 96 and the fishing is good with surprisingly low fishing pressure at times. Below Pilar to Velarde for 13 miles along NM 68 the Rio Grande is easily accessible with mostly bait fishing opportunities. The river is very wide and not easily wadable.

Go to the “Red River – Rio Grande Box” watershed description for information about the Rio Grande above the John Dunn Bridge.

Take I-25 north from Albuquerque exit at St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe; travel north on US 84/285 to Espanola and travel north on NM 68 to Taos then Take NM 522.