Call: (800) 984-1444
Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, unless otherwise arranged.
The Rio Grande River is a cold-water fishery, which contains brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, great northern pike and carp. All of these species have been introduced into the Rio Grande River. The indigenous trout of the river was the Rio Grande cutthroat trout, which could not compete with the introduced species. Pike have been recently introduced into the world of fly fishing as a new and interesting species to pursue, as is the case with carp. Rainbow trout are currently stocked in the Rio Grande, for put-and-take fishing, although one occasionally catches a good-sized hold-over fish. Brown trout, smallmouth bass, pike and carp are self-sustaining.
The Rio Grande River has good populations of caddis flies, mayflies, stoneflies and crane flies, along with baitfish species. Standard fly patterns include: Double-hackle peacock (a.k.a. Warden’s Worry), Bitch Creek and other stonefly nymph imitations; BH Hare’s Ear, BH Prince nymph, BH Pheasant Tail, BH Zug Bug and other mayfly nymphs; various caddis pupae imitations; Miracle and other small nymphs; large Cranefly larvae imitations; Wooly Buggers and other streamers; terrestrials appropriate to the season and dry flies appropriate to the hatch. The river can be fished at all times of the year except during the coldest months of the winter and the high water of late Spring/early Summer run-off. Because the river is primarily a brown trout fishery, there are days when you can get skunked or have to work hard to get a fish or two on streamers. On other occasions, especially when you catch a hatch, the brown trout fishing can be very good. When water temperatures are 70 degrees or above, one can reliably catch smallmouth bass on streamers. They will even take nymphs. The best fishing of the year is often the Spring caddis hatch, if the water is not too high.
Regular spinners catch trout and bass. Large plugs are favored by pike fishermen.
Float fishing takes place in the Orilla Verde (“Green Banks”) Recreation Area, which follows NM 570, upstream of Pilar. This 7-mile stretch is extremely scenic, set into a 700′ deep canyon cut into black basalt rock. Gentle sections alternate with riffles, with only three small Class 2 (“easy”) rapids. Developed campgrounds adjacent to the river are found throughout this stretch. They are administered by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This stretch is included in the newly designated Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. It ends at Quartzite site, on NM 68, in Pilar.
Float fishing is done from a drift boat or raft equipped with a fishing frame, with swiveling seats located in the front and back both. Floating often alternates with some wade fishing. Lunch is provided.
Other fishing arrangements (e.g. half-day or wade only) can be provided. Please inquire: CALL (800) 984-1444.