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Ed Adams
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Cimarron [] Conejos [] Costilla
Culebra [] Red River [] Rio Grande
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1999 Conejos River Fly Fishing Report Archives

The Conejos is the largest tributary to the Rio Grande. It flows out of Platoro Resevoir which at over 10,000' elevation is the highest man made impoundment in the USA. Its flow is augmented by numerous smaller tributaries that drain surrounding areas. This drainage historically gets a lot of snow and rain and runoff often continues into July with the best fishing being usually from early July thru September. Recently with successive mild, dry winters the best fishing has often been in June and July. Low flows and high water temps has made August and September less predictable.

June: Runoff continued thru the month and best fishing was in the Fly Water along Hiway #17. Nymphing early in the month and later with large {#10} Stimulator patterns with a dropper {Beadhead Prince # 14}.

July: Flows got into a more manageable range {200-400cfs the first reading is from Platoro and the second the flow in Mogote by Broyles Bridge}. The lower river along Hiway #17 was still the place to be with Stimulator # 10 and Green Drake #10 dry flies and Caddis beadhead dropper. By the middle of July flows from Platoro were aroun 180cfs and I fished the Hamilton lease { Private water just below the Pinnacles}and we got some nice fish to 18" on D&D combos { Stimulator #10 with a #14 Prince dropper}. Wading was tough and the top end of the lease was unwadeable as most of the upper river is at this flow. On 7/27 we fished the lease again at 220cfs and took a bunch of Browns 13-17" and one 18" and another 20"er. It slowed down in the mid afternoon and we got the better fish later in the day. The upper section was still not wadeable.

August: By early August flows from Platoro had dropped to 40-60cfs and the Pinnacles were wadeable for the first time this season. Fishing was good with Caddis or Hoppers on top with a Beadhead dropper {Prince-Copper John #14}. Lots of Browns 13-17" with an occasional Cutbo to 20". On 8/4 and 8/16 we fished the Hamilton lease and on the 14th it was slow and we didn't get a lot of fish but some nice ones. On 8/16 we got over 75 fish thru the lease, mostly Browns and none over 17". Patterns used were Hoppers. Moths and Caddis with the usual droppers { Caddis emerger-Prince or Copper Johns #14}. Fishing was great in the Pinnacles and above thru the month.

September: In early September flows were back up to 160cfs from Platoro and we fished above the Pinnacles at Trail Creek. Wading was tough at this level and we got most of our fish along the edges on D&D {Moth-Prince}. On 9/16 we fished the Hamilton lease at 160cfs. We got some nice fish from the middle channel which holds fish at this flow. We took fish thruout up to where the South Fork enters the Conejos but the top section was unwadeable as was the Pinnacles. On 9/30 we fished at Trail Creek at 54 cfs and it was great at this flow. We got some nice fish to 17" on Prince droppers.

Conejos River Fly Fishing Reports

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

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New Mexico Fly Fishing Report Archives



Cimarron [] Conejos [] Costilla [] Culebra
Red River [] Rio Grande
Contact [] Guides [] Home [] Costs