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Ed Adams
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2002 Red River Fly Fishing Report Archives

The Red River comes off of the backside of Wheeler Peak and flows thru the town of Red River and down the canyon to Questa. Below Questa it enters a 600' gorge at the Red River Fish Hatchery and some large spring join the natural flow and increases the flow by 30cfs. This constant 55* water warms the water and makes for good fishing all year. Above Questa the river is dead because of pollution from the Moly mine but in the canyon fishing is consistanly good for Browns {8-14"} and in the Fall large Browns come up from the Rio Grande to spawn. In December Cutbos do the same and remain in the lower Red until runoff. Best months are February and March and October and November but fishing is good most months when the water is clear.

January: In the Bahamas til mid-February..

February: Another mild winter with very little snow. I fished on 2/19 and was a bit rusty but I did see a bunch of fish.. On 2/23 I saw some Caddis and a few small Stones but fishing was poor almost like someone was ahead of me but I don't think so. I did get a 21" Cutbo but the resident fish were MIA..On 2/27 fishing was again poor. Not many bugs and fish seemed to be in the deeper runs and not elevating..I hope I don't have to start fishing with weighted nymphs like the old days..

March: On 3/12 I fished with son, Joe and altho there were lots of Caddis, Stones and Mayflies fishing was again poor..Maybe the extended drought is finally affecting this stream????On 3/18 I fished alone and it was better than 3/12. I heard a rumor that someone poached a couple of hundred fish from the canyon and was giving them away in Taos. {unconfirmed }..It seems to be better fishing the closer you get to the Hatchery which would tend to support the rumor..

April: Rio Grande-Caddis hatch..

May: Runoff a non-event again this year and water everywhere very low. On 5/6 flow was 12/42cfs and I don't usually fish the Red much in May but I spotted a couple of larger Stoneflies flitting around and one landed on my hat. I had great dry fly fishing the rest of the day With a size #12 Stimulator without a dropper...I fished again on 5/13 and water was 11/41cfs and was good on Stimulator #12 altho water temps are getting high {64*} and its only mid-May

June: No reports..

July: Rita is back from Spain and we fished on 7/20..Water was a bit off-color from recent rains and 60* at 10am. It got up to 68* mid-afternoon and fishing fell off for a while. It got cloudy later and water cooled a couple of degrees and fishing picked up..Rita got some nice fish. D&D.

August: Water temps were in the high 60*s and fishing here was slow and best early and late when temps were moderate.

September: A little better but not much..

October: I fished with son Sam on 10/16 and water temp was 58* at 11am. Water was low and had a blue tint that we used to see when Molycorp was really cranking out the ore. We got a lot of small fish {6"} and a few to 12" but fishing was poor..Reminds me of the old days when those Molycorp pipes used to break and send that bad water into the Red..On 10/21 I fished closer to the Hatchery and flow was 11/41cfs and 62* at 11am...Fishing was still off but better than 10/16.

November: I fished alone on 11/7 and water temp was 58* at 11am. Again lots of smaller fish. On 11/13 there were a lot of spawners about and I got a 23" Brown off a redd [one my nicest Red River Browns].. Some big Cutbos around too..On 11/21 flow was 9/39cfs and most of the big Browns are gone back to the bigger water in the Rio..Mostly small fish today..On 11/26 I fished alone and had a good day. Not as many big fish but more in the 12-14" range than I've seen in a while.

December: Only day I fished the Red was 12/2 with a cold front moving in. There were some big Cutbos looking to spawn but they weren't very active.

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