The 5 Best Fly Fishing Spots in New Mexico!

If you love fishing in the great outdoors and don’t mind packing in some gear, here are five unbeatable rivers with an abundance of fish in New Mexico. Take along your favorite lure, rod and reel and cast your line for that big one that always seems to get away! 

1. Chama River

The wild and somewhat undiscovered parts of this river great for trout fly fishing have large populations of wild browns and rainbows. Large portions of it flow through high mountain forests and meadows and six miles runs right through the Chama River Canyon Wilderness area. Grab your waders and head for the area just below El Vado—that’s where the state record brown trout was caught. It may just still be there.

2. Rio Grande

One of the top five longest rivers in the United States, there’s plenty of fishing to do along its banks in northern New Mexico. Bring your most distinctive lures since the hard to access areas of this river have fewer fish overall, but they’re larger and feistier. Early fall, spawning time for the big browns, is the best time for this catch and release activity. You may just land a record setter.

3. Rio de los Pinos

Hugging the state’s northern border with Colorado, this river is in a remote section of the Rio de Los Pinos Wildlife Area. With more than 20 miles of fishable river, you’ll find freestone water home to both brown and rainbow trout in riffles, pools and pockets of water just right for wading. Dry fishing best in summer. If you’re lucky, catch a brown trout in fall and you’ll get a vigorous work out landing it. Beautiful and fun for a day or longer.

4. Cimarron River

There’s a heathy population of insect life along this small river which flows out of the dam at Eagle Nest Lake. That means, great dry fishing, providing an up-close-and-personal experience with a fish. The river runs through canyons and meadows and is dotted with deep pools and shallow riffles. It supports a healthy population of wild brown trout which are poised near the surface, ready to take whatever bait you toss out. 

5. Jemez River and Tributaries

This is a network of rivers, the main being the Jemez, that provide a wide-range of fishing opportunities. You’ll find browns and Rio Grande cutthroats in great quantities. The streams my not be large, but the fish population is thriving. Hopscotch between mountain meadow streams and rocky seasonal freestone streams for a variety of experiences. Begin in March and spend the summer finding your favorite fishing hole.

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101 Hwy 195, Elephant Butte, NM
If you like camping, fishing, boating, or just being outdoors, Elephant Butte is for you. There is plenty of water and plenty of beach room and thi... Read More
30 Bluewater State Park Road, Prewitt, NM
This serene lake, located 25 miles west of Grants, is set in a pinon-juniper landscape with views towards the Zuni Mountains. The park offers campi... Read More
Highway 187, Caballo, NM
Framed against the Caballo Mountains, this lake boasts an array of water recreation, such as boating, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, swimming, and fi... Read More
Highway 187, Caballo, NM
This quiet park along the Rio Grande is shaded by tall cottonwoods and provides excellent fishing, relaxing camping, and outstanding bird watching.... Read More
32 Lakeview Lane, Sumner Lake, NM
This lake on the grassy plains offers many activities, such as boating, swimming, fishing, wildlife viewing, and birding.  Relax at a campsite... Read More
12712 State Park Road, Radium Springs, NM
A short 25 minute drive from bustling Las Cruces brings you to this quiet park along the Rio Grande. Leasburg Dam State Park offers peace and relax... Read More
33 East Brantley Lake Rd, Carlsbad, NM
The southernmost lake in New Mexico is an oasis of water, wildlife, plant life, gorgeous sunsets and stunning night skies.  Located twelve mil... Read More
141 Clayton Lake Road, Clayton, NM
The park is an oasis in the rolling grasslands of northeastern New Mexico. Enjoy boating, picnicking, camping, fishing and hiking. Get a unique gli... Read More
501 Bell Ranch Road, Conchas Dam, NM
Just northwest of Tucumcari, this lake features secluded coves, canyons, and sandy beaches, excellent for camping, boating, and fishing. One of New... Read More
28869 Highway 64, Eagle Nest, NM
The Cimarron River flows through this narrow, forested canyon, located near Eagle Nest on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. The park offers beauti... Read More
42 Marina Way, Eagle Nest, NM
Located on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, Eagle Nest Lake is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the high mountains of the Moreno Valley. Thi... Read More
Highway 434, Mile Marker 17, Guadalupita, NM
Coyote Creek State Park, about an hour southeast of Taos, is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along a meandering stream. Enclosed by a for... Read More
455 Fenton Lake Road, Jemez Springs, NM
The Jemez Mountains provide the backdrop for this stunning year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. Fenton Lake State Par... Read More
Highway 518, Mile Marker 3.5, Las Vegas, NM
This serene lake offers great opportunities for fishing, bird watching, and windsurfing. Choose from a variety of campsites with utility hookups fo... Read More
1800 540 Loop, Logan, NM
This reservoir on the Canadian River is one of the longest lakes in the state at nearly 13 miles, and boasts a variety of fun water sports. The cam... Read More
Murphy Lake Road, Mora, NM
Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at 8,000 feet in elevation, this hidden lake sits at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness. The lake is stocke... Read More
36 Road 4110 #1, Navajo Dam, NM
Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in the state, with multiple campgrounds, two marinas, and two boat docks. Navajo is a haven for boaters of e... Read More
1891 Oasis Rd, Portales, NM
You’ll find this true oasis just north of Portales, NM. Oasis State Park is set among cottonwood trees, shifting sand dunes, and a small fish... Read More
211 Highway 526, Raton, NM
The nature enthusiast will appreciate the abundance of wildlife, birds, butterflies, and wildflowers among the lakes, creeks, forests, and meadows.... Read More
NM Highway 91, Santa Rosa, NM
This reservoir on the plains of eastern New Mexico offers fishing, boating, camping and hiking, as well as abundant bird watching opportunities. Eq... Read More
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