I can say many people are really sad about the New Mexico Trout Fly Fishing and the Las Conchas Fire here in New Mexico and the long lasting impact it will have on many of our loved outdoor activities (hiking, fly fishing, & camping). The fire has been burning for some 3 weeks now, many of the national forests in New Mexico have been closed, and I for one missed a opportunity to fish some of the trout waters east of the Valles Caldera.
For those who want to know the impact of the fire to New Mexico trout fishing all you need to do is look at a couple of information resources.
The first resource is the InciWeb website, this site details the day by day status of the Las Conchas Fire. It contains a detailed map of the fire progress and one can use it as a basis on determining trout stream impact (the image with mostly blue in it is what this map looks like). Please visit the InciWeb website, it will have the most current fire map.
The second resource is the New Mexico Game & Fish website, this site details all about fishing in New Mexico, and one needs to click on the “Public Fishing Waters Map (pdf)” link. This will open a PDF which has a detailed information on trout waters, scroll to page 2 to see the Jemez Mountain public fishing waters.
Next visually compare the two maps and you can see the fire impact to the following streams (which will take years to recover).
- Headwaters of East Fork of the Jemez River (in the Valle Caldera)
- Headwaters of San Antonio Creek
- Peralta Creek
- Medio Dia Creek
- Cochiti Creek
- Capulin Creek
- Rio de Los Frijoles
- Guaje Creek
- Santa Clara Canyon Creek (not open to the public, but I know tribal members up there who will miss this fishing resource)
- Polvadera Creek
For anyone living or visiting New Mexico and wanting to go fly fish for trout, it’s going to be tough the next couple months since most of the wildlife areas and national forests have been closed due to high fire danger. In order for this to change, we really need a good rainfall throughout the state. One good thing is the San Juan River below Navajo Dam is still a place to wet a line and get into some big trout.