Best Fly-Fishing in New Mexico

This list represents the most popular fly-fishing in New Mexico. Use this list to plan your next New Mexico fly-fishing trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Rio Grande, Upper


This is fly fishing for the technically advanced, physically fit, and adventurous. If this is not your profile, skim this section, then read “Rio Grande, Lower.”My general division line for the upper…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Questa, NM - Fly-Fishing BestFly-Fishing Trail - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#2. San Juan River


Best rainbow water in the United States? That’s up to you. Here’s a riddle: Why were San Juan rainbows called “rattling trout?” Answer: “Because they gorged on freshwater snails.” Second Riddle: “Why…
From the guidebook "America's 100 Best Trout Streams"
Turley, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. Pecos River


The Pecos flows due south out of the gorgeous basin of the Pecos Wilderness. Though only about 45 miles from Santa Fe, this forested watershed is nearly pristine. Trout are plentiful and fly fishing i…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Tererro, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#4. Red River


The Red River is born peacefully in alpine lakes under New Mexico’s highest mountains. But then, in a mad dash for the Rio Grande, it drops 6,000' in 20 miles, passing first through the town of Red Ri…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Red River, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#5. Cimarron River


Though seldom wider than 20', the Cimarron takes up a big space in the New Mexico fly fishing scene. It’s a very popular tailwater fishery swarming with fat brown trout. It also fishes best when most…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Eagle Nest, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#6. Gila River


There are better places to catch bigger trout. This is about getting way back in a perfect world and then going fly fishing—alone! With 3.3 million acres of national forest, nearly a third of it wilde…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Silver City, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#7. Rio de los Pinos


The New Mexico portion of the Los Pinos is an exceptionally pleasant and easy river to fly fish. Averaging 40' wide, this little gem of a stream has a gentle gradient and is seldom more than waist dee…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
San Miguel, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#8. Jemez Mountains


If one too many turquoise coyotes have howled at you in the streets of Santa Fe, put some classical music on, drive north and east through Los Alamos, and go up into the Jemez. This gorgeous country,…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Cuba, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#9. Rio Chama, Upper


The Rio Chama is the largest tributary to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. It begins in Colorado’s wild San Juan Mountains, then runs into New Mexico through gorgeous, untouched forest. Walk up from the…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Chama, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#10. Valles Caldera National Preserve


An elk bugle pierces the silence. Triangular hills and domes appear miraculously through the morning fog. As the fog lifts higher, vast yellow meadows extend to forests of aspen and pine miles away. W…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
San Antonio, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#11. Taos Area


Taos is an excellent headquarters for fly fishers visiting New Mexico. One can fly fish all day, return to sophisticated digs in town, have a great meal, and hear happy tales from non-fishing family m…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Taos, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#12. Rio Penasco


The Peñasco is a world-class spring creek tucked away in an obscure corner of southeastern New Mexico—east of Mayhill between the towns of Elk and Hope. At an elevation of 5,500' feet it fishes 365 da…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Artesia, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#13. High Alpine Lakes


Fly fishing in northern New Mexico’s high country offers an experience to cast a fly amidst snow-capped peaks, some over 13,000 feet in elevation. Numerous small lakes nestled among the peaks present…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Cowles, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#14. Costilla Creek


Costilla Creek is a marvelous, high-elevation tailwater fishery that drains the huge Vermejo Ranch. Predominantly a cutthroat fishery, the 20' wide stream passes through stunning scenery. Although a l…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Costilla, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#15. Rio Chama, Lower


The tailwaters of the Chama are different in nature from the upper Rio Chama. Running through sandstone canyons and at considerably lower elevation than the upper Chama, they’ll fish fairly well in wi…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Abiquiu, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#16. Mid-elevation Lakes


Here are 10 stillwaters in New Mexico’s 6,000–9,000' elevation range worth exploring with a fly rod. The others are often big, windswept, and not suitable for the light rods and piddly craft we use. A…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Cimarron, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#17. Embudo Area


Like the nearby Taos and Red River areas, this drainage has three totally different streams. The Pueblo is highly accessible, heavily used, and stocked. The Santa Barbara is in the high country, requi…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Penasco, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#18. Rio Grande, Lower


The upper Rio Grande may be black-belt fly fishing. The lower river has water for every skill level. Despite being along the highway, the lower stretch, from the Taos county line upriver, is fished li…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Taos, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#19. Jicarilla Lakes


The Jicarilla Lakes are on the huge Jicarilla Apache Reservation west of Chama NM. The million-acre reservation is famous for its big game hunting. This is lonely country characterized by sandstone cl…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Dulce, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks

#20. Rio Vallecitos


Like most of northern New Mexico, the area near this water was settled by the Spanish centuries ago. Though as the crow flies it’s not far from the sophisticated streets of Santa Fe, this area is worl…
From the guidebook "Fly Fishing New Mexico"
Vallecitos, NM - Fly-Fishing
Published by No Nonsense Fly Fishing Guidebooks