Fly Fishing the Cimarron River New
The Cimarron River is a small tailwater located in northern
New Mexico. Fly fishing the little stream is a real treat and
often test the angler's skills. It is easier to fish when the
stream levels are up and it is cloudy but that's often not
This is one of the best small stream brown trout fisheries
in the Southwestern United States. It has as many as
4,000 wild brown trout per mile of stream. These brown
trout average about 12 to 14 inches but grow much
larger. The stream is also stocked with a few rainbows.
This tailwater flows from Eagles Nest Lake in the eastern
side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Fly fishing the
Cimarron River is easy due to the small width of the
stream and the easy wading it provides.
The Cimarron Canyon State Park and the Colin Neblett
Wildlife Area provide about nine miles of public access to
the stream. The state park section of the stream begins at
US Highway #64 bridge just upstream of the Tolby
Campground. It ends near the little town of Ute Park New
Mexico. About two miles of this stream flows through
The river flows moderately through pools, riffles and runs.
It has some pocket water and fast water but the majority is
smooth flowing. The stream is lined with cottonwood trees
and willows along with a mixture of other trees. It only
averages about fifteen feet wide. There are beaver dams
and undercut banks along its way. The irrigation season
runs from May to September. During this time (majority of
the season) ranches and farmers use the water the flows
can be rather high at times.
This stream has a huge population of aquatic insects
consisting of mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies. Dry fly
fishing can be good at times but most fishing success
comes from fishing nymphs and streamers.
If you enjoy small stream tailwater fishing, your sure to
enjoy fly fishing New Mexico's Cimarron River.
The best part of the season starts in early May and
continues through most of October.
Springtime is the best time for fly fishing the Cimarron
The water stays cool all summer long and fishing remains
Fall can be the best time to fish. The brown trout spawn
during the Fall.
Winter fishing can be good on warm nice days. Midges
are the most important foods.
Copyright 2019 James Marsh
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
4, 5 or 6 weight
Dry fly: 9 to 12 ft., 5 or 6X Nymphing:
71/2 ft., 3 or 4X, Streamers 0-2X
Dry fly: 5 or 6X, Nymphing: 3 or 4X,
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly Supreme Four, Superb Five
or Ultimate Six
For 4/5/6 fly line
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
Floatants, KISS Strike Indicators
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Cimarron River Fishing Reports:
11/03/13 Customer reporting some very
nice brown trout caught in the Cimarron
River tailwater. Called to order more Brown
Sculpin Streamer flies.
11/16/13 More nice brown trout caught.
Thanks to the above customer, we had a
new gentleman call and order the Brown
01/28/14 Please check back by the end of
March for more fishing reports.
03/26/14 We will start our fishing reports on
the Cimarron River soon.
Cimarron River Fishing Report
Updated May 19, 2019
(Bottom Of Page)
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (email@example.com)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
04/16/14 The best reports this year came in
last week from two regular customers. BWO
nymphs were the key. No hatches were
reported but it should be starting soon.
04/23/14 Anglers having a little trouble
with low water conditions at times but we
are still getting good reports.
04/30/14 One angler reported catching
some trout this past week. The stream
levels are still very low and no rain is in the
05/07/14 Those guys that can fish the
low water levels without spooking the
trout continue to do very well. Some
aren't but my guess is they are either
spooking the trout and/or making bad
presentations in the low, clear water.
05/14/14 One good report from a
customer ordering more flies. He has
been catching trout his last two trips. More
hatches are taking place.
05/28/14 Customers reported fishing to
be excellent with several species of
aquatic insects hatching. Some trout are
being caught on dry flies as well as
06/04/14 More good reports came in last
week. One customer ordering flies reported
Pale Morning Duns were hatching.
06/11/14 Two more good reports of fish
being caught. Conditions are very good and
several insects hatching.
06/24/14 Customer ordering more flies
reports fishing has been very good. He is
mostly fishing PMD dry flies, or duns. He
did mention the stream is flowing low and
the trout are spooky.
07/09/14 Low water levels have been a
problem at times but plenty of trout are
being caught. Fish the higher elevations.
Mostly PMDs and Spotted Sedges at this
07/23/14 Anglers still have good success
fishing higher elevations. Hatches have
slowed some but terrestrials are working
07/30/14 Two good report came in from
anglers fishing the higher elevations this
past week. There are still plenty of PMDs,
spotted sedges and of course, terrestrials.
09/03/14 Sorry for the lack of reports.
Conditions have improved lately and some
nice browns have been caught recently.
09/24/14 Low water levels have made it a
little tougher but anglers that stay well
hidden and make good presentations are
catching plenty of trout. Terrestrials are
10/08/14 Some rain has helped the
headwaters and anglers are catching more
trout as a results. There are still plenty of
Spotted Sedges hatching.
10/15/14 Two more good reports from
anglers camping. BWOs are starting to
10/22/14 Another good report from a
customer using our BWOs. Conditions are
great and trout are being caught.
10/29/14 No reports from the past week but
good conditions still exist.
11/05/14 Two great reports from customers
using our BWO nymph and Brown sculpin
streamers this past week.
11/24/14 One good and one not so good
report. One customer caught some nice
size brown trout on our Brown Sculpin.
12/19/14 Fewer reports this past month but
the stream is still in good shape for this
time of the year. we recommend Cream
midge larva and puap.
12/24/14 One good report from a customer
ordering more flies. He caught several trout
last week. Good Conditions.
12/31/14 No reports from the past week. It is
a little colder but conditions are good.
01/07/15 Still no reports from last week but
conditions are very good for wintertime. Let
us hear from you
01/14/15 A customer reported catching a
few browns on our Cream Midge larva and
pupa fished in tandem.
01/21/15 Two more good reports from the
past week. One was using our brown
sculpin streamer and another midges.
01/28/15 Another good report from one of
the same customer as above. Streamers,
our Brown Sculpin, is the his choice.
02/03/15 Stream levels have been up some
and we didn't receive any reports from the
02/17/15 We received two good reports from
customers fishing during the past two weeks.
BWO nymphs and Brown Sculpin streamers
are working good.
03/03/15 No reports from anyone fishing this
03/10/15 Still no reports from anyone fishing
but conditiions have improved greatly.
03/17/15 One report from a regular
customer who is catching trout our BWO
nymphs. Conditions are very good at this
03/24/15 No reports from last week but the
conditions, levels and temp remain good.
03/31/15 One report from same gentlemen
from 3/17. He is continuing to catch trout on
BWO nymphs, size 18.
04/07/15 Two good reports, one from a
customer, another from a local this past
04/14/15 Low stream levels are making it a
little tough but stay hidden and you can
04/21/15 A little rain in the forecast should
help. Hatches are taking place.
05/05/15 Some badly needed rain is in the
forecast. Cinnamon Caddis and little
BWOs are hatching.
05/12/15 Two good reports from customers
this past week. Good levels and some
hatches taking place.
05/19/15 Lots of hatches, two good reports,
05/26/15 Two good reports from customers
fishing this past week. Several brown caught.
06/09/15 Fishing has been very good.
Good stream levels now but a lot of rain is
in the forecast. There are a lot of hatches.
06/16/15 Golden Stoneflies are hatching.
Pale Morning Duns, Dark Red Quills, Gray
Drakes and Spotted Sedges hatching.
06/23/15 Higher, off color water due to
runoff. It needs another week or so.
07/07/15 The levels are high below Cimarrom
and low below Clear Creek. Two good reports
form the past two weeks.
07/14/15 No reports, but conditions remain
good. PMDs, Spotted Sedges, main hatches.
07/20/15 Two good reports but lots of heavy
rain on the way, so watch the levels.
07/28/15 The river has been up and off color
but back in good shape. Let us hear from you.
08/04/15 A chance of rain everyday is
unusual. Remember, its a tailwater and that
controls the flows.
08/11/15 Two good reports from the past
week. Good stream levels and some hatches.
08/18/15 Our Brown Sculpin streamer is
scoring some nice size brown trout lately.
09/01/15 We have received three good
reports during the past two weeks. Lots of
Tricos, and Spotted sedges. Some rain in the
forecast should help.
09/08/15 Good flows below Eagle Nest means
good opportunities. Check the discharges.
09/22/15 You can expect more discharges
and higher levels. This should help the fishing
when things settle. There is rain in the area.
10/06/15 There is a chance of rain everyday
through this coming Saturday, so watch the
discharges from the dam and stream level.
10/13/15 This little river is in good shape with
few anglers taking advantage of it. Good
weather and stream conditions exist.
10/20/15 We received two very good reports
this past week. Blue-winged olives were
hatching and trout being caught on top.
10/27/15 Excellent conditions exist with
October caddis and BWPs hatching.
11/03/15 It is turning colder with snow in the
forecast for Wednesday and Thursday.
Conditions otherwise are very good.
11/10/15 Good conditions exist right now. We
didn't receive any reports from anyone fishing.
11/17/15 There is a winter storm warning for
today and tomorrow, but things will settle
down fast and be back in good condition.
11/24/15 The river is back in good condition.
Clear water and wadable conditions.
12/01/15 No reports from the past week but
conditions are very good. Midges and small
Blue-winged olives are the flies you need.
12/08/15 The discharges are low at the
current time, meaning good wading
conditions. Midges and BWO are working and
our customers are catching trout.
12/15/15 Winter stoneflies have started to
hatch. Fish the nymphs anytime and adults
only when you see egg laying activity.
12/22/15 Rain and snow may increase the
discharges, so keep an eye on the levels.
Streamers will probably be the best option.
12/29/15 They have been running some
water through the dam and it is likely to
continue, so make sure you check the stream
01/12/16 The discharges and stream levels are
finally down to where wading is okay. Midges
are your best bet for flies. Cream and Red are
both working good.
01/19/16 Conditions are very good at this
time. You do need ot watch the levels but they
should be fine. Midges and more midges.
01/26/16 The white belly sculpin and Red and
cream midges are catching trout. No rain is in
the forecast, with good stream levels.
02/09/16 Discharges remain steady and the
weather clear of rain or snow for the next
week. The water is cold, averaging about 38
degrees and cream midges the best fly choice.
02/23/16 Winter storm warning through
tomorrow, then clearing and up to the low
forties. Good discharge levels.
03/08/16 They are running a little water at the
time I'm posting this. Sculpin Streamers would
be your best bet for flies along with midges.
03/22/16 Discharges and levels are down for a
change and wading possible. Midges, and little
BWOs are hatching. Little Brown stoneflies
should show up very soon.
03/29/16 The discharges and stream levels
are still very low. You can actually sight cast in
places. Use midges, BWO, little Brown stones.
04/05/16 No change in water levels or
discharges, but there is some rain forecast for
the weekend. This may change it.
04/12/16 Still low levels but the trout are there
eating. You just have to stay well hidden.
04/26/16 Low discharges and water levels
remain but hopefully, the rain and snow
coming this next week will up the levels some.
One customer is catching fish "sight" fishing.
05/10/16 Discharges and stream levels are
fine and lots of hatches taking placed. Email
us with the date you plan on fishing and we will
send a list of flies; firstname.lastname@example.org
05/24/16 Stream levels are very low due to low
discharges. You can sight fish for them. Stay
low and hidden.
06/07/16 The river is very low right now. The
discharges are shut down and you can fish it but
stealth required. Keep a check on the levels.
06/21/16 The water levels are still low but
good for wading. Some are sight casting to
trout. Lots of PMDs, caddis and little Yellows.
07/05/16 The discharges are low and normal
for this time of the year. Lots of hatches are
taking place and our customers are reporting
some good catches the last few days.
07/19/16 Conditions are good at this time.
Good stream levels and lots of PMDs and
07/26/16 Terrestrials are working good along
with Tricos. Stream levels holding at 42 cfs.
08/02/16 We received two good reports this
past week. Good discharges and levels and
lots of Pale Morning Duns.
08/16/16 Easy wading right now, with low
discharges. Fish early and late in the day (last
few hours) for the best results.
08/30/16 We received two good reports from
customers this past weekend. The flows are
okay and lots of insects, mostly caddisflies, are
hatching. They were using hopper droppers.
09/20/16 The discharges are very low right
now. Our customers have been catching
plenty of trout. The levels will be changing.
There is rain forecast everyday for the next
09/27/16 The discharges are a little above
normal right now at 20 cfs. Lots of
Blue-winged olives and spotted sedges are
hatching. Terrestrials are still working good.
10/04/16 The discharges are up and the
stream flowing at 20 cfs at 0.74 ft. This is
above normal and a little strong but fine.
10/11/16 Brown trout are building redds, so
please don't wade through them. Stream
levels are down in good shape and trout
11/01/16 The discharge and stream levels
are staying up but wading is possible if y our
careful. Blue-winged olives are hatching
good. Sculpin streamers are working good.
11/15/16 The weather is nice with highs in
the fifties and sixties. Two good reports
came in from the past week. Brown sculpin,
BWOs, and Cream midges are working.
11/29/16 Stream levels are low but fine and
easy wading. The weather is cold, not getting
above freezing. Fish near the dam.
12/13/16 The discharges and stream levels
are in good shape. Cream and Red midges
are the key insects to imitate.
12/27/16 We are still getting good reports on
warmer days although changes the water
temp. at all. Fish the midges in tandem for
best results, with the pupa on top.
01/03/17 Most days the high temperature for
the day is not over freezing. Fish as near the
dams as legal for the warmest water. Use
Midges and Winter stonefly nymphs.
01/24/17 Snow ending today, then cold and
clear. The water temp at the discharge is near
39 degrees. Midges, creams and reds, and
Winter stonefly nymphs will catch trout.
02/07/17 Great conditions exist. We had two
good reports from the past week. Fish near
the dam with Cream or Red midges.
02/14/17 More good reports from the Red
river. Fish near the hatchery using midges
with the larva and pupa rigged in tandem.
02/21/17 The conditions remain good and we
keep getting good reports of catches.
03/07/17 The few that are fishing the
tailwater are catching good numbers of trout.
The levels are low. Fish Cream or Red
midges with the larva and pupa in tandem.
04/04/17 The discharges and flows are low
and our customers are catching good
numbers trout. Use light Green midges.
04/25/17 The discharges and stream levels
are low and trout are being caught in good
numbers. Little BWO, Skwala stoneflies, little
Black Caddis and midges.
05/09/17 Discharges are down and levels
very low. You can catch trout, just don't
spook them. There are some good hatches.
05/23/17 The stream levels are down with no
generation and the water clear. You can
wade about anywhere. There are lots of
06/06/17 Good conditions exist and good
numbers of trout are being caught by our
customers. Good stream levels and lots of
hatches taking place.
06/20/17 Discharges and stream levels are
low but good and safe for wading. There
are lot of hatches including Pale Morning
duns and many others.
07/11/17 The flows are at 33.6 cfs at 1.0 ft.,
which is good. Lots of insects are hatching -
PMDs, Spotted sedges, Green sedge
caddis, and more. Good conditions exist.
07/18/17 The discharges and stream levels
are low and the tailwater is good shape. Lots
of hatches and trout being caught.
07/28/17 The stream levels are running a
little low but wading is safe and easy. There
are still plenty of hatches taking place.
08/08/17 Discharges and stream levels are
back down, making it easy to wade.
Terrestrials are working good.
08/15/17 Low stream levels, stay low and
don't spook the trout. Otherwise, conditions
09/26/17 Sorry for the missed reports.
Conditions are good right now. They just
dropped this heavy discharges. Lots of
BWOs, some PMDs remaining and lots of
caddis. Sculpin streamers always work good.
10/10/17 Stream levels are very low in the
tailwater. You have to be careful not to
spook the trout. BWOs, Mahogany duns
and other insects are hatching.
10/25/17 The discharges are still very low
and stealth needed. Of course, wading is
easy and safe but stay low and dress to
match the background.
11/01/17 Stream levels are still low but
otherwise, conditions are good.
Brown Sculpin Streamer
11/15/17 Stream levels are in good shape
and good numbers of trout are being
caught. BWO and midge hatches.
11/23/17 The discharges and stream
levels are low but fine. Cream and Red
midges and BWOs are hatching.
12/07/17 Stream levels are up some but
okay. Midges are hatching very good. Rig
the larva and pupa imitations in tandem.
12/14/17 The stream levels are very low
and wading safe and easy. Midges, Creams
and Blood midges (reds) are hatching.
Winter stoneflies are hatching.
01/04/18 The stream is low but otherwise
in good shape. There are some BWOs
hatching but mostly midges and Winter
01/17/18 The river is still low but otherwise
okay. Midges, creams and reds or blood
midges are hatching along with Winter SF.
01/31/18 The levels are still low but trout are
being caught. Midges and Winter stoneflies
are hatching. Aquatic worms work.
02/14/18 The discharges and stream levels
are very low.
02/28/18 The conditions are good and
trout are being caught on Sculpin
streamers, midges and aquatic worms.
03/13/18 Discharges and stream levels are
low but otherwise, in good shape.
03/21/18 Stream levels are still very low and
you have to be careful not to spook the trout.
04/04/18 The discharges have been up but
currently back down low. Good hatches of
Skwala stones, midges and BWOs.
04/19/18 Lots of March Browns are hatching
and good numbers of trout are being caught
by the few fishing.
05/03/18 The discharges and stream levels
are up a little above normal and in great
conditions. Good dry fly action with lots of
hatches taking place.
05/24/18 The discharges and stream levels
are near normal. There are a good
number of hatches taking place and dry fly
fishing is very good.
06/07/18 Discharges and stream levels
continue to be normal and some good
catches are being reports. PMDs and many
other insects are hatching.
06/28/18 The discharges and stream
levels are in good shape. There are lots of
hatches and trout are being caught.
07/19/18 Discharges and stream levels
are finally back up to normal. There are
still a lot of insects hatching. Send us an
email for a list of flies.
08/16/18 Stream levels are a little above
normal and it good shape for August.
Good hatches of PMDs, Little Yellow
stones, Green and Spotted sedges and
terrestrials are working.
09/06/18 The discharges and stream
levels are normal and trout are being
caught. There are still some good hatches
and terrestrials are working good.
09/30/18 Discharges and levels are up
and trout are being caught in good
numbers. The levels are just right.
Sculpin streamers will get the big browns.
10/17/18 The river is still in very good
shape with good numbers of trout being
caught by the few anglers fishing it.
10/31/18 The stream is in good shape
with good levels. There are good
numbers of trout being caught.
11/26/18 The stream is still up with good
levels. It has been very low but fine again.
Rain is in the forecast and it should stay in
good shape. Some good hatches.
12/03/18 Stream levels are low again and
you will have to stay low and hidden.
Midges, cream and reds are hatching.
Fish the larva and pupa rigged in tandem.
12/17/18 Stream levels are up and trout
are being caught in good numbers. Our
sculpin are catching some big browns.
01/02/19 The flows are up to 231 cfs,
which is above normal for the Eagle Nest
tailwater. Sculpin streamers, midges and
01/23/19 The discharges and flows are up
and conditions good. Midges are catching
trout. Rig them with the larva and pupa in
tandem. We have these pre-rigged.
01/30/19 The water is low but stay hidden,
and you can catch trout. Midges, black
flies, little BWOs and Winter stoneflies.
02/13/19 Flows are up and the river in
good shape. Midges, creams and reds, are
hatching along with winter stoneflies.
Sculpin streamers should work good.
02/28/19 Discharges and stream levels
are up and the river in good shape. Little
Brown stoneflies, midges, BWOs are
03/08/19 The stream is still in good
condition. We didn't receive any reports
from the past week.
03/25/19 Stream levels are back down
below normal. Little Brown stoneflies,
Blue-winged olives and little Black caddis
are hatching good.
04/12/19 The stream levels is low again
and we didn't receive any reports.
04/24/19 The river is still low, but can be
fished. You just have to be careful to not
spook the trout.
05/05/19 Conditions remain the same.
05/19/19 Stream and discharges are still
very low. You can fish it. Trout are being