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New Mexico

Photo via Flickr

World class trout fishing

Some people don’t think of New Mexico as a fishing destination, but they would be blown away by some of the trout streams and reservoirs this state has to offer. The famous San Juan River has recently been reported as having as many as 12,000 fish per mile - a simply mind boggling number. The high canyons and blue ribbon trout streams make for great scenery while you’re casting to big rainbow trout or fishing for musky on an isolated lake.

New Mexico boasts probably the best fishing in the Southwest. It is one of the few states where you can catch the indigenous Gila trout, which has made an astonishing recovery thanks to the US Fish & Wildlife Service after approaching extinction only a decade ago. These unique fish are closely related to the rainbow trout, but have distinct black spots on the forward part of their yellow bodies, similar to a cutthroat. Fishing for these unique trout is now available in many of New Mexico’s rivers and streams.

Basic Info
  • 42° 11° Dec-Feb
  • 63° 30° Mar-May
  • 87° 52° Jun-Aug
  • 66° 32° Sep-Nov
Cimarron River, San Juan River, Bluewater Lake, Chama River, Pecos River
Fishing license info here: here

The Catch

Top fish species to target in New Mexico

Brook Trout

Especially prevelant, sometimes over populated, in high elevation lakes and streams, these fish have one spots and multi-colored fins.

Brown Trout

Large dark spotting pattern makes this fish stand out against the other trouts. They can be tough to catch and strong. Look for fall runs.

Cutthroat Trout

These fish look similar to Rainbows but with more spotting and the distinctive red slash near the throat.

Largemouth Bass

Olive green with browish strips and blotches, Largemouths have an elongated jaw and will often go airborn when caught.

Rainbow Trout

Adult fish are distinguished by a broad reddish stripe along the lateral line, from gills to the tail, which is most vivid in breeding males.

Smallmouth Bass

Generally brown with red eyes and vertical strips, Smallmouths have a jaw that extends to the eye.

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