Fishing Season: Year Round

Chama River - NM

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Nick Streit's Tip of the Week

Tips would be to continue to throw big bugs. Wooly Buggers and other streamers would be a go-to below El Vado and maybe large dry droppers in the freestone section above. Below Abiquiu is still too off color to be trusted.

Directions open in app

Map of Chama River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

The Reel Life

5-Day Outlook as of 10/4/22

The weather is looking wet and rainy all week with scattered thunderstorms in the afternoons. Water clarity is going to be hit or miss.

Techniques & Tips as of 10/4/22

Steamers, leeches, and cranefly larva are your best bet.

Local Species Available Year Round

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    Brown Trout

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    Rainbow Trout

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    Rio Grande Cutthroat

Nick Streit's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Blue Winged Olive brown 18
Tunghead Hot Spot Pheasant Tail Jig grey 14
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer olive 10
Tunghead Hare's Ear Flashback grey 12
Sculpzilla olive 8
Cranefly Larva olive 8
Micro Egg pink 16
Bead Head Woolly Bugger Streamer black 10
Master YODA grey 18
Warderns peacock 8

Blue Winged Olive

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Nick Streit's Recommended Gear

Description: About Chama River

The Chama is one of NM’s most dynamic rivers, running from its source in the southern Colorado high country to its junction with the Rio Grande among the red and orange mesas made famous by Georgia O'Keefe. In spite of its relatively small size, there are big fish in the Chama, primarily browns and rainbows. There are two tailwater stretchs of the Rio Chama, one below Abiqui lake and the other upstream below El Vado lake. Above El Vado, The Chama is a classic freestone.

Nearest Airport:

Santa Fe


Stoneflies (freestone section) Baetis Craneflies Caddis Midges BWO's

Best Time to Fish:

Mid-day through late afternoon

Best Stretch:

El Vado spring thru fall, Abiquiu fall thru early spring, La Puente Late June- August

Best Access:

Below Abiquiu Dam and below El Vado Dam