Fishing Season: Mid April through October

Cimarron River - NM

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Doc Thompson's Tip of the Week

Steady flows out of Eagle Nest Lake. Seeing some cooler temps. The past few days to week have been good steady fishing throughout the day. Mostly fishing dry-droppers. Seeing a few fish along the edges eating dry flies.

Directions open in app

Map of Cimarron River

Water Flow Data

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Doc Thompson

5-Day Outlook as of 9/14/23

Flows will probably drop a little in the next week or so but should continue to see good fishing throughout September into mid-late October. Seeing some Tricos in the morning, afternoons seeing some hoppers.

Techniques & Tips as of 9/14/23

Fishing dry flies along the edges and in the riffles. In the deeper runs, riffles and pools fishing dry-droppers.

Local Species Available Mid April through October

  • Fish Icon

    Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout

Doc Thompson's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Adams Parachute Dry Fly 14-18
Hopper tan 12-14
Sparkle Dun black 16-20
Indicator Parachute - Trico black 18
Light weight nymphs N/A 16-18
Hare's Ears natural 16-20
Orvis CJ Nymph red 16-18
Higa's S.O.S. black 16-18
Pheasant Tails natural 16-18
Midges gray black 18-20

Adams Parachute Dry Fly

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Doc Thompson's Recommended Gear

Description: About Cimarron River

The Cimarron River is located in Northern New Mexico and flows east from Eagle Nest, NM, through the Cimarron Canyon State Park and continues eastward to Cimarron, NM. There is 8-10 miles of public access in the Cimarron Canyon State Park. Three miles of private water can be accessed through Orvis Endorsed Guide, Doc Thompson. The Cimarron River is technically a small tailwater that fishes and looks more like a mountain freestone stream. The water features include riffles, pockets, bend pools, undercut banks, beaver ponds, drop-offs, runs and everything in between. These water characteristics, along with a dense aquatic insect population, make the Cimarron one of the best wild brown trout fisheries in the Southwest. New Mexico Game and Fish does stock rainbows throughout the Cimarron. The best time to fish the Cimarron is from May through mid October. Key hatches include Golden Stoneflies, PMDs, Tricos, Caddis, BWOs, Midges and Terrestrials. The Cimarron Canyon State Park has three maintained campgrounds with tent and RV sites. The small communities of Eagle Nest and Cimarron are the closest towns with basic amenities of restaurants, places to stay, gas stations, groceries and fishing licenses. The larger towns of Taos, Red River and Angel Fire offer more amenities but with a little longer drive.

Nearest Airport:

Major airlines fly into Albuquerque International Sunport, private planes can fly into Angel Fire


Start looking for more Tricos, some caddis and some hoppers

Best Time to Fish:

Morning through afternoon

Best Stretch:

Cimarron Canyon State Park and the lower private water.

Best Access:

Cimarron Canyon State Park