Fishing Season: Mid April through October

Cimarron River - NM

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Doc Thompson's Tip of the Week

Winter Conditions

Directions open in app

Map of Cimarron River

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Doc Thompson

5-Day Outlook as of 3/2/23

Winter Conditions

Techniques & Tips as of 3/2/23

Winter Conditions

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 N/A 16-18
Elk Wing Caddis tan, olive 14-16
Klinkhammer N/A 16
Sparkle Dun N/A 16-18
Nymphs olives and black 16-20
Hare's Ears natural 16-20
Foam Park Hopper yellow 14
Orvis CJ Nymph red 18
Pheasant Tails natural 16-18
Midges gray black 18-20

Adams Parachute Dry Fly

Image Not Found

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


Some baetis and midges

Best Time to Fish:

Morning through afternoon

Best Stretch:

Cimarron Canyon State Park and the lower private water.

Best Access:

Cimarron Canyon State Park