Fishing Season: Mid April through October

Cimarron River - NM

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:

60

Doc Thompson's Tip of the Week

Flows are good are a good fishing flow coming out of Eagle Nest. Fishing has been solid the last week. Fish dries or dries with an emerger in the riffles and along the edges. Might need to add a small dropper for the deeper water and pools. In the Cimarron Canyon State Park from the bottom end of Ponderosa Campground downstream to the end of the state park at marker 296 will be having some trout habitat work done, please avoid fishing this stretch.

Directions open in app

Map of Cimarron River

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Doc Thompson

5-Day Outlook as of 9/16/21

Expect the Cimarron to continue to fish good through the next week or two. Cloudy afternoons have been helping to keep the later afternoon fish action between good to excellent. Sunny afternoons may see the fish action slow a bit. Usually the Cimarron fishes well into October. Baetis mayflies coming over over the next couple weeks. In the Cimarron Canyon State Park from the bottom end of Ponderosa Campground downstream to the end of the state park at marker 296 will be having some trout habitat work done, please avoid fishing this stretch.

Techniques & Tips as of 9/16/21

Fishing has been solid lately using dry flies or dries with small emergers in the riffles and along the edges. For the deeper runs and pools might need to add a small dropper. Seeing some baetis, and still seeing some lingering terrestrials. Wade slowly, the fish can spooky easy. In the Cimarron Canyon State Park from the bottom end of Ponderosa Campground downstream to the end of the state park at marker 296 will be having some trout habitat work done, please avoid fishing this stretch.

Current Conditions as of 9/16/21

Expect the Cimarron to continue to fish good through the next week or two. Cloudy afternoons have been helping to keep the later afternoon fish action between good to excellent. Sunny afternoons may see the fish action slow a bit. Usually the Cimarron fishes well into October. Baetis mayflies coming over over the next couple weeks. In the Cimarron Canyon State Park from the bottom end of Ponderosa Campground downstream to the end of the state park at marker 296 will be having some trout habitat work done, please avoid fishing this stretch.

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):
Adam's Purple Parachute purple 16-18
Adams Parachute Dry Fly grey and olive 16-18
Foam Park Hopper tan, brown 12-14
E.C. Caddis olive and tan 14-16
Baetis Nymphs olives grayish 16-20
Hare's Ears natural 16-20
Sparkle Dun olive and gray 16-18
Hickey's Glass Bead Auto Emerger gray and olive 16-18
Pheasant Tails natural 16-18
Midges gray black 18-20

Adam's Purple Parachute

Tie on this deadly purple parachute dry fly to show trout something unique.

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

Hatches:

Baetis starting to hatch. A few terrestrials

Best Time to Fish:

Morning through afternoon

Best Stretch:

Cimarron Canyon State Park and the lower private water.

Best Access:

Cimarron Canyon State Park