Fishing Season: Valle Vidal Section opens July 1 each year. RCCLA open all year but fishes mid May through Sept

Rio Costilla - NM

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:

52

Doc Thompson's Tip of the Week

Winter conditions. Don't expect Costilla to fish until May 2022.

Directions open in app

Map of Rio Costilla

Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby

Doc Thompson

5-Day Outlook as of 11/11/21

Winter Conditions. Don't expect Costilla to fish until May 2022.

Techniques & Tips as of 11/11/21

Winter conditions. Don't expect Costilla to fish until May 2022.

Current Conditions as of 11/11/21

Winter Conditions. Don't expect Costilla to fish until May 2022.

Local Species Available Valle Vidal Section opens July 1 each year. RCCLA open all year but fishes mid May through Sept

  • Fish Icon

    Cutthroats and Cuttbows

Doc Thompson's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Adams Parachute Dry Fly gray 14-18
NBK Caddis Dry tan 14-16
Yellow Humpy yellow 14-16
Hickey's Tungsten Bead Auto Emerger gray 18-20
Baetis Nymphs grayish olivish 16-20
Copper Johns red, green 16-20
Camden's Baetis gray olive 18
Bead Head Soft Hackle Hare's Ear Nymph natural 18
Hares Ears natural 16-20
BH Pheasant Tails natural 16-20

Adams Parachute Dry Fly

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Doc Thompson's Recommended Gear

Description: About Rio Costilla

The Rio Costilla is located 12 miles west of the small town of Costilla in north-central New Mexico right along the New Mexico-Colorado border. There is approximately 15 miles of public fishing access on two stretches of the Rio Costilla. There is 9-10 miles in the Valle Vidal Unit of the Carson National Forest and 5 miles in the Rio Costilla Park. There is also private access available to the Costilla on Vermejo Park Ranch and Cottonwood Meadow Ranch. Rio Costilla is primarily a classic high mountain meadow stream with riffles and deep bend pools. The Valle Vidal section does not open for fishing until July 1 and usually fishes through September. The Rio Costilla Park stretch is open year-round, but typically fishes from May through September. The main species of trout are Rio Grande Cutthroats and Cuttbows. Key hatches include Golden Stoneflies, PMDs, Drakes, Caddis, Ginger Duns and Terrestrials. The closest towns with full amenities are Red River (1 hour+ drive) and Taos (1.5+ hour drive). The gas station in Costilla is the last stop for basics before heading up to the Rio Costilla.

Nearest Airport:

Major arilines fly into Albuquerque, private planes can fly into Taos or Angel Fire

Hatches:

Baeits

Best Time to Fish:

Late morning through afternoon

Best Stretch:

Valle Vidal (opens July 1 each year). Rio Costilla Park and the lower private water fishes mid May through September.

Best Access:

Rio Costilla Park