Why Red River is a Favorite for Fly Fishing

women fly fishing in Red River NM

The Red River is a tributary of the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico. Flowing from Wheeler Peak to the Rio Grande, fly fishing can range from easy to difficult, depending on when and where you are fishing.

The Red River is sectioned into two parts, one being above the Town of Red River. Section two is referred to as the section below town. The 1st section is a relatively small stream that flows through a canyon and is accessible from state highway #586, the same highway that takes you from the town of Red River to the Upper Valley. This section is stocked on a regular basis, but you can also find wild trout in the river. The second section flows through the town of Questa. This heavy pocket flows through a four-mile-long canyon.

Fish Species in Red River

Trout, such as rainbow and brown trout, are the most common fish you can find in the waters of the Red River. Another trout you can find is brook trout. You can catch a few different species of trout in the Rio Grande, as well as some Pike. 

Guided Fly Fishing in Red River

The best way to Fly fish in Red River is to hire a guide who knows where to go and has years of experience under their belt. The Fly fishing guides at Sitzmark Sports are great teachers for those who are just starting out and can provide great tips for seasoned fishermen. Depending on the time of year and what is fishing best at that time, you may fish the Red River, Eagle Nest Lake, and even the Rio Grande. Your guide will supply fly rods, flies, and waders! 

Different Places to Fly Fish in Red River

The Rio Grande is great for fly fishing for trout. There is about a *one-mile stretch of water from the Upper Valley to town that features special trout waters. Red River Hatchery is the state’s largest production hatchery, making it a great fishing location year-round. Not only can you hike to Middle Fork Lake, but you can also fish up there! This lake is only accessible by hiking, so it doesn’t get fished a lot! Eagle Nest Lake is just 19 miles from Red River and is a prime location for trout and salmon fishing. You can fish from the banks or by boat. This lake is great for ice fishing during the winter months too!

New Mexico Fishing License

Before you can drop a line in the water you will need to purchase a New Mexico fishing license. Anyone 12 years of age or older must have a current NM fishing license. You can purchase a license online or buy one from one of the local stores in Red River, such as Sitzmark Sports.

*You may see a “Red Chile Water” sign off Highway 578; this means that certain tackle restrictions apply. You can only fish with a lure with a single, barbless hook. If you see a “Green Chile Water” sign, then that area of water is catch-and-release. 

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