Ten miles of the Rio Chama,
above the mouth of Wolf Creek-- located 4 miles
below the New Mexico border, is private land requiring land owner's
permission to fish the Rio Chama and Wolf Creek. The Rio Chama at
this point holds wild browns with cutthroats in Wolf Creek and
rainbows in both streams.
The Rio Chamita spills into
the Rio Chama, about 9 miles below the Wolf Creek
confluence with the Rio Chama. Access to the Rio Chamita is from a
dirt road one and a half miles north of the town of Chama.
A couple of miles north of Chama traveling on
NM 17 there is a parking area to access a trail to the Rio Chama for
about a 3-mile stretch upstream in the Edward Sargent
Wildlife Area. Camping is also available at this location.
Fishing in this stretch is very good with dry flies in the evenings
and nymphs all day. There are special regulations on this stretch of
the Rio Chama.
South of Chama 15 miles on US 64/84 is the
confluence of the Rio Brazos with the Rio
Chama. Most of this run of the Rio Chama is on private
land, except for a 4-mile stretch a couple of miles south of town.
Nymphing is the successful method here.
Traveling on US 64/84, before reaching the
confluence with the Rio Brazos drive east on NM 512 about 9 1/2
miles to the location of the well-known Corkins Lodge.
There is about a mile and a half of public access below Corkins
Lodge. The entire Rio Brazos, from the confluence, occupies private
property with permission required to fish the stream.
Below the confluence with the Rio Brazos, the
Rio Chama offers several miles of excellent dry fly and nymph
fishing as it picks up the tailwaters of Heron Lake
then pours into El Vado Reservoir. The best access
is at the Rio Chama Wildlife Area off NM 112, a few
miles south from US 64/84. The Rio
Chama, at this point, can be
quite wide--over 40 ft. and has great runs, pools and large boulders
that create great pocket water. The river holds rainbows and wild
browns and there is ample opportunity to catch large trout. Who
knows maybe even a new state record? There are special regulations
on the Rio Chama in the Rio Chama Wildlife Area.
Dry flies and nymphs are good in this part of
the Rio Chama but large flies, such as streamers are the best chance
for catching some unusually large fish. There are plenty 18" or
larger trout in this fishery.