Weekend Angler: Albuquerque
The 15- to 30-foot wide Rio Guadalupe, formed by the confluence of the Rio Cebolla and the Rio de las Vacas, flows south 1011 miles until joining the main Jemez River at the town of Canones. Most of the trout in this canyon river are wild browns in the 1014" range.
NM Highway 485 and Forest Service Rd. 376 parallel the fast tumbling Guadalupe and pass through two old railroad tunnels. The easiest access points and most crowded are just above the tunnels at the Deer Creek Landing area below FR 626 and the Porter ghost town where FR 376 crosses the confluence. New Mexico Game and Fish periodically stocks rainbows in these two spots.
Anglers in good physical shape in search of solitude should fish the upper Guadalupe canyon section between FR 626 and Porter. Many consider this to be the best stretch of the Guadalupe. The steep canyon walls and limited access keep the crowds away. Wading can be tricky, so felt-soled wading boots are a must.
Perhaps the most heart-pounding time to fish the Rio Guadalupe is during the giant stonefly (Pteronarcys californica) hatch in mid-May to mid-June. Heavy snow and run-off usually coincides with this hatch. Years with mild run-off find favorable flows for fishing this hatch.
Heavy wild browns up to 16 inches put their guard down taking large dry flies. And big stonefly nymphs fished deep have been known to turn up browns pushing 20 inches.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication