From an hour of teaching skills to the little ones, to an overnight adventure seeking the most remote streams and lakes; the Questa area has it all!
Eagle Rock Lake:
Just a 1½ miles east of downtown on highway 38; you’ll find pretty family-friendly site. Recently restored to a pristine state and re-landscaped, the 3-acre lake is stocked with rainbow trout and is handicap-accessible. The section of the Red River behind the lake was also restored for optimal trout habitat, so this is an excellent site for lake or stream fishing!
Red River Fish Hatchery:
This is another good choice for kids or the elderly; turn onto hwy 515 just a couple miles south of Questa and follow the road another 2 miles to the hatchery with its self-guided tour available 8a-5p every day, and fishing ponds accessible dawn-dusk.
June, 2015 saw completion of improved trout habitat along the Red River, for about 1/2 mile up and down-stream from the hatchery!
Red River Box
The Fish Hatchery is also an access point for more experienced anglers to fish the lower section of the Red River. The area known as the box is between the hatchery and the Rio Grande, and is a deep narrow canyon whose features create great holding areas for trout.
The water temperature here remains fairly constant year-round. Hike downstream a half mile or more from the hatchery for the best fishing; the trail is rough but worth it.
Despite the willows lining much of the bank, fly fishing is not difficult. Rainbow Trout predominate, though Browns increase in number as you approach the confluence with the Rio Grande.
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
One can also hike into the Red River box from the El Aguaje trail or the La Junta trail at the river’s confluence with the Rio Grande in the National Monument.
Many of the well-maintained trails here lead to the rivers, with some requiring a long and steep hike down, and a couple offering shorter climbs with game trails to follow at water’s edge. Anglers find Cutbow, Rainbow, and Brown trout.
Excellent camping sites run along the rim and even down in the gorge adjacent to these special trout waters.
The park is accessed 2.6m north of Questa by turning west onto hwy 378 and passing through the tiny village of Cerro before entering the dramatic scenery of volcanic peaks and river gorge.
This mountain lake is a close 20 minute drive from town along Cabresto Canyon. The 15 acre lake sits at 9,150’ and offers excellent fishing for several species of trout. Follow Cabresto Road/forest rd. 134 east 6 miles, then forest rd. 134A north 2 miles. A high-clearance vehicle is needed.
Camping, picnic sites and a trailhead into the mountain peaks can be found off the parking lot. This is a nice entry point into the Latir Peaks Wilderness Area.
Fishing gear and licenses can be obtained in Questa at Questa Lumber and Hardware Mon.-Sat., or on-line HERE.
Find more information from the Forest Service’s Questa Ranger District HERE, or phone 575-586-0520.
Find more information from the BLM at Wild Rivers visitor center in the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument HERE, or phone 575-586-1150.
Important information from New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is available HERE.
There are some great fishing guides who know these waters well.
Premier Outfitters: Questa native, George Rael, 575-779-4907, www.premier-outfitters.com
Ed Adams Fly Fishing: based in Questa, 575-586-1512, www.edadamsflyfishing.com
Taos Fly Shop: Hall of Fame guide Taylor Streit and son Nick, www.taosflyshop.com , 575-751-1312