East of Taos and Eagle Nest, the Cimarron River flows east out of Eagle Nest Lake Dam towards the town of Cimarron through Cimarron Canyon State Park. The river is along the eastern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The tailwater fishing below the dam is very popular with fly fishermen and with the brown trout! Think huge brown trout. There are also stocked rainbow trout, and the NM Game and Fish department estimates there are about 4,000 wild brown trout per mile. Typically, the river is 10 to 15 feet wide and about 1 to 3 feet deep. Expect to find plenty of willow, cottonwood and adler trees lining the river. There is a very diverse insect season from April to September.
The Cimarron River parallels US64 which provides many fly fishing access points. There are ten miles of water open to the public, with most of it inside Cimarron Canyon State Park. The state park water begins at the US Hwy 64 bridge just upstream of Tolby Campground and ends at the eastern edge of the state park just west of the town of Ute Park.
Note: When fly fishing in New Mexico, you must have a valid fishing license in your possession at all times. There is a combined daily bag limit of five for brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, lake trout, konanee salmon and cutthroat trout (a maximum of two).
Overall, Cimarron River is the 5th most popular fly fishing river of all 13 fly fishing spots in New Mexico.