An Expert’s Guide to Fishing at Eagle Nest Lake
Eagle Nest Lake, located in Eagle Nest State Park, is a popular attraction for those interested in sightseeing, camping, and fishing. This 2,200-acre lake is home to some of the best lure, bait, and fly fishing in the Southwestern United States. Sitting at 8,300 feet in elevation and surrounded by the mountains of Moreno Valley, it also provides beautiful views and amazing opportunities to see local wildlife.
The lake is regularly stocked with Trout, Salmon, and Snake River Cutthroat. You may also find Yellow Perch, Kokanee Salmon, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, and some pretty large Carp, as well. Fishing from the banks or by boat occurs during spring, summer, and early fall. Ice Fishing usually starts in January. With the new lower ice requirements, Ice Fishing may begin towards the end of the year, depending on conditions.
Boat rentals are available at the marina. However, if shore fishing is your thing, you’ll be happy to know that a quick 1000-yard walk around the perimeter of the lake will usually get you out of sight from any fishing neighbors. The Eagle Nest Fly Shack offers fishing guide services, so you can get a local’s know-how and secrets on bait, technique, and results. This guided trip will provide you with local insight, as well as an insulated and heated ice fishing tent, a gas-powered auger, rods, reels, lures, and even snacks. You can book a 4-hour, half-day fishing trip for 1-3 people, ranging from $220 to $340 or a full 7-hour day for 1-3 people, ranging $320 to $440. They’ll also do multi-day trips for large groups.
If you prefer to do your fishing on your own, we still recommend a quick stop by the Eagle Nest Fly Shack. The staff of the Fly Shack are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. They’re not going to give you information they’ve heard or read. Their 411 is first hand. The supplies and tackle offered in the shack are top-notch and will be the favored choices for the waters of Eagle Nest Lake. They even have an after-hours service for any anglers who head out early and return late. A sign hangs on the door to the Fly Shack, providing you with a phone number to call if you need any tackle after-hours. The staff will go above and beyond to make sure your fishing experience on Eagle Nest Lake is memorable. Check out their Facebook page for the most up-to-date information and pics of their latest catches.
During the Summer Months, you’ll be most successful using worms to catch Perch, Brown Mepps #5 or Predator Flies to catch Pike, or using Back Stabbers or Jamie’s Crazy Carper lures in the early mornings or early evenings to reel in Carp. For Dry Flies, it’s best to use grasshoppers, Adams, H & L Variant, Moth-man, Royal Wulff, Caddies, Stimulator, BWO, Ants or Beetles. The Fly Fishing is some of the best! If you’ve never given it a try, this is definitely the place to start!
During the cooler months around October, the Brown Trout are usually spawning. It’s best for the lake to just leave them in the water. For those of you seeking out Salmon, check those small inlets around the lake. If you’re seeking to reel in Pike, make use of Dynamic Lures and trail that lure real close to the banks. For Trout, your best bet is going to be Pistol Pete’s Power Bait or Wolly Buggers. Wolly Buggers will also bring in Perch, along with Pistol Pete’s and spinners or spoon lures.
Ice fishing is a huge deal to the Enchanted Circle locals! Not only does it provide some entertaining stories, but ice fishing can also result in some amazing catches! During the Winter months, the fish are swimming around under the ice, looking for any opportunity to find food. Sinking a line through a hole in the ice provides optimal conditions to seize that trophy fish you’ll brag about for the rest of your life!
Before grabbing those rods and reels, make sure you have your fishing license and check for any updates on fishing conditions. Check the Fishing Report or give the State Park Office a call at 575-377-1594. Grab that tackle box and get moving! Tight lines and spinning reels!