The waters of Valles Caldera National Preserve provide some great fly fishing for beginners and experts. As the rivers meander through lush mountain meadows, they create miles of pools and overhanging banks, which are home to thousands of trout. The views and quiet serenity are well worth the fishing trip.
To fish inside the park, you must have:
We offer an annual fishing special use permit valid through March 31 of the next year and a single-day use fishing permit that is issued on-site.
Fishing Rules and Regulations
New Mexico Fishing License
Follow these steps to obtain and verify possession of a New Mexico Fishing License (valid April 1 through March 31).
Remember, we need to verify that you have a valid New Mexico Fishing License, so include a scan or photo of your license in your email with your special use permit.
Annual Fishing Special Use Permit
Here is how to obtain your annual fishing permit.
Allow 7-14 business days for a park employee to process your permit.
Receiving and Using Your Annual Fishing Permit
You will receive your annual fishing permit digitally as soon as your New Mexico Fishing License is verified and park staff process the permit. The permit will be valid through March 31.
For questions and concerns, please contact us at VALL_Info@nps.gov or 575-829-4100 ext 3.
East Fork of the Jemez River and Jaramillo Creek
East Fork begins its journey in the eastern end of the Valle Grande and flows southwest to be joined by Jaramillo Creek. The narrow Jaramillo also hides many large trout under the grass banks that overhang the crystal-clear water. The confluence of the East Fork and Jaramillo waters provides an ideal feeding area for trout and creates a near perfect fishing hole. The East Fork continues its journey under the main road into the preserve and then into a secluded valley as it exits the preserve. There the river widens, deepens, and slows, creating an excellent habitat for large trout. The East Fork presents the same challenges as the San Antonio and is home to brown and rainbow trout that grow as large at 18".
San Antonio Creek and Rito de los Indios
The San Antonio Creek begins in the northern part of the preserve and runs west. The San Antonio is a tale of two rivers. The northern stretch is only two feet wide in some areas with few trees and shrubs to cover a fisherman's approach. The river widens at the lower end and flows over long, gravel bed shallows. The crystal clear water and lack of cover require stealth and an accurate cast to catch that big brown trout. The Rito de los Indios is a small stream located in the northeast corner of the preserve and flows into San Antonio Creek.
Those anglers who want to drive their personal vehicles into the backcountry to fish the San Antonio Creek, Rito de los Indios, or Jaramillo Creek must be able to obtain a free backcountry vehicle permit. Permits are limited and available seasonally as conditions allow. No backcountry vehicle permit is required to fish any preserve waters accessed by foot, bike, or horse.
Fishing Outfitters and Guides
Valles Caldera National Preserve allows but does not provide outfitter or guide services. Only authorized outfitters or guides are permitted to conduct business within the park. To work with a guide, please visit our listing of permitted fishing guides.
To become authorized, outfitters and guides must first obtain a commercial use authorization through Valles Caldera National Preserve prior to conducting any business within the park.
Last updated: April 13, 2022