Man fishes from the grass covered bank of a narrow stream.
Fishing at Valles Caldera

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:

  • a special use permit for fishing issued by the park
  • a valid New Mexico Fishing License

We offer an annual fishing permit valid through March 31 of the next year and a seven-day fishing permit.


Fishing Rules and Regulations

  • All anglers are responsible for being familiar with New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) fishing regulations and must have in their possession: Visit NMDGF website for exemptions based on age.
    • a valid NMDGF fishing license
    • a Habitat Management and Access Validation (HMAV) stamp
  • All anglers are required to have a current special use permit for fishing issued by the park.
  • All waters within the park fall under NMDGF's designation of "Special Trout Waters."
    • Only artificial flies and lures with single, barbless hooks are permitted.
    • The park bag limit is two trout.
  • Live bait is prohibited to prevent the introduction of invasive species. No bait such as worms, grasshoppers, salmon eggs, or corn.
  • Recreational and sports anglers can help prevent the spread of parasites:
    • Do not transport fish from one body of water to another
    • Do not disposing of fish bones or entrails in any body of water
    • Ensure boots and shoes are clean before moving between different bodies of water.
  • To minimize the chance of the fatal whirling disease, waders or other footwear intended for wading are prohibited. Additionally, the streams within the park are so small that waders are not needed, and the presence of people in the stream muddies up the waters downstream.
  • All nets must be sanitized prior to use in all waters within the park.

Remember, safety is your responsibility. Review information every visitor needs to know.


New Mexico Fishing License

Follow these steps to obtain and verify possession of a New Mexico Fishing License (valid April 1 through March 31).

  1. Visit the New Mexico Game and Fish website
  2. Fill out the required information by either applying online, calling the phone number listed, or visiting a license vendor

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.


Special Use Permit for Fishing

Applications for obtaining a Special Use Permit for fishing in Valles Caldera for April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024 will be be available starting April 1.

Be sure to obtain your 2023-24 New Mexico Fishing License starting April 1 before applying for a permit.

2023-2024 Fees

These fees support the management of the fishing program.

Annual (April 1,2023 through March 31, 2024)

  • $20 - Adult
  • $10 - Youth 12-17


  • $5 - Adult
  • $3 - Youth 12-17

Vehicle Access

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 obtain a backcountry vehicle pass. Passes are limited and available on

No backcountry vehicle pass is required to fish any park 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.


Fishing Locations

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    Last updated: March 2, 2023

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    PO Box 359
    Jemez Springs, NM 87025


    575 829-4100 x3

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