San Francisco River


The San Francisco River has suffered the same plight as most southern streams in southern New Mexico. Over the last 100 years, the climate has changed and the fires have put a lot of strain on the river. People and their livestock have also contributed to a reduction of fishable river.

The San Francisco river originates at nearly 8300 feet in Arizona, entering New Mexico near Luna. It then meanders southerly direction for about 100 miles through Reserve aka San Francisco, and down through Glenwood, New Mexico. It eventually connects with the Gila in southern Arizona.

There used to be decent fishing from Luna through Reserve, but the best trout fishing is in the Frisco Box (mapped below) north of Reserve. It is also pretty remote and you need a four wheel drive vehicle, so plan to hike for a while and do some exploring.

Near Glenwood, the stream turns warmer and there are flathead and channel catfish (a feat I have yet to achieve on a fly rod), carp, and possibly some bass. Even if not great for trout fishing, this is some of the prettiest and most remote land, with diverse wildlife, in New Mexico.


Stream Facts

Season: April – November

Trout: Rainbows, catfish, suckers, chubs, bass

Campgrounds: Cosmic International Dark Sky Sanctuary, Ben Lilly, Apache Creek, etc.

Guides: see the guides page


Recent San Francisco River and SW Posts and Pictures



    Shop