Rio Grande 

Distance: 54 miles–Take Highway 84 north to Highway 68
Type: Cutthroat, rainbow and brown trout, Kolkanee salmon
Special Restrictions: 2-trout bag limit with any legal tackle
About: Arguably the most famous river in the Southwest, the Rio Grande is a great place to fish too—and Pilar, one of the best spots this time of year, is only an hour drive away.

Rio Chama

Distance: 105 miles–Get on St. Francis and head north on Highway 84
Type: Cutthroat, brown trout
Special Restrictions: Catch-and-release with tackle restrictions,  2-trout daily bag limit with tackle restrictions, 2-trout bag limit with any legal tackle depending on area
About: Head towards the spot where the Rio Chama flows out of Heron Lake and El Vado Reservoir for plenty of trout fishing, or head up to Heron if you'd prefer stillwater fishing.

Red River

Distance: 106 miles–Head toward Taos, then take Highway 522 to Highway 38
Type: Rainbow, brown trout
Special Restrictions: 2-trout daily bag limit with tackle restrictions, 2-trout bag limit with any legal tackle
About: A nearby destination for more than just fishing, Red River flows through the town near Questa that bears the same name. Take a weekend and get some hiking, rafting, camping, hunting or horseback riding in between casts.

Pecos River

Distance: 26 miles–Hop on I-25 N and then get off at Highway 50
Type: Rainbow, brown, brook trout, largemouth bass, crappie, jumbo perch
Special Restrictions: Catch-and-release with tackle restrictions,  2-trout daily bag limit with tackle restrictions, 2-trout bag limit with any legal tackle depending on area
About:  The fishing is good anywhere along the Pecos, but at Pecos National Park, there's fun for even the non-anglers in your party. Fishing is allowed within the park between June 13 and Aug. 15, but you'll need a reservation and it's catch-and-release only. If that isn't your style, there are plenty of other spots outside the park to drop a line, either near the town of Pecos or further south along the river. Try Monastery Lake just north of town for some relaxing shoreside fishing in a stocked lake. 

Santa Cruz Lake

Distance: 32 miles–Take Highway 84 south and then hop on Highway 503
Type: Trout, northern pike, walleye, bluegill
Special Restrictions: None
About: Only a 45-minute drive or so, Santa Cruz is stocked with trout throughout the year. Its proximity makes it another good candidate for a spur-of-the-moment weekend outing.

Elephant Butte lake

Distance: 209 miles–Take I-25 south, then take the Highway 81-N/Rock Canyon exit
Type: White bass, catfish, walleye, crappie
Special Restrictions: None
About: This one is a drive for Santa Feans, and you'll probably need a boat to get to the best spots, but if you have the means, it's worth it. There's a ton of walleye, bass and catfish in there, ready for the catching. There's currently a state record on the books for a 4-foot-long, 78-pound flathead catfish that was pulled out of Elephant Butte in 1979. Will you be the one to top that?

Special thanks to the reel life 526 N Guadalupe St., 995-8114