Guide to Fishing in Ruidoso

Ruidoso, in addition to the many other benefits and attractions that many enjoy year-round, is the location of some of the best fishing in New Mexico. Lake or river, boat or fly fishing, there are simply few activities that are simultaneously as serene and exciting as fishing in our mountain region. We made this guide to help you get the most out of your fishing expedition.

NM Fishing License

Be sure to acquire the necessary fishing licenses before you go, so you can enjoy your fishing in peace!
License Type Residents Non-Residents
Annual $25 $56
One-Day $12 $12
Five-Day $24 $24
Junior $5 $15
Senior (with discount) $8 Pay standard Adult Price
Age – Resident and Nonresident anglers 11 and younger do not need a fishing license.
12 - 17 Junior Fishing License
18 - 64 Standard Fishing License
65 - 69 Senior Fishing License

Grindstone Lake

Types of Fish
This lake might be small, but it sure offers some big fishing opportunities! Located a short distance south from our cabins, Grindstone Lake is a favorite fishing spot for locals and tourists alike and has been for many years. The lake is stocked regularly with rainbow trout by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. On occasion, you may catch other types of fish, such as catfish or smallmouth bass. Grindstone Lake in Ruidoso allows for many types of fishing, including:
You can learn more about Grindstone lake by reading our guide!

Rio Ruidoso

Types of Fish
The namesake for our little town, the Rio Ruidoso has entertained anglers from all walks of life for generations. The river runs from the Sacramento Mountains to the Hondo river, flowing through Ruidoso Downs and Ruidoso itself, including right past our cabins. Rio Ruidoso fishing is a staple for both tourists and locals.

Alto Lake

Types of Fish
Being one of only two public waters that allow non-motorized boats, Alto Lake is extremely popular. The lake is regularly stocked with fish and offers a scenic trail along the shore, with periodic picnic tables and pavilions. One of the most notable things about Alto Lake is the Alto Kids Pond, open to children 11 and under, allowing them to also enjoy fishing in Ruidoso. This pond is stocked with catfish and is sure to help the whole family participate in the joys of fishing.

Carrizo Creek

This tranquil creek stretches from the Mescalero dam to the Rio Ruidoso, flowing right past the Chamber of Commerce building. As it serves as Ruidoso’s hatchery and nursery for brown trout, it is requested that all anglers handle the fish with extreme care and practice catch and release.

Fishing Stores

Here is a list of local stores that will allow you to get the equipment you need for your fishing excursion!

Senor Fishing & Outdoor Gear

Address: 643 Sudderth Dr, Ruidoso, NM

Hours: Tues – Sat, 8 AM – 6 PM

The Ruidoso Woodsman

Address: 2319 Sudderth Dr, Ruidoso, NM

Hours: 10 AM – 6 PM Daily

The Dam House at Grindstone Lake

Address: 111 Wiggins Wy, Ruidoso, NM

Hours: Mon – Thurs 10 AM – 5 PM, Fri – Sun 10 AM – 6 PM

Village Ace Hardware

Address: 2815 Sudderth Dr, Ruidoso, NM 88345

Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30 AM – 6 PM, Sat 8 AM – 6 PM, Sun 9 AM – 4:30 PM

Your Ruidoso Cabin Getaway

If you are looking for a private, intimate cabin experience to pair with your fishing trip, there really isn’t a better place than Ruidoso Lodge Cabins. When you stay with us, you’ll love our tranquil area and the modern amenities which we provide.