Monday, December 26, 2011

Resolution Revolution

As 2012 is almost here, I’m guessing most of you Taosenos are making your New Year’s resolutions.  Lose weight,  go to church more, less booze…Blah, Blah, Blah.  It seems that all resolutions have one common problem- They all involve the resolution-er having less fun. 
My solution?  How about a resolution to fish more? It’s more fun than a diet, and you may actually get some exercise  walking up and down the river all day.  As for Church, you can pray that the big fish you just hooked doesn’t get away.  And we all know that booze is an integral part of the overall fishing experience, so we can let that one slide.
And you may actually become a better person in the process.  One of my favorite students told me that he was a better husband as a result of learning to fish better.  After catching more fish on his outings, he would return home happy and content- not frustrated, and ready to help his wife with the dishes!
But it’s not so easy to fish more unless you have a solid game plan.  So get out your 2012 “Women in Waders” calendar and let’s mark down some important fishing dates.  All too often good fishing is missed because people do not think ahead.  The events that I am about to mention are worthy of sick days, vacation time, and in some extreme cases, divorce.
The first good hatch of the year happens at the end of March on the Rio Grande (March 25th-April 5th).  Big BWO’s come off by the thousands’ and dry-fly fishing can be epic on cloudy afternoons.  Shortly after the BWO’s the Rio hosts its most famous event, the Caddis hatch, which peaks around April 12th-18th.
May can be a tough month because of run-off, but the Cimmaron usually gets a great Stonefly hatch around the end of the month 25th (-June 10th).  Look for the big bugs in the lower sections of the canyon.  The Conejos sees it’s Stoneflies around June 20th, depending on snowmelt.  There you will find our best chance at taking a large trout on a dry fly.
July 1st marks the opening of the Valle Vidal.  It can be crowded, but the fish are so stupid that you almost feel bad for them.  Keep in mind that after the onslaught of anglers, they wise up quick.
Trico Mayflies start hatching on the Cimmaron in mid-July, but usually peak around the 5th-15th of August.  Look for the spinner fall mid-morning, and make sure you have your polarized glasses as those size 20 dries are hard to see!
September and October are Rio Grande months.  By then, the summer rains have ended, leaving the Rio flowing low and clear.  Look for flows below 150 Cfs (at Cerro) for the best fishing. 
The end of October marks the start of Brown trout spawning season, and big fish will leave their homes in search of a mate.  These fish are vulnerable to being caught, and because they have an important mission, should be released.
Stick to this calendar and you will have a great year of fishing!  And don’t worry; you can lose weight next year.

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