Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taylor’s fly fishing forecast for 7/28.

Fishin’ the high nooks and crannies

The big hatches are pretty much over on the Conejos by now and the Rio Grande looks like it will be blown out for a while yet---big trout don’t eat much in hot weather anyway. So it is a good time to head uphill and explore some tiny creeks that should be prime from our recent rains. The secret to really enjoying fly fishing is going with the flow and adjusting your standards to the whims of Mother Nature. Leave the score card at home.

Find some slip of stream and take a wisp of a rod and sneak upstream amongst the shadows. Use a bow and arrow cast with a short rod --or just dangle the fly a foot off the end of a longer stick. Remember that ten inches is a lunker and any Rio Grande Cutthroat is a trophy.
2wt water

Water temps are perfect above 9000 feet in mid-summer. There are endless choices to fish in both northern NM and southern Colorado but one superb choice is the Cruses Basin NW of Tres Piedras N.M.  It takes a 4X4 drive to reach the trail head. Get there in the evening—car-camp-- and then make the 2 mile hike to the stream in the AM. No need to start real early as fishing will be best nooonish. Fish one of the three meadow creeks that comprise Beaver Creek with dry flies. 

Keep a few of the midsize 6-8 incher brookies as this introduced species overpopulates and reducing their numbers is actually good for the stream (throw the bigger trout back). When you have fished up to the pines, it will be lunch time and you may want to build a little fire and cook up the fishes. Try the recipe in my book Instinctive Fly Fishing for “blackened trout”. You can take the book with you to insure cooking preciseness. (And, although over the heads of the ignorant fish of the wilderness the book can be studied should a trout ignore your fly). If you forget the book, remember that the only ingredients are fish and fire.
Run a green willow stick through the gills of the cleaned trout for ease of handling. Extracting said brookie from the fire with aid of this stick will save your fingers from being burned.  And this use of primitive “tools” will graduate above the rank of mere cave- man fisher, and onward to the lofty status of “fly fisher”.

The high lakes of the high southern Rockies have some good fishing for the backpacking angler mid-summer also. First--be sure that you make that long hike into a lake that actually contains trout. One time Nick and I hiked up thousands of feet to arrive at this gorgeous—yet fishless—high lake. As trout reproduction in these high lakes is rare the fish will have been stocked at one time or another. So, a human being down below is gonna know if there are trout there. The best way to fish such water is to “sight fish” from an elevated bank—usually best done in mid-morning with the sun behind you. Feeding trout patrol the shoreline. Wind is the spoiler here, cause if the water is ruffled you can’t see the fish. But summer has generally calm mornings. These fish might eat a dry fly –especially if it is swimming near the surface –but they scrutinize a dry fly. Such trout will likely inhale a smallish beadhead nymph however. Cast far enough in front of the cruising trout so that fish and fly collide. The more accurate you can cast—the more fish you will fool.

Pecos Wilderness

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