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> > Rio Puerco, Northern New Mexico

Report at a Glance

General RegionJemez Mountains
Specific LocationSan Pedro Peaks Wilderness
Time of Daylate morning/early afternoon
Fish CaughtRio Grande Cutthroat Trout
Conditions & HatchesBelow freezing to slightly above freezing. Ice present in the stream. Snow and ice all around.

Details and Discussion

Red_green_hNovember 27th, 2019, 9:21 am
New Mexico

Posts: 27
Broke in my newest 1wt set up. The fish I caught aren't monsters but fishing small overgrown mountain streams presents its own levels of difficulty i.e. trying to reach good fishing spots that aren't easily accessible from a point that is not easy to get to. Fish were biting off San Juan worms. Mostly #16 tan and red, some hits on brown. I love trying to catch these little jewels. They are a beautiful little fish. Reeling one in and holding it in my hands and then putting it back in the water gives me a sense of feeling as if I'm part of it all. It was a very refreshing feeling. It takes patience (which I don't have a lot of) and perseverance. The difficulty is that in most spots I was trying to get to I couldn't throw it, or even slingshot the fly to where I wanted it. I don't have waders so I didn't get in the stream. I had to use a strike indicator to help float the fly to the point on the stream where I wanted it to be. I got caught up on branches hanging over and above. The depth I wanted the indicator at sometimes held up the fly in the shallower part of the stream I was trying to float it through. It was difficult maneuvering the line around sharp ice so as not to severe the tippet or leader. It was a great experience and once that I covet every time I'm able to go.
There is a push in New Mexico to expand the tourism industry but I for one hope that it never happens as this state is packed with wilderness areas that boast a remoteness that rivals anywhere in the country.

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MartinlfDecember 1st, 2019, 7:48 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2925
Cool, but it may not be the best for the fish to lay them on the snow if you want to release them. Jason, any thoughts? Thanks for the beautiful photos, though, and for sharing your adventures!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Red_green_hDecember 3rd, 2019, 12:00 pm
New Mexico

Posts: 27
it may not be the best for the fish to lay them on the snow if you want to release them.

I actually thought about this when I was doing it. Was thinking it might cause him to go into shock, but water temp on a frozen lake, pond, river hovers around 4 degrees Celsius at the bottom. The stream wasn't fully frozen over but there was plenty of ice on the edges. Only had him on the snow for 30 sec. max. Would that be long enough to cold shock him? I don't know. I put him back in the water and he sat in the current for a couple seconds before darting off. Lord knows I've caught many a bluegill and perch ice fishing in the great Midwest and put them on the snow only to put them back in the water and they were flopping all the way back in and that was with an air temp of minus 20 Fahrenheit.
Jmd123December 3rd, 2019, 12:34 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2384
Nice pictures!!! Thanks for sharing!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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