Fly fishing

ohoopee

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Feb 8, 2014
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614
I want to plan a fly fishing trip for my 15 yr old son in NM. He lives in the Bay Area with his mom and stays with me in Savannah GA for the summers. Last summer we went to Smokey mountains for camping and fishing and this summer I am trying to find someplace in Northern NM. Can any one help point me in the right direction for a trip? I will fly him into Albuquerque and Ill drive with the gear from GA.

Thank you for your time and suggestions.

Sincerely,
Jaime
 

P Carter

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Nov 4, 2016
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Idaho
Great idea. Slightly out of your area, but the Piedra River in southern Colorado is a good beginner's river. Good beginner backpacking too. Half day drive from Santa Fe.

If you want to spend the time to figure out the logistics, booking a reach in the Valles Caldera preserve would be awesome. Outside of Los Alamos. They did that in 2010 but I haven't checked since
 

AK Troutbum

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Apr 22, 2012
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Chugiak, Alaska
Farmington New Mexico/four corners area and the San Juan river has some great trout fishing. It is one of, if not, the best tailwater fisheries in New Mexico.


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PNWGATOR

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Oct 14, 2014
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Rathdrum, ID
I'll second the San Juan for the geographic area you're considering. We used Abe's fly shop for local patterns and knowledge, but it's been a couple decades since I've fished down there.
 

Doghed

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Aug 1, 2015
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The Land of Enchantment
I might be able to help.
Are you going to do any backpacking or stick to car camping and hit a bunch of spots?
When are you going to be here?
 
OP
ohoopee

ohoopee

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Feb 8, 2014
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I sincerely thank everyone for their assistance!! We usually fish headwaters or small rivers using cane rods. His Orvis flea caught a monster 1 pounder last year:)). He would be out of this world excited to catch some bigger fish.

Jaime
 

durangobrad

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Feb 20, 2014
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Southwest Colorado
While the San Juan certainly has some nice fish and a lot can be caught in a day, in my opinion it is not without its downfalls. It will be crowded. It can be a very tricky to figure out what the fish are feeding on and a good idea for first timers is definitely a guide. The most common style of fishing there is bobber fishing, with a long light leader then a few pinches of lead followed by two size 18-22 midges. cast upstream mend to get the weight and flys down and then keep as much line off the water and mend to get a drag free drift. If your bobber moves set the hook.
 

vanish

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May 26, 2016
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Colorado
I would want to be hitting high alpine streams or lakes. Many of those places its "catch as many fish as you want". Unfortunately, all the info I have for you is Colorado, not NM.
 

AK Troutbum

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Apr 22, 2012
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Chugiak, Alaska
I sincerely thank everyone for their assistance!! We usually fish headwaters or small rivers using cane rods. His Orvis flea caught a monster 1 pounder last year:)). He would be out of this world excited to catch some bigger fish.

Jaime

Good for you guy's! Bamboo is all I fish anymore as well, there just something special about the feel of casting a nice grass rod.


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Molon Labe

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Feb 17, 2017
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I'll second the San Juan for the geographic area you're considering. We used Abe's fly shop for local patterns and knowledge, but it's been a couple decades since I've fished down there.

Been 15-20 years since I stopped into Abes...what a great shop from what I remember they are very friendly and helpful. If you are going to fish the Juan I would suggest getting into the ribbon water at the lower flats since the willows will give you a bit of solitude...you wont find the big tough fish in there but it can be pretty good. Park west of the church and walk down the big trail towards baetis bend. I would also suggest going up to the dam and fishing in cable hole...it will probably be elbow to elbow but there is just something special about that spot and you have a good chance at some studs if the flow is up.
For flies you will be fishing midges...that is just the way it is. First time I fished it back around 2000 or so my goal was to catch something on a san juan worm...you have to do that...I think it is some sort of right of passage for that river haha! It took me a while but finally got one and then been fishing midge since.
If I was in your shoes and you were going to be spending several days there I would hire a guide the first day and ask for advice for your next few days. Make sure to tip him out good!
 
OP
ohoopee

ohoopee

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Feb 8, 2014
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He is always such a good camper. He never complains about chasing wild fish and usually declines fishing for the much more abundant "released" fish. I believe one my happiest memories will be when he catches his first big trout on a cane rod. I usually hire a guide for a day to give him that opportunity.

I let my young North Carolina guide use my Orvis 7/3 and he caught a nice brown. He had never used bamboo and was so excited. He was chagrined that he caught him and not me. I think I made a friend for life.
 
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ohoopee

ohoopee

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
614
While the San Juan certainly has some nice fish and a lot can be caught in a day, in my opinion it is not without its downfalls. It will be crowded. It can be a very tricky to figure out what the fish are feeding on and a good idea for first timers is definitely a guide. The most common style of fishing there is bobber fishing, with a long light leader then a few pinches of lead followed by two size 18-22 midges. cast upstream mend to get the weight and flys down and then keep as much line off the water and mend to get a drag free drift. If your bobber moves set the hook.

I use the same method in Smokies.
 
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