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Thread: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

  1. Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by jborn View Post
    An excellent guide for Northern NM is Doc Thompson.

    Doc Thompson
    (575)376-9220
    Fly Fishing Guide Service for Northern New Mexico | High Country Anglers

    A great area is the rio costilla. Not on the way to anywhere but truly beautiful with lost of fish in the small stream.

    jlb
    I definitely plan to spend a day in the Costilla area; my wife will like the scenery also.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    live in the south, but have a second home in Durango Co. Hope to be there full time some day!
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    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Hi, Edwardo I can lend a hand on the southern part of Colorado as well as my two cents on having the lady along.

    I first want to say this trip you have planned is nearly identical to the one I had planned and executed a number of years ago. You both will have a blast and fantastic time! This trip is how I discovered and feel in love with the southern part of the state. We did not travel as far north as you have planned, but plan to do so in the next couple seasons.

    I too had a lady in-tow and was worried about the fishing, camping and all the other things that could make the experience simply a one-off. I was hoping she would love it, and I figured if she did then there would be more camping and fishing for me. What I did learn was they either have it or not. I'm lucky, my lady does in fact love the wilds and the little fish we stick with our sharp hooks. So, it is a good thing to mix in sight seeing and hikes (shhhhh, some hikes can lead to fishing). With all of that said, ladies who love it also love to be pampered.

    That is a fact. The ladies on this forum should agree. So, my advice is to make sure to take a day off here and there for some down time as well as a nice meal that is indoors (ie nice restaurant). Plus splurge on a B and B or nice hotel for a couple nights. The shower and bed will go a long way after a night of tent ripping winds or bucket loads of rain. Other than that go for it!

    Now, on to the fishing. Since you are both relatively new fly fishers and looking to learn as much as possible remember the value of a good guide. A good guide will help keep things fun, educational and smooth sailing. It is very hard, no matter how much patience you have to help teach her the sport, make sure she is tangle-free and into fish, or at least in fishy water. Plus you will find you did very little quality fishing of your own. A cluttered mind is never productive on the trout stream. Focus down days, camping and fishing on streams that are full of gullible brookies and small rainbows. Use guide days to learn new water, figure out tricky waters, be spoiled on private waters or float a river you would never be able to.

    As for you locations; skip Ridgeway Sate Park, as stated by jeepster ii it is windy, exposed and far from romantic. Keep heading south and invest more time in the southern part of the state. I would also shift from Molas Lake (on the map it is very close to the Animas, but a massive canyon must be scaled to get in there) Consider camping down Old Lime Creek Road. Sweet stream that is a tributary of the Animas that offers stunning scenery and nice fishing for small trout. Hopper dropper and you'll be into them no problem. Avoid on weekends, because it does see some traffic despite being a rough road. By the way, what vehicle will you be driving? Pretty rough road FYI. (IM me and I'll give you better details and directions in to this spot) There is also a great hike off this road to a small alpine lake called Spud.

    The other fisheries you have picked sound good. I have only fished the Conejos a couple times but it was lovely with great public camping. The Rio Grande is a blast, I would recommend treating yourself to a float. Flows will be down by then with solid hoppers and dropper fishing. But you could also wade it on your own, plus there are some fun tributaries I have fished when I'm not float fishing. Animas is a good one but very temperamental. Have a good guide there for sure. Same goes for the San Juan below the dam. At least the first day so you can have an idea how the special two fly nymph rigs should look. There could also be some solid dry fly fishing. I did hit an ant hatch that was very exciting. Thought I had it all figured out then the fish went back to micro nymphs! Pattern and setup are key for those rivers. The other waters in northern New Mexico you mentioned I'm looking to explore down the road myself, so I'm looking forward to hearing how things go for you in those areas.

    As for the guide side of things I got very lucky and had the same guide spaced out over a few different fisheries through out our big trip. He assured me I was in good hands, plus my girlfriend (now wife) at the time would have a nice time. He was right, she out-fishes me every time out now! If only I was a better listener. Patience and the ability to teach are paramount for a good guide/client experience. We did in fact get lucky. Honestly, the guide I fish with in that area not only made our first trip such a success, he has made each and every one since a memorable one.

    My advice; call Will at Animas Valley Anglers. You'll probably get his father who helps with bookings and ask for Will's number. I'm sure he will pass it along. Will will set up the best possible trip and give you the best advice based on what you both are looking for. He will space the guide days out and pick the best waters for you explore on your own. I have also fished with his other guides when Will was already booked or we had extra anglers like my grown children or friends and found them to be just as patient, friendly and skilled as Will. They all seem to be friends on and off the water. Can not hardly wait to hear the stories from your trip. Please share your experiences here with us all. Sorry for the long winded post. Go get 'em and tight lines! -Reed
    ditch, creek, stream or river...let me cast

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  4. #13
    namelesshero Guest

    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Latir Lakes which is in the Rio Costilla area is beautiful and fun. The Red River in NM can be good sometimes also. The Rio Grande might be kinda warm in July.

  5. Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    I recommend reading Van Beacham's and Taylor Streit's books about fly fishing in that region. They both own shops in Taos and run guiding services. They are good reads for an area that offers great fishing on some uniquely small, technical streams.

    Also consider fishing the beautiful, remote Valle Vidal after it opens July 1st.

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  7. #15

    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Swap Ridgeway for Cottonwood Campground on the San Juan. The best fishing in the area!
    P.S. Don't forget streamers for the San Juan and Animas.

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  9. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Huffman, TX (Houston Area)
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    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Wow, I will be taking much same trip at the same time. This will be my third year in a row for this trip.

    Cimarron River: Make reservations now if you want in for Tolby campground in Cimarron State Park. Get license, flies, guide, and advice from Dos Amigos Anglers fly shop in Eagle Nest, N.M. on hwy 64, 3 miles from Tolby campground. Don't waste time fishing Eagle Nest lake unless you have boat. I fish the Dos Amigos Cimarron Special fly mostly dropped off an attractor fly. Get details from fly shop for hatches and flies. Take the wife to top of Bobcat Pass for Cowboy Evening with hosts Sue & Henry. We go every year. Try to go when Syd Masters is playing, but all shows are good. Recommend their other activities also.
    Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures Fly Fishing New Mexico's Cimarron River
    Dos Amigos Anglers Orvis Fly Shop & Guide Service in Taos & Eagle Nest, New Mexico


    Valle Vidal Unit: Rio Castilla, get info from Dos Amigos. Take everything in with you (food,water, etc.) long, long way from town. Most beautiful place to camp on your trip. This area does not open until 1 July to allow for Elk calving to complete. Keep food stored away because of bears. No threat to you, just the food.

    Red River: Red River, N.M., over Bobcat Pass from Eagle Nest, N.M. Details from Dos Amigos again. I bypass this river and just fish the Cimarron.

    Conejos River: I bypass Conejos River Anglers fly shop and continue west to Fox Creek Store and get last minute supplies (food, water, flies, license, NF maps, etc.), from guide Jeremy Smith and his sister Eschle. Super people. You tube Fox Creek and Jeremy to get your blood pumped up. Jeremy can guide you or freely tell you more places to fish than you have time for. Fox Creek Store

    San Juan River: This is where I change directions from your trip. Maybe one of the top 10 tailwaters to fish in America. This is also a N.M. state park. Cottonwood campground is on the river but the mosquitos are in full force. No showers. Camp above the dam in one of the state park campgrounds without the mass of mosquitos and comes with a shower in one of the camps. Any of the camps you stay in still allows you to go shower at the camp with showers. New Mexico - State Parks Division make reservations now for Cimarron and San Juan if needed. Fishheads Lodge for guide and info is my choice but many others available.

    We very well may cross paths. I'm starting off on the San Juan on July 6 and returning home middle of August. I rent a condo in Angel Fire, N.M. and make camping trips from there. Come back to condo for down time and daily fishing the Cimarron. Good luck and I know ya'll will have a blast.
    Last edited by osok; 04-09-2013 at 09:10 AM.

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  11. Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Quote Originally Posted by troutcomegetit View Post
    Consider camping down Old Lime Creek Road. Sweet stream that is a tributary of the Animas that offers stunning scenery and nice fishing for small trout. Hopper dropper and you'll be into them no problem. Avoid on weekends, because it does see some traffic despite being a rough road. By the way, what vehicle will you be driving? Pretty rough road FYI. (IM me and I'll give you better details and directions in to this spot) There is also a great hike off this road to a small alpine lake called Spud.
    Lime Creek definitely sounds like a place to try out; we'll be in a 2WD Toyota 4-Runner; I've also heard of Spud Lake and plan to hike in.

    Quote Originally Posted by namelesshero View Post
    Latir Lakes which is in the Rio Costilla area is beautiful and fun.
    Thanks, I'll have to look up the Latir Lakes

    Many thanks to all of you; I am SOOO looking forward to this trip.

    ---------- Post added at 02:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:06 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by osok View Post
    Make reservations now if you want in for Tolby campground in Cimarron State Park.
    Well, I've already gotten reservations at Maverick CG and Tolby is now full for when I will be there; hopefully there's some good fishing down at Marverick. I'll make sure I stop by Dos Amigos and Fox Creek Store.

  12. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ winter, Durango,CO summer
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    170

    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    Southern Colorado info

    Spud Lake: haven't fished it for several years but last time they were rising in the evening.

    I would rather see you camp near Hermosa, Cascade and Lime Creeks instead of by Molas. All three are great for numbers of small, easily fooled fish, if you can walk a bit. I only ever fish dries on them.

    Durango is a great town (I am here in the summer) for a break from fishing - resturants, shopping, etc.

    San Juan; not the experience some people are looking for. There are lots of good size fish in the San Juan but the experience is not without crowds and you are not getting into the back-country. Anyway, a guide would be a good idea if you don't have a lot of experience fishing tailwaters.

    Your schedule seems a bit ambitious, or it's my age. You could spend all your vacation fishing the Durango area and spare travel days.

    Enjoy!
    "I hear voices, they tell me to go fishing"

  13. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    live in the south, but have a second home in Durango Co. Hope to be there full time some day!
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    23

    Default Re: July trip to New Mexico & Colorado

    [QUOTE=edwardo;546379]Lime Creek definitely sounds like a place to try out; we'll be in a 2WD Toyota 4-Runner; I've also heard of Spud Lake and plan to hike in.

    The 2WD 4-runner should handle the road OK. There are a couple steep parts in the middle and just south of middle. If you drop in on the north end of the loop you would be fine. Heading south from the camp ground it gets narrow and steep. The only problem is the Spud Lake trail head is on the southern side of the loop. Google Earth and check it out. Hermosa is also a good idea, just sees a few more people. The entire area is fantastic. If you have not dropped Will a line at AVA, do so soon. Book a trip with him, well worth the momeries and education. He is also very generous with info. Cheers

    Reed
    ditch, creek, stream or river...let me cast

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