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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Posts
    1,122

    Default The Hunt for Gila Trout

    Back in January, Steve (Jeepster) and I began planning for a fishing trip down in the Gila Wilderness. Plans changed each month due to winter's big snow pack and longer than usual runoff, but we settled for last week to give it a go and take our chances with weather. I met a young backcountry fishing guide at the conclave this year and he asked if he could join us since Gila Trout was a fish on his list of natives to catch...so, three guys from Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico met in a small mountain town in southern NM at a cafe last Monday. It was raining and snowing when we arrived and we made the decision not to go down the one-lane dirt road due to weather and took the last two rooms in a local motel.

    Tuesday morning, we drove into the Gila Wilderness on that narrow dirt road to set up camp and began searching for wild Gila Trout. It was a beautiful sunny day with some wind but camp was setup quickly and we took off to fish the headwaters of streams that held self-sustaining populations of pure strain Gila Trout. The fire that ripped through there a few years ago made for thousands of trees lying on the ground that was a hiking challenge, but we made our way up the headwaters pool by pool, log by log. Yes, we found many beautiful little Gila and they are the fastest , fightingest (word?) little fish you'll ever set a hook into...and you better be quick with the hookset because the hits are lighting fast.











    We had two days of sunny weather for fishing these beautiful little trout and enjoyed it much. On Thursday morning, a front was blowing through with rain and sleet, so we broke camp quickly and drove out of the wilderness (the first designated wilderness in the world). That proved to be a good decision because it was snowing pretty good as we drove over the pass. We stopped at that little cafe where we met at the first of week, had lunch, and chatted about the great fishing fun we just experienced. By chance, the biologist that lead the Gila project were there too having lunch and it was fun meeting them and discussing their projects...we gleaned some good information for future fishing trips in New Mexico this year.

    No doubt, we'll be back to do it again...

    MIKE ADAIR - Exploring New Mexico landscapes through fly fishing, golf, and art.
    @mka133

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    southern arizona
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: The Hunt for Gila Trout

    This was a great adventure to the gila wilderness. We made it in. We didn't freeze. There was beauty both dead and alive. And some of the fastest wild trout anywhere. The fallen trees were a challenge to navigate. But we were rewarded with a great little stream. What a trip and while losing a day to the storm we got to enjoy the little mtn town. Mike and I have now caught both new mexico and arizona native gila trout.

















    steve

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Southeast Idaho
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: The Hunt for Gila Trout

    Great posts! I love native trout and small headwaters. Thanks for sharing your trip.
    Cindy

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Albuquerque
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Re: The Hunt for Gila Trout

    Quote Originally Posted by cpiercem View Post
    Great posts! I love native trout and small headwaters. Thanks for sharing your trip.
    Thanks, Cindy...native trout is my favorite. Steve and I have been wanting to fish these headwaters for over two years now and finally got the opportunity. We had a blast camping and fishing there!
    MIKE ADAIR - Exploring New Mexico landscapes through fly fishing, golf, and art.
    @mka133

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