Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jack's Creek,Nambe Lake, Rio en Medio- Santa Fe National Forest

Rio en Medio( from a fall trip in 2012)
Nambe Lake
Jack's Creek
Cave Creek

We camped in Northern New Mexico twice this summer. In June we went to Jacks Creek, back on the southern edge of the Pecos Wilderness. It was still pretty cold: low sixties in the day, mid thirties at night. Our second day there it rained all day. Up on the peaks, they got several inches of snow. We hiked the Cave Creek trail one day, and the old Winsor Creek trail another. I did some fishing in Jacks Creek, but without much success. I only managed two small cutthroats on two different days. It hardly seemed worth effort to get to the water. If you haven't been, let me warn you, the Jack's Creek Campground is not right on the stream but several hundred feet above it. It's a very steep descent to to get to the creek, and a lung busting hike  back out. It might be better to just walk all the way out to  where the stream meets the road, if you have  someone to pick you up, because there's no parking until you get to the campground.We had fires every night. Played Spades with our friends Edan and Eric. We also ate absolutely gigantic green chile cheeseburgers at Bobcat Bite.All in all, it was a really nice trip.
     In July we stayed at Black Canyon, the first campground on the Ski Basin Road. It's only about seven miles to the plaza in Santa Fe. I'm pretty sure we were closer than my stepson who was staying at a motel on Cerillos Rd., and we were only paying 10 bucks a night. It's a great way to see Santa Fe on the cheap, and the sites are reservable too. Although the main reason for the visit was seeing my stepson and his girlfriend, who were in town, my wife and I also hiked to Nambe Lake and I caught a couple of nice rainbow trout( in the 10- 12 inch range) in the Rio en Medio. I was surprised to find this nice little fishing stream so close to Santa Fe. I had brought my rod really, just in case, not expecting to find any thing. I wasn't seeing any fish,but out of curiosity tossed a stone in a likely looking plunge pool only to see two  bright, beautiful( and decent sized) rainbows scramble about. It's always exciting to find wild trout where you didn't think there would be any. There weren't a lot of fish, but I don't think it sees a lot of anglers either.  I put together my rod and proceeded  to catch and release  3 fish in maybe an hour while just covering a short section of this creek. I'd like to come back and hike the whole thing , fishing as I go.We all visited Bandelier on a hot and humid day. The Rio Frijoles was very low.  I hiked upstream while the rest of  my crew visited the Ceremonial Cave. I had  the fly rod with me ,but all I saw was  a very few fish in the sub- catchable range. As still and low as the water was, I probably couldn't have caught them anyway even if they'd been bigger. On the way back we negotiated the suburban streets of White Rock until we found the Don Quixote distillery in a unassuming 2 story family home.The tasting was a lot of fun. Another great trip.
Bandelier National Monument


Gary said...

I was down around that Jacks Creek area in September, nice area. Seemed like all of the trout around there were very spooky though...

Eric said...

What a great trip

Bradley Williams said...

Where on the Rio En Medio did you fish? In the national forest? I've been very interested in this creek, and just wondered where you had tried.

devon said...

I started out at the Ski Basin parking lot at the far west end and started hiking down hill on FT 163.So yes, I was in the national forest. I believe the rainbows here are stream bred and not stocked.There is another stream north of this one called the Rio Medio which is a larger stream with much more remote access. I have not fished it.

Bradley Williams said...

Thank you very much for your response, Devon. I had been thinking of trying to hike in the way you described but wasn't sure I was on the right track. Yesterday I took my mountain bike to the Borrego trail head and rode to Norski before I had to turn around, almost making it (I underestimated the distance and elevation gain a little). I would have loved to see the river.