Friday, August 13, 2010

Rio Ruidoso


  I fished the Ruidoso River in town for the first time. I had fished the section on the reservation a few years back, catching some small browns and a couple of nice rainbows,before the rains came. Now that part of the stream is closed to fishing and camping since the flood in 2008. At first I took a look at Carrizo Creek,but it really looked too small to fish.Well, maybe not too small,because I've fished some very small streams, it's just so hedged in with willows along much of its course that it seemed to be defying the notion of fly fishing. Also, there didn't seem like there was anywhere to park until you got to the motel just inside the reservation boundary. It was definitely not crowded but I wasn't sure how they'd feel about me leaving my car there.The stream may be more fishable on the reservation,but I figured I would have to get a permit to fish there. I guess I could have found out the answers to both of these questions, but all these little inconveniences are why I usually fish in wilderness areas.
     I then headed across Sudderth, parked at Two Rivers Park and proceeded downstream,hooking a couple of fish almost immediately while folks sat in their lawn chairs watching me.The Ruidoso is relatively large compared to the other streams in this region, and even though this section is completely canopied over, there was ample room for conventional casting. It was quiet and shady, and once past those initial spectators, I was very much by myself in a strange little bit of semi-wilderness in this busy tourist town. It began to rain around noon as it always does this time of year. I walked on mile or so,continuing a ways past the Paradise Canyon Bridge, always wondering if some homeowner was going to come out and yell at me. None did. I caught five or six fish on the way down and one more on the way back. All were rainbows( I was hoping for at least one brown), all caught on dries. I tried a beadhead nymph in some of deep murky pools,but to no avail.A couple of the fish didn't have the dull look of stockers, but were quite bright and colorful, resembling cuttbows that I have caught over at the nearby South Fork of the Rio Bonito. I don't know their origin unless they've spilled out of Mescalero Lake and into tributary Carrizo Creek.
    After lunching at a picnic table, I tried fishing upstream from the parking area for about a mile, but without even a bite.The rain, which had stopped mercifully quickly the first time, started again around three, as it frequently does this time of year. I called it day. If you're already staying in Ruidoso or don't want to hit the shops with the rest of the group,this could a pleasant few hours diversion, but I certainly would not go out of my way to do it again.

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