Sunday, June 9, 2013
Rio Pueblo de Taos
So it was off to rock hop in what is probably the strangest small trout stream environment I've yet to fish. The Rio Pueblo de Taos runs in it's own gorge in it's lower end. 10 feet from the stream, is a hot dry desert, and if I couldn't see the concealing wall of willows that line the bottom of the canyon as I walked up the old road( now a hiking trail) running along the south side of the creek, I would never have imagined water would be there, never mind a trout stream. The previous day when I first saw the stream, it seemed that we couldn't even hear the rushing and falling creek until we were on it,perhaps due to the sound insulating properties of those same willows. The water was fast, but not too fast, a bit off color, and cold enough despite the fact that stream channel is completely without shade.
Shadeless as it is, and perhaps too nutrient rich as well, algae and other submerged plants are plentiful, as are the large boulders. So, first I tried dry flies and had many takes, a few bites and one caught chub to show for it. I'm pretty sure all the surface approaches were chubs. I caught a small( 8 inches) brown unexpectedly as my dry fly drifted back toward me well below the surface. I realized I needed to switch to small subsurface flies to get down in the water, but not to the bottom. It meant being careful not to cast or drift into the in- stream greenery. I succeeded for the most part, as I avoided the stream side greenery(willows) as well. I pulled out several more chubs, but began to despair catching any more browns.
I was on my way back downstream drifting a small beadhead in the channel running out from a small falls when I caught my best fish of the day- a 12 inch brown who gave me a few low leaps and a nice little fight. One or two more chubs, and it was time to head back to the truck. I mused on the way back to Rinconada that perhaps I chose the Rio Pueblo de Taos because I subconsciously knew my number of boulder hopping, huffing and puffing days of small stream adventure fishing were limited. Who knows? But that last brown sure made it all worth it. Note: this area has a day use fee of $3.00.