Two of my favorite New Mexico rivers to fish are the San Juan River and Cimarron River. This story is about the Cimarron. The Cimarron River is in Northeast New Mexico and emanates out of Eagle Nest Lake. Positioned on the jap edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this dry fly gem flows eastward by means of Cimarron Canyon Condition Park along US Hwy 64. Just after flowing into a number of other rivers this water ultimately reaches the Mississippi River. New Mexico Sport and Fish estimates nearly 4,000 catchable sized wild browns per mile, this is unquestionably the healthiest wild brown trout fishery in the state and 1 of the healthiest in the southern Rocky Mountains. Most of the wild browns are ten-14 inches with the occasional significant boy. This fishery is not effectively regarded but can nevertheless get a little crowded near to the streets for the duration of mid summer season.
I can effortlessly get to the Cimarron in a 1-day hard generate from my Fly Store around Tyler, Texas and be fishing late that afternoon or early the following morning. The large mountain landscapes is beautiful and the fishing is wonderful.
My story begins in the center of June 2002. Throughout June, the stonefly hatch is in complete swing on the Cimarron and significant browns will eagerly attack a dimensions 14 or 16 Stimulator with regularity. This is my favorite time of year to fish this river. This is dry fly fishing at its ideal.
Unfortunately, if you recall, this was for the duration of the time wild fires have been engulfing lots of sections of New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. The Cimarron Canyon Condition Park was surrounded by a couple of these fires.
I arrived at the Pine Ridge Hotel, only about a mile from high-quality fishing water, late Monday night. This is a quaint little 4-place hotel nestled around the entrance of the state park. Just after examining in, the hotel proprietor instructed me that the park was shut and had been given that Friday. Since of the hearth risks, it was shut to anything such as camping, hiking, picnicking and Sure… fishing. Each individual park pull off was barricaded in vibrant yellow. It looks like every single other tree had a Park Closed indication nailed to it. I couldn’t feel it. I had driven 12 hrs strait to shell out some personalized time dry fly fishing and… wouldn’t you know it… No Fishing. I was ill. If you have ever preferred to see a significant gentleman cry this would have been a wonderful option.
There have been no other destinations around by that I could fish until I had a guideline to fish some non-public waters that have been around by. I called my superior pal, Doc Thompson, of Substantial Nation Anglers. Doc is the ideal fly fishing guideline for the modest streams of Northeast New Mexico such as some non-public areas of the Cimarron. He was booked. No chance for me to fish any non-public water.
I was thinking about reducing my losses, packing up my equipment and heading house with my tail tucked concerning my legs when I saw the park ranger switch into the motel parking large amount. I eagerly approached him, described my predicament and pleaded with him to be merciful on this misguided Texan. He indicated that there was little he could do. He was purchased by higher-ups to near the park. The place was very dry and the anxiety of the forest hearth spreading was at an all time large. He eventually gave me a minuscule window of hope when he said that if the wind failed to decide on up or alter instructions for the duration of the night time he would check with if he could open up the park the following day. No ensures. There was only a modest chance of issues slipping my way but I resolved to wait around it out and see.
The following morning, bight and early, I walked to the hotel house owners desk with my fingers and toes crossed. “Wonderful news” the proprietor said, “you can fish.” The park ranger called the hotel and instructed the proprietor to go explain to Tex he can fish. The ranger opened the park to fishing only. No 1 could camp, hike or picnic. Fishing only. Best of all, he still left all of the barricades and Park Closed symptoms up. My head began to excitement with this situation. Could it be genuine? Is it possible that any where by in this country there is a stream that is complete of significant browns, complete of fish eager to slam dry flies, has had no fishing for 5 times, has Park Closed symptoms on every single other tree and has vibrant yellow barricades at every single pull off? Is this truly happening? And most of all… is this truly happening to me? Sure… it was!!!
I nearly broke a leg and a fly rod finding to river so speedy. I was the only individual fishing this 12-mile extend of high-quality trout water. The ONLY individual. The river has had no fishing pressure for 5 times. None. Notta. Completely zero. What a wonderful option. I strike the water at eight:00 am. Realizing that the stonefly hatch would began at a bout 9:00 am, I tied on a dimensions 16 yellow Stimulator with a Copper John dropper on my 2wt rod. For the following hour, the catch was fifty/fifty on the dry and nymph. When the hatch began, I taken off the nymph in get concentrate on the dry. My stimulator was continuously demolished by hungry trout. The hatch began all around 9:00 am and at some point tapered off all around 2:00 pm as the day warmed. Throughout that time, I landed a lot more than forty great brown on a dry. Most of them have been in the ten to 12 inch assortment. Some a little smaller sized and some a little even larger. The complete time, I saw no other individual on the river. I was in whole fly fishing bliss. Later on that afternoon, as the temperature began to fall, they began hitting hard once again and did so until just in advance of dark. I missing depend of the whole quantity of fish that I caught that day. Just after a although you just stop counting. The fishing was phenomenal and the solitude was even superior.
Throughout the day, when I would choose brake at my parked Jeep for a shot of Joe or anything, men and women would generate invest in providing me the stare of disgust. I could see their lips mumble anything like, “that idiot Texan… are unable to he read the symptoms?” I was in no way fascinated in placing them strait. I preferred the total state on New Mexico as effectively as the complete extensive world to believe the park was totally shut and may possibly by no means open up once again.
That night, back at my place, the severe realities of that summer season have been vivid. I sat on my entrance porch and watched the helicopters and other big plane fall masses of water on the forest fires that have been scattered along the mountainside. Enormous walls of smoke draped the horizon. I couldn’t help but become sorrowed due to the fact of the destruction that was unfolding in advance of my eyes. When it was far too dark to see, I retired to the confines of my place.
Later on that night time, as I lay packed restricted in my cozy little mattress, I discovered it complicated to snooze. As my mind drifted from the fires outside the house and danced with feelings of my day of fishing, I giggled as I felt myself swelling with contentment. My angling working experience retained working by means of my mind. I couldn’t help but speculate what the following day would carry. Would my fly fishing solitude arrive to an conclude? Guess what… it failed to.
I strike the park early the following morning to be confronted with the very same situation. The symptoms and barricades have been nevertheless in spot and no 1 was in sight. Employing the same flies and procedures I enjoyed equivalent results as I had the day in advance of. It was not until late that afternoon did I see the only other auto in the park. The phrase was eventually out. By then, it was Ok. I enjoyed a few hrs of superior fishing the following morning in advance of heading back to Tyler.
Is there a moral in this article? I do not know. It was defiantly a fishing excursion that I will by no means forget about. In retrospect, however, it looks truly unlucky that my unforgettable fishing excursion was at the expense of so considerably. The southwest missing an awful large amount of superior forest and helpless wildlife for the duration of that terrible time. Properties have been long gone and energetic hoods have been wrecked. I suppose the expressing continues to be genuine, “someone’s superior fortune is ordinarily at another person else’s expense.”