When I arrived in New Mexico the Cimarron was not flowing – “0” cfs (cubic feet/second.) I spoke with my river guide, Nick Streit from Taos Fly Shop, and we scrambled to find another river, which turned out to be the Rio Hondo. But, as all things associated with nature… and life… changes happen. First of all, it rained like hell (and snowed in the mountains) and secondly, some additional water was released from the dam above the river changing the flow to a whopping 6 cfs. And so off to the Cimarron we went, and boy was I glad we did.
First of all, the sunrise was absolutely stunning. We only had about a 30 minute drive from Taos before we arrived at our first pullout. The river cuts through a picturesque gorge, but I was initially unimpressed because, as expected, the water was very low and the accessibility hugs the road through the gorge. I had read a lot about this river being a fabulous trout stream so I guess my expectations might have been out of whack. In fact, they weren’t.
The first hole we visited brought up several small but beautifully colored brown trout. We had to be careful not to spook the fish because the water was so clear, so making a perfect cast was important (and not my forte.) We meandered along the stream and in every hole we saw, we found fish hanging out. We never ran into another body the entire day although during the peak season, there are evidently quite a number of anglers.
The morning passed swiftly and then Nick surprised me with another amazing lunch – homemade elk sausage, cooked like a brat. Oh my, I’m getting spoiled. As someone who loves wild meat, this was a real treat for me.
Lazily we cleaned up and headed upstream to another spot for the afternoon. And this was when it got really interesting… I’ll tell you all about it on my next post!