Friday The 13th… Where Is That Rabbit’s Foot?

No color touch up here, this is the real deal.

I was at a point this weekend where I had no idea where to go or what I wanted to target. The rivers have been very low and it has been more and more difficult to stalk my prey. I went to a local shop to buy some fly tying material and ask around about some hot spots. Well, my personal choices were the San Juan, Chama, and Jemez. It was suggested to me to go to the San Juan. I like the place and all, but it was going to be VERY nice this weekend for weather and thousands of people were going to come out of the woodworks to get the good places. It wasn’t ideal to be fishing elbow to elbow this weekend. I opted out of big fish for some mountain fish. More specifically, Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout. Not those diluted ones either, some of the purest strained fish in the state.

Along the way I stopped at Fenton Lake to get my line wet and haul in some stockers and test out the ties. Success! I caught the evening session and it went very well. So well, that I came up with a stocker fish on every other cast. When it became too late to fish after the actual sunset, I packed up and headed back to my car. along the way, I was attacked by a dog while its owners just stood there watching it take place. I thought it was just sniffing my leg and it bit down. Mind you this wasn’t a brutal type thing, I just kicked the dog off of my leg and moved on. The real problem came when the owner said, “Why did you just let him bite you like that?” I just about lost it. When I got back to my car I drove closer to my target destination to camp.

The beaver ponds were full of these guys.

I woke up and the temperature was floating in the high 20’s, the grass and mud were frozen allowing me to access some beaver ponds without waders. I hate hiking in waders. The fishing was good and it motivated me to press on toward my final destination. The sun was still hiding behind the valley and I found myself stopping in slivers of sun to warm up. Still very cold. I could not wait to hook into one of the cutthroats and hiked at a speed just shy of running. There were going to be no monster fish this day, but it was possible. I made it. It took about an hour to find the right technique for catching these little guys, and another to time the strike perfectly. They only held the fly for miliseconds and they only gave me one shot. The day went well and zebra midge (that is a work in progress) worked great.

I also made a friend while fishing. A Red-tailed Hawk that looked like he was in his share of bouts with other animals as did I on this weekend. Even though it was Friday the 13th and I was attacked by a dog, the hawk and I pressed on (even though I was uninjured and only came out with some torn pants, the hawk looked in worse shape).


12 responses to “Friday The 13th… Where Is That Rabbit’s Foot?

  • Erin Block

    Gorgeous fish! Huzzah for the zebra midge…I’m planning on tying up a batch tonight in preparation for high country trips later this spring. And those dog owners are crazy! dang!

    • backcountryfishnerd

      They were real silver wire midges FYI, I’m working on a way to use it without having it tarnish on me. I’ll post that soon. My experience with “the 2 bird lakes” up there was amazing! I might be up there with a buddy in a couple weeks. They really were and their dog reflected it.

  • AZWanderings

    Those cutts are unbelievably beautiful. May have to make a trip out that way…


    • backcountryfishnerd

      If you are ok with a “river” that you can step over, this is the place to go. Some of them have giraffe type spotting. You might have to make the trip. I mean, we also have mexican food and DQ’s…

  • Royal Wulff aka Mike

    what an excellent trip sirrah!- looks like the high country is fishing well already. That last fish was a beast! mike

  • Ed

    Great pictures.

    I have two hawks in one of my trees and I could watch them hunt all day.

  • longliveweaponx

    This just might be my favorite hidden gem in New Mexico. I’m glad you don’t specifically spell out where it’s at haha, I’ve only showed my best friend that spot and hoping it stays a relative secret. Can’t wait til it warms up enough to go fish for some of those beautiful cutthroats again

    • backcountryfishnerd

      Those who know will know where it is. I’m glad you are one to enjoy it. The whole area is fantastic. I think the best part about being a person that seeks out new areas is… Even if the rest of the world plops down in that spot, you have a dozen more in your back pocket that only few would dare travel.

      • longliveweaponx

        Very true. I just started seriously fly fishing again this year after a few years off and this was one of my favorite new spots. Can’t wait to do some more exploring when it warms up. I’m having a pretty good winter season on the Juan and lower Red but can’t wait for the spring…

      • backcountryfishnerd

        Funny that you mention the anticipation of spring… I was writing about that when you made the comment! Spring has to be the most risky time to fish here. The risk usually comes with great reward. Love it! …then again, I also love the winter… …and fall… …and summer. The rivers are probably happy to see you again and I hope they are being quite welcoming.

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