At eight o’clock the sky was clear and sunny with cold temps in the twenties. Michael fixed a solid breakfast of eggs, ham, potatoes and toast. After two mugs of tea, I was ready to go fishing. By the time dishes were done and we were geared up, it was ten and the temperature was in the mid fifties. Almost comfortable if the wind stayed down.
The other guests had not arrived yet so Michael and I had a mile and a half of gold medal Rio Grande water to our selves. We walked down the cart path to the first bridge and across to the west bank. Then farther down the cart path toward the pump hole. We started fishing just above the pump hole and worked back toward the bridge. Michael crossed over to the east bank to fish the deep hole and run below the first bridge.
I stayed on the west bank to fish the hole above the first bridge. My rig was a 16 beadhead goldribbed hares ear trailed by an 18 beadhead hares ear. There were thousands of wood case caddis on the rocks in this area about 1/4 inch long. After about 2 hours of fishing, I had only had a couple of strikes and Michael had caught one or two small fish.
So I switched to an 18 standard pheasant tail as a dropper. Maybe the pheasant tail would represent a caddis case better. Above the first bridge, the south fork of the Rio Grande merges with the main fork at a gravel island. The pool on the west side of the island is deep with a steep drop where the two streams merge. I was casting upstream into the south fork and letting my drift flow into the pool in the main run. On the 3rd drift, I had a solid double Whap Whap type of strike. I missed the hookup both times. Then nothing. Several casts later, my line stopped dead. I could tell it was not a fish. Finally had to break off both flies to get free.
Rerigging, I started up the south fork of the Rio Grande.
This is the run where the South Fork joins the North Fork of the Rio Grande. Notice the foam line. Remember this tip. “Foam is Home” to trout. Even though the water may not be very deep, there is good overhead concealment from predators. Always fish the outside seam on a foam line and then into the foam itself. In the middle of the stream, you can see the hard water over a green stretch of deeper run. On the Rio Grande this is also good water to fish.
In the second run above the fork, I dropped a perfect cast into the run about 2 feet above where a fish should be. One foot of drift and a 15 inch rainbow was tail walking downstream. My new Sage Z-Axis 6wt made fast work of this scrapper and he was into the net. Removing the hook and releasing him, this fish took off upstream. I worked the stream hard upstream to the second pool below the railroad trestle. In a 1 foot deep run, I hooked a nice 10 or 11 inch bow but I misplayed and he won his freedom.
The main difference between this picture and now is the tanker cars stored on the railroad including the trestle. And the 3 logs about 3 foot in diameter each piled against the left hand footing. These logs testify to how much water came down the South Fork over this last few years.
Michael and I quit fishing about 2 p.m. and headed for our unit. Once there we met our host Vik Raol and other guests. Sabrina Stratford (www.shelovesflyfishing.com) and Tucker Ladd (owner of www.troutsflyfishing.com) and his friend.
(From Right to Left) Out host Vik Raol at far right, guide and owner of South Fork Anglers Joel Condren, Sabrina Stratford, and Michael Lenzini. I did not get a picture of Tucker and his friend.
Vik and co-host Randall Martinez both of Tandem Resort Group treated us to dinner in the Big River Grill at the Rio Grande Club. I highly recommend the nine oz. filet with a good pinot noir wine.
Filled with good food and fine wine, Michael and I headed to our unit to get ready for the guided trip on day 3 of our stay at the Rio Grande Club.
Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Everything you need for fresh water fly fishing
- Rio Grande Club Day One
- Rio Grande Club Day Three