The following post is by a friend of ours at Elk Mountain Lodge, NM. His name is Chris Parker and he recently came up to the Jemez Mountains for a day of fishing. He has a great writing style and he has allowed us to share it with you.
A JEMEZ NEW MEXICO KIND OF DAY
I’ve been driving around with my fishing gear in the back of the car for a couple of weeks. I was ready to jump, I had been just too busy to go. Then my son asked why are you driving around with your fishing stuff Dad, why indeed?
I woke up at 5:20am, 2 hours later than usual. Why indeed? Friday the 13th? Let’s go fishing. I found my fishing water bottle, filled it with ice and water and I was out the door by 7:30 am. I stopped by Taco Cabana and got an egg and chorizo soft taco and a barbacoa soft taco and 2 tortillas, hot off the grill. Got my salsas, napkins, etc. and headed for Jemez Springs.
All that traffic heading into Albuquerque to go to work and me going the opposite way, with no traffic, to go fishing, this felt good. With Rio Rancho disappearing in the rear view mirror you could just feel the city and the past week, beginning to melt away.
Following the route of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, Zia Pueblo on the horizon. As I turned off the highway to Cuba, I spied a hitchhiker at the side of the road as I entered San Isidro. He was going to Jemez Pueblo (Walatowa) to work on his field. Someone was going to disc it about 4 inches today. He was going to plant mostly chili and some corn, squash and melons. He asked me where my favorite holes were to be found and after I told him he asked, “ have you ever tried the river behind Hummingbird Music Camp?” No, well you go to the office and sign in, you should try at the bridge, there’s some good holes there.” So I pulled into HMC.
I saw an older woman walking to the mess hall, I stopped her and asked if I could fish on their river? After some banter she revealed that she was the widow of the man that founded the place, Wanda Higgins, 91 years old. “You came just in time, I just sent off 120 kids that were here.” I had the whole place to my self… She directed me to a beaver pond that had been stocked on Tuesday. Between 9:00am and 10:30am I caught 19 trout!!! I released all but 5 and gave those to Mrs. Higgins. We reminisced for a while about people we knew from the past, George Fishbeck, Patti Pierson, Terry Stright, etc. 91 years old, with a bounce in her step and a mind sharp as a tack.
So, I went to the Elk Mountain Lodge B&B to have lunch with my buddy Terry Stright. Not being hungry yet, we went to fish the river across the street from the lodge. I caught 6 more fish! I kept 3 for dinner.
I bought some piñons that were roasted and salted just right. I love these kinds of days!