Monthly Archives: May 2012

Stream fishing techniques for the Jemez Mountains

Different times of the year require you to approach catching fish in different ways.  If you wish to spend an excellent summer’s day catching summer trout in the Jemez Mountains, try the following basic techniques for a successful trip.

Use a lightweight fishing rod and reel.  I like a 6 to 7 foot rod with 6 to 8 lb. test line.  You might think this is too heavy for our rivers and streams but I like it just in case I hook one of the nicer “lunkers” that are often hooked up here.  Thinner line is more transparent and therefore works better when the water is very clear.  A light split shot weight (be-be sized) should work well about a foot above a size 8 hook.  I always suggest you use barbless hooks so that you may release the smaller trout.  It’s just better for the fish and allows you to give them a second chance to grow bigger!

An excellent bait choice, which is common and productive would be Pautzke’s Balls O’ Fire Salmon Eggs.  I’ve been using these to fish these waters forever and am never disappointed.



Another great choice, orange Berkley Power Bait, has never failed me either.   If there are trout in the area, and if you present the bait correctly, they usually can’t resist.  These bait types are readily available from any well stocked sporting goods shop.




If there’s a stretch of river that you particularly want to fish, start at the bottom or down stream from that area and begin hike-fishing upstream.  In the summer, it’s good to wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, Shorts are nice because you don’t have to worry about long pants getting wet.  Sometimes being in the middle of the stream, ankle deep in water is better than fishing from the bank.  Trout feed looking upstream so it’s best to fish while hiking up the flow.

“Read” the water by observing calm and tranquil pools immediately after a rapids or rocky fallout.  Trout like to grab their food as it enters a slower moving pond and while it is still suspended by stream flow.  When the bait is just off the bottom and moving, they perceive the bait as ‘live’ and will aggressively strike.

Trout will also “hang” in or near eddies (a circular movement of water, causing a small whirlpool) and watch for their query to get caught in suspension so that they can quickly nab it.  You should also look for deep areas below or behind rocks where the bait will slow and remain suspended.

Cast your line into the water above such areas and let the current bring the bait down naturally.  Make sure you don’t have too much weight on the line causing the bait to sink rather than “flow”.  Remember, naturally presented food is pretty hard for a trout to resist.  If the bait is constantly getting stuck in the bottom of the river, your split shot is likely too heavy.

We would love to have the have the opportunity to give you more details about fishing our areas streams, lakes and rivers.  Talking trout is one of our favorite pastimes!   Come up for a weekend of cool temps and relaxation…  we’d love for you to visit.  Call us at 575-829-3159 or make a reservation today at



Nature Tours in The Valles Caldera

Nature Tours in The Valles Caldera

The Elk Mountain Lodge is situated right on the edge of one of the most amazing attractions in the southwest US – it’s basically right here in our back yard.  The Valles Caldera’s 89,000 acres is home to a large variety of wildlife such as raptors, elk, bear, deer and many species of fish.  A trip through only a small portion of the preserve can yield volumes of photos, memories and also amazing exposure to nature’s beauty.

Sure, many people have driven past the vast open meadow that is only a small portion of the crater but most people have never really experienced the heart of this amazing place.  As a matter of fact, most people don’t even know that you can take guided van tours through the immense forested areas that are also a part of the Caldera!  If you’re one of such passer’s by, you should read on…

Beautiful natural resources of the Valles are brought to you via these tours that are offered and organized by the Preserve.  There are many different categories of tours that range from artistry to geology to wildlife!  Within each category, you can typically choose different dates and times that fit your schedule.  Further, the costs are relatively minimal for a one hour tour.  Stops along the route offer a great place to take magnificent pictures of some of the most stunning mountain areas of the entire southwest.  Experience wildlife, archeology and the history of the Caldera while someone else drives!

If you have your own horses and would rather tour by horseback you can do that too!  Applications and reservations are typically made well in advance but it’s not impossible to sign up at the staging area on a daily basis.  Rides may be booked between mid May to the first of September.  Fees, rules and schedules may be viewed on their website or by calling 866-382-5537.

The lodge is a short 13 miles southwest of the entrance to the Preserve and 8 miles north of the Caldera’s administrative offices down in Jemez Springs.  We can provide you with more information during your stay with us – just let us know that you are interested.  Things like this are a favorite discussion over breakfast so make your reservations today and start enjoying the mountain life!  Call us at 575-829-3159 for more information.