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!
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 elkmtnlodge.com.