With springtime just a few short weeks away and the weather too favorable not be on the water with a fishing pole, I took a couple of hours to go try my luck in our beautiful Jemez Mountains. I set out at about 10AM along the west side of the Rio San Antonio from the bridge at Twisted Juniper Rd. here in La Cueva (9 miles north of Jemez Springs). Now, 10AM is not typically your best time of the day to go fishing but I still had the need to get a fishing pole in hand. On this day, I just grabbed a ultralight rod and reel from the rack – a 6-foot pole rigged with 10-pound test Spiderwire and walked down to the water.
The outside temperature was about 50F with abundant sunshine and no wind. The water temperature on the river was very cold and a bit murky from the high country spring runoff. Moving upstream, I baited my hook with a pea sized piece of Orange Power Bait and one small split shot and began to relax. After about 10 minutes of trial and error, I found most of the trout lying idle in the still waters adjacent to the main current. It seemed as if the trout were not yet really “awake” for spring feeding and wanted perfect bait presentation before they had any interest.
As afternoon came, I had caught (and released) 7 nice pan-sized fish in a quarter mile stretch of the river right in front of the Elk Mountain Lodge. It was also good to see that some of the normal spring flies were beginning to emerge along the banks. By the end of my outing, the temperature had reached about 60F and I actually had signs of a light sunburn! The trout also seemed to become more active as the day progressed – they began to feed more aggressively. I snapped a few pictures of the trout I landed – no “lunkers” on this outing but the average length varied from a decent 10 to 14 inches. All in all, it was a great day. This brief excursion was enough to get me excited about what this year’s fishing should be like. The fishing up here never really disappoints!
Be sure to check our Facebook page every few weeks for the local NMDGF Fishing Report!