Time: 10:00AM – 1:00PM
Location: Dalton Picnic Area
Amy and Dan dropped me off at the Dalton day use parking lot along the Pecos River, around 45 minutes east of Santa Fe, NM. While I was gearing up to fish, Amy and Dan threw the Frisbee, and then they noticed we had a flat tire on the left rear tire. Dan changed the tire, and luckily it was a regular spare and not the temporary type since we faced a six hour drive back to Denver.
Once I knew the kids were OK, I began fishing upriver while they returned to Santa Fe to complete some loose ends on Amy’s move, and following that they went mountain bike riding.
I began at a beautiful bend pool and rigged up with a yellow Letort hopper and beadhead pheasant tail nymph on a dropper two feet below. I cast to the slack water in the arm pit of the bend with my first cast, but nothing took it. On the second cast I shot it closer to the faster run going into the pool, and a small brown rose and inhaled the hopper. I took a photo, released, dried the hopper and cast a foot closer to the run, and after a two foot drift, a larger brown sucked in the hopper. I repeated the routine, and my fourth cast went up farther and into the faster run, where another brown rose and took the hopper. At this point, I was convinced that I had some great fishing ahead of me. As it turned out, I did, but not quite this ridiculously easy.
I noticed quite a few black stoneflies lumbering about, and occasionally I spotted some other stoneflies that were not quite as large as the black versions. I later discovered the others were golden stoneflies, when I caught and photographed one. Apparently the fish were rising to the yellow Letort hopper as a golden stonefly imitation.
I caught another small brown on the trailing BHPT in one of the eddies on the far side of the run that yielded three, and then I moved upstream. There was a nice pool where the stream flowed out from under the bridge by the road, but a fisherman was on top of the embankment fishing down into the pool with a spinning rod, so I climbed the bank and went across the highway. I began working the dry/dropper combination methodically and covered the water through a nice pool and run. I received some refusals on the hopper. When I turned the bend, I encountered a couple more fishermen, and there was a fisheman access parking lot on the left. I exited the stream and hiked a worn path above the fishermen and then jumped back down to some shallower water with riffles. As it turned out, these types of stretches were not very productive, because the water was so low and clear, thus providing minimal cover.
I came to a nice deeper pool where the current swept along a large rock on the far side. I made quite a few drifts to no avail, and was about to move on, when the hopper paused, and I hooked up on the only rainbow of the day on the BHPT.
I encountered a couple of bait dunkers at the next hole and again circled above. It was around this time that I caught the golden stonefly and photographed it. I also was not getting much action on the BHPT, so I swapped it out for a beadhead hares ear. During the remainder of the morning, I worked the water fishing all the likely holding spots and picked up numerous browns. There was one stretch that I photographed with deeper pockets that produced quite well on the BHHE.
I stopped fishing around 12:45 so I could hike back down the road to meet Dan for the return trip. When I arrived at the parking lot, Dan was not there yet, so I tried a nice wide run across from the parking area. I flipped backhand casts to the top of the run, and noticed a pause on the hopper on the tenth cast, and landed a final brown, which I photographed in some cool fern-like vegetation on the bank.
Dan did not arrive until around 1:30, at which time I changed clothes, tossed everything in the van, and we were off on the return trip to Denver.
Fish Landed: 17