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Tails of Enchantment Summer 2013|FISHENCHANTMENT.COM

A Spirit of Flyfishing

MAGAZINE

Splitshoting vs. Dropshoting

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Your Passion for Angling comes with a Responsibility Kayak Konversion

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New Department! YAK HACK


TABLE OF CONTENTS

DEPARTMENTS

4

Editor’s Message

30

Matt Pelletier

6

Solunar Calendar

10

First Cast

16

Hooked Comics Will Wells

18

Your Fly’s Down Juan Ramirez

20

Outdoor Events

24

Product Showcase

26

Anglers Art

40 46

Joe Dowell

64

Captured

76

Yak Hack Felipe Manuel Ortega

86

Giving Back Richard Hansen

88

Fish Science Kevin Terry

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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Summer 2013

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FEATURES 30

A Spirit of Fly Fishing

...or an Angling art of Mercy... -By: Bob Widgren

40

Splitshoting VS. Dropshoting

The subtle differences between Splitshooting and Dropshoting.

-By: Kris Johnson

46

Your Passion for Angling comes with a Responsibilty

Be a steward of our fisheries!

- By: Matt Pelletier

54

Cautionary Tale

Another floater at Bluewater, but why? - By: Chris NM-FE Forum post 06/23/13

56

Kayak Konversion

Know the difference between Tiger Muskies and Pike? Learn more about these similar yet very different fish.

- By: Sean Gifford

Cover Stor y K r i s Jo h n s o n w i t h t wo 3.78 pound Smallmouth b a s s h e c a u g h t a t N ava j o L a ke S t a t e Pa r k wh i l e fi s h i n g t h e U l t i m a t e Te a m B a s s To u r n a m e n t wh e r e h e a n d C o l t R o b e r t s p la ce d 4t h . Fe a t u r e : S p l i t s h o t i n g V S D r o p s h o t in g ! P h o t og r ap h by: C o lt R o b e r t s - A p r il 20 1 3


EDITORS MESSAGE You may notice a change in the lineup of contributors for this issue as we had to make some changes due to unforeseen circumstances. This issue has some great material that covers a wide variety of topics loaded with entertainment and education.

Matt Pelletier Tails of Enchantment Editor in Chief matt@fishenchantment.com

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We have a new Department that we’re introducing in this issue, and we’re calling it Yak Hack. With the recent boom in kayak anglers here in New Mexico I wanted to have a reoccurring Department that pertains to this somewhat new form of fishing. I hope everyone enjoys this new addition provided by the NM Hobie team Members; Manuel Ortega and Sean Gifford. We also shared a forum post from one of the Fish Enchantment Members. It’s an informative report from his most recent trip to Bluewater Lake State Park and is a must read for anyone considering fishing Quemado or Bluewater; especially during the summer months. Please read it thoroughly and share it with everyone you can. By doing so you’ll help share a message that can help us as anglers reduce the footprint we leave on this very popular world class fishery. Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to Tails of Enchantment, enjoy the third issue and please share it with your friends and family. Last but not least I would like to that all the contributors who have made this magazine possible. Sure it takes hours upon hours to design, but the material our contributors have been providing makes Tails of Enchantment one of a kind! Be ready for the October 7th release of the Fall Super Issue! Catch, Photo & Release,

-Matt Pelletier Copyright © Tails of Enchantment. All rights reserved. The usage of articles, photographs, and any reproduction of this publication is strictly prohibited.

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INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

8-9--NM State Parks

63--Dave’s Wildlife Studio

22--NM Outdoor Expo

75--Zia Kayak Outfitters

23--Float-N-Fish

75--Fly Rod Crafters

25--Vermejo Park Ranch

82-Qualifly Products

28--Dead Horse Baits

82--Muskies Inc

38--RayJus Outdoors

83--Fish Creek Spinners

45--Menicucci Insurance

84--FE Guide Service

62--Abu Garcia

93--RIO PRODUCTS

PUBLISHER:

Fish Enchantment Media LLC

EDITORS & PROOFREADERS:

Matt Pelletier, Editor in Chief Leah Pelletier, Proofreader

GRAPHICS/DESIGN:

Matt Pelletier-FE Media LLC

ADVERTISING:

Leah Pelletier, Advertising Director

CONTACT US:

matt@fishenchantment.com

O N T R I B U T O R S

M a t t

P e l l e t i e r

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SOLUNAR CALENDAR Lunar Calendar Highlights Based on Albuquerque Longitude and Latitude: We try to include all factors anglers pay attention to when planning their next fishing trip. Twi A-(AM Astrological Twilight), Sunrise, Solar Noon, Sunset, Twi A (PM Astrological Twilight), Moonrise, Moonset, Moon Phase, and Day Length. Resource:sunrisesunset.com

Sunday

Monday

Wednesday

1

Twi A: 4:10 AM Sunrise: 5:56 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:25 PM Twi A: 10:11 PM Moonrise: 1:55 AM Moonset: 3:47 PM Day length: 14h 29m

2

Twi A: 4:10 AM Sunrise: 5:57 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:25 PM Twi A: 10:11 PM Moonrise: 2:33 AM Moonset: 4:42 PM Day length: 14h 28m

7

Twi A: 4:14 AM Sunrise: 5:59 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:24 PM Twi A: 10:09 PM Moonrise: 6:28 AM Moonset: 8:33 PM New Moon: 1:16 AM Day length: 14h 25m

8

Twi A: 4:15 AM Sunrise: 6:00 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:24 PM Twi A: 10:09 PM Moonrise: 7:23 AM Moonset: 9:09 PM Day length: 14h 24m

9

Twi A: 4:16 AM Sunrise: 6:00 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:23 PM Twi A: 10:08 PM Moonrise: 8:18 AM Moonset: 9:43 PM Day length: 14h 23m

14

Twi A: 4:20 AM Sunrise: 6:03 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:21 PM Twi A: 10:05 PM Moonrise: 1:08 PM Moonset: none First Qtr: 9:20 PM Day length: 14h 18m

15

Twi A: 4:21 AM Sunrise: 6:04 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:21 PM Twi A: 10:04 PM Moonrise: 2:11 PM Moonset: 12:30 AM Day length: 14h 17m

16

Twi A: 4:22 AM Sunrise: 6:05 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:21 PM Twi A: 10:03 PM Moonrise: 3:16 PM Moonset: 1:10 AM Day length: 14h 16m

21

Twi A: 4:27 AM Sunrise: 6:08 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:18 PM Twi A: 9:59 PM Moonrise: 8:10 PM Moonset: 6:06 AM Full Moon: 12:17 PM Day length: 14h 10m Twi A: 4:35 AM Sunrise: 6:13 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:13 PM Twi A: 9:52 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 1:39 PM Last Qtr: 11:45 AM Day length: 13h 59m

22

Twi A: 4:28 AM Sunrise: 6:09 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:17 PM Twi A: 9:58 PM Moonrise: 8:53 PM Moonset: 7:17 AM Day length: 14h 8m

23

Twi A: 4:29 AM Sunrise: 6:10 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:16 PM Twi A: 9:57 PM Moonrise: 9:33 PM Moonset: 8:26 AM Day length: 14h 7m

29

Twi A: 4:36 AM Sunrise: 6:14 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:12 PM Twi A: 9:50 PM Moonrise: 12:33 AM Moonset: 2:35 PM Day length: 13h 58m

Twi A: 4:19 AM Sunrise: 6:03 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:22 PM Twi A: 10:06 PM Moonrise: 12:07 PM Moonset: 11:53 PM Day length: 14h 19m Twi A: 4:26 AM Sunrise: 6:08 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:18 PM Twi A: 10:00 PM Moonrise: 7:20 PM Moonset: 4:57 AM Day length: 14h 11m

6

Tuesday

Twi A: 4:09 AM Sunrise: 5:56 AM Solar noon: 1:10 PM Sunset: 8:25 PM Twi A: 10:12 PM Moonrise: 1:19 AM Moonset: 2:51 PM Day length: 14h 29m Twi A: 4:13 AM Sunrise: 5:59 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:24 PM Twi A: 10:10 PM Moonrise: 5:36 AM Moonset: 7:53 PM Day length: 14h 25m

Twi A: 4:33 AM Sunrise: 6:13 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:13 PM Twi A: 9:53 PM Moonrise: 11:55 PM Moonset: 12:41 PM Day length: 14h 1m

July 2013

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30

Twi A: 4:37 AM Sunrise: 6:15 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:11 PM Twi A: 9:49 PM Moonrise: 1:13 AM Moonset: 3:29 PM Day length: 13h 56m

Thursday

Friday

3

Twi A: 4:11 AM Sunrise: 5:57 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:25 PM Twi A: 10:11 PM Moonrise: 3:14 AM Moonset: 5:34 PM Day length: 14h 27m

10

Twi A: 4:16 AM Sunrise: 6:01 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:23 PM Twi A: 10:08 PM Moonrise: 9:14 AM Moonset: 10:16 PM Day length: 14h 22m

17

Twi A: 4:23 AM Sunrise: 6:05 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:20 PM Twi A: 10:03 PM Moonrise: 4:21 PM Moonset: 1:57 AM Day length: 14h 15m

24

Twi A: 4:30 AM Sunrise: 6:10 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:16 PM Twi A: 9:56 PM Moonrise: 10:09 PM Moonset: 9:34 AM Day length: 14h 5m

Saturday

4

Twi A: 4:12 AM Sunrise: 5:58 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:24 PM Twi A: 10:10 PM Moonrise: 3:58 AM Moonset: 6:24 PM Day length: 14h 27

11

Twi A: 4:17 AM Sunrise: 6:02 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:23 PM Twi A: 10:07 PM Moonrise: 10:10 AM Moonset: 10:47 PM Day length: 14h 21m

18

Twi A: 4:24 AM Sunrise: 6:06 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:19 PM Twi A: 10:02 PM Moonrise: 5:25 PM Moonset: 2:50 AM Day length: 14h 13m

25

Twi A: 4:31 AM Sunrise: 6:11 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:15 PM Twi A: 9:55 PM Moonrise: 10:45 PM Moonset: 10:38 AM Day length: 14h 4m

31

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Summer 2013

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Twi A: 4:12 AM Sunrise: 5:58 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 8:24 PM Twi A: 10:10 PM Moonrise: 4:45 AM Moonset: 7:10 PM Day length: 14h 26m

12

Twi A: 4:18 AM Sunrise: 6:02 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:22 PM Twi A: 10:06 PM Moonrise: 11:08 AM Moonset: 11:20 PM Day length: 14h 20m

19

Twi A: 4:25 AM Sunrise: 6:07 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:19 PM Twi A: 10:01 PM Moonrise: 6:25 PM Moonset: 3:50 AM Day length: 14h 12m

26

Twi A: 4:32 AM Sunrise: 6:12 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:14 PM Twi A: 9:54 PM Moonrise: 11:19 PM Moonset: 11:41 AM Day length: 14h 2m

6

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20

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Sunday

August 2013

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Twi A: 4:38 AM Sunrise: 6:16 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:10 PM Twi A: 9:48 PM Moonrise: 1:56 AM Moonset: 4:19 PM Day length: 13h 55m

1

Twi A: 4:39 AM Sunrise: 6:16 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:09 PM Twi A: 9:47 PM Moonrise: 2:42 AM Moonset: 5:07 PM Day length: 13h 53m

2

Twi A: 4:40 AM Sunrise: 6:17 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:08 PM Twi A: 9:45 PM Moonrise: 3:31 AM Moonset: 5:51 PM Day length: 13h 51m

3

Twi A: 4:41 AM Sunrise: 6:18 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:07 PM Twi A: 9:44 PM Moonrise: 4:23 AM Moonset: 6:32 PM Day length: 13h 50m

4

Twi A: 4:42 AM Sunrise: 6:19 AM Solar noon: 1:13 PM Sunset: 8:07 PM Twi A: 9:43 PM Moonrise: 5:17 AM Moonset: 7:10 PM Day length: 13h 48m

5

Twi A: 4:43 AM Sunrise: 6:19 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:06 PM Twi A: 9:42 PM Moonrise: 6:12 AM Moonset: 7:45 PM New Moon: 3:52 PM Day length: 13h 46m

6

Twi A: 4:44 AM Sunrise: 6:20 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:05 PM Twi A: 9:40 PM Moonrise: 7:08 AM Moonset: 8:18 PM Day length: 13h 44m

7

Twi A: 4:46 AM Sunrise: 6:21 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:04 PM Twi A: 9:39 PM Moonrise: 8:05 AM Moonset: 8:51 PM Day length: 13h 43m

8

Twi A: 4:47 AM Sunrise: 6:22 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:03 PM Twi A: 9:37 PM Moonrise: 9:03 AM Moonset: 9:23 PM Day length: 13h 41m

9

Twi A: 4:48 AM Sunrise: 6:22 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:01 PM Twi A: 9:36 PM Moonrise: 10:01 AM Moonset: 9:56 PM Day length: 13h 39m

10

Twi A: 4:49 AM Sunrise: 6:23 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 8:00 PM Twi A: 9:35 PM Moonrise: 11:01 AM Moonset: 10:32 PM Day length: 13h 37m

11

Twi A: 4:50 AM Sunrise: 6:24 AM Solar noon: 1:12 PM Sunset: 7:59 PM Twi A: 9:33 PM Moonrise: 12:03 PM Moonset: 11:10 PM Day length: 13h 35m

12

Twi A: 4:51 AM Sunrise: 6:25 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 7:58 PM Twi A: 9:32 PM Moonrise: 1:05 PM Moonset: 11:53 PM Day length: 13h 34m

13

Twi A: 4:52 AM Sunrise: 6:25 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 7:57 PM Twi A: 9:30 PM Moonrise: 2:09 PM Moonset: none First Qtr: 4:57 AM Day length: 13h 32m

14

Twi A: 4:53 AM Sunrise: 6:26 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 7:56 PM Twi A: 9:29 PM Moonrise: 3:11 PM Moonset: 12:42 AM Day length: 13h 30m

15

Twi A: 4:54 AM Sunrise: 6:27 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 7:55 PM Twi A: 9:27 PM Moonrise: 4:11 PM Moonset: 1:38 AM Day length: 13h 28m

16

Twi A: 4:55 AM Sunrise: 6:28 AM Solar noon: 1:11 PM Sunset: 7:54 PM Twi A: 9:26 PM Moonrise: 5:07 PM Moonset: 2:39 AM Day length: 13h 26m

17

Twi A: 4:57 AM Sunrise: 6:28 AM Solar noon: 1:10 PM Sunset: 7:52 PM Twi A: 9:24 PM Moonrise: 5:58 PM Moonset: 3:45 AM Day length: 13h 24m

18

Twi A: 4:58 AM Sunrise: 6:29 AM Solar noon: 1:10 PM Sunset: 7:51 PM Twi A: 9:23 PM Moonrise: 6:44 PM Moonset: 4:54 AM Day length: 13h 22m

19

Twi A: 4:59 AM Sunrise: 6:30 AM Solar noon: 1:10 PM Sunset: 7:50 PM Twi A: 9:21 PM Moonrise: 7:25 PM Moonset: 6:03 AM Full Moon: 7:46 PM Day length: 13h 20m

20

Twi A: 5:00 AM Sunrise: 6:31 AM Solar noon: 1:10 PM Sunset: 7:49 PM Twi A: 9:20 PM Moonrise: 8:03 PM Moonset: 7:11 AM Day length: 13h 18m

21

Twi A: 5:01 AM Sunrise: 6:31 AM Solar noon: 1:09 PM Sunset: 7:47 PM Twi A: 9:18 PM Moonrise: 8:40 PM Moonset: 8:18 AM Day length: 13h 16m

22

Twi A: 5:02 AM Sunrise: 6:32 AM Solar noon: 1:09 PM Sunset: 7:46 PM Twi A: 9:17 PM Moonrise: 9:16 PM Moonset: 9:22 AM Day length: 13h 14m

23

Twi A: 5:03 AM Sunrise: 6:33 AM Solar noon: 1:09 PM Sunset: 7:45 PM Twi A: 9:15 PM Moonrise: 9:52 PM Moonset: 10:25 AM Day length: 13h 12m

24

25

Twi A: 5:05 AM Sunrise: 6:34 AM Solar noon: 1:08 PM Sunset: 7:42 PM Twi A: 9:12 PM Moonrise: 11:10 PM Moonset: 12:24 PM Day length: 13h 8m

26

Twi A: 5:06 AM Sunrise: 6:35 AM Solar noon: 1:08 PM Sunset: 7:41 PM Twi A: 9:10 PM Moonrise: 11:53 PM Moonset: 1:20 PM Day length: 13h 6m

27

Twi A: 5:07 AM Sunrise: 6:36 AM Solar noon: 1:08 PM Sunset: 7:40 PM Twi A: 9:09 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 2:12 PM Last Qtr: 3:36 AM Day length: 13h 4m

28

Twi A: 5:08 AM Sunrise: 6:37 AM Solar noon: 1:08 PM Sunset: 7:38 PM Twi A: 9:07 PM Moonrise: 12:38 AM Moonset: 3:02 PM Day length: 13h 2m

29

Twi A: 5:09 AM Sunrise: 6:37 AM Solar noon: 1:07 PM Sunset: 7:37 PM Twi A: 9:06 PM Moonrise: 1:26 AM Moonset: 3:47 PM Day length: 13h 0m

30

Twi A: 5:10 AM Sunrise: 6:38 AM Solar noon: 1:07 PM Sunset: 7:36 PM Twi A: 9:04 PM Moonrise: 2:17 AM Moonset: 4:29 PM Day length: 12h 57m

31

Twi A: 5:04 AM Sunrise: 6:34 AM Solar noon: 1:09 PM Sunset: 7:44 PM Twi A: 9:14 PM Moonrise: 10:30 PM Moonset: 11:26 AM Day length: 13h 10m

Sunday

September 2013

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Twi A: 5:11 AM Sunrise: 6:39 AM Solar noon: 1:07 PM Sunset: 7:34 PM Twi A: 9:02 PM Moonrise: 3:09 AM Moonset: 5:08 PM Day length: 12h 55m

1

Twi A: 5:12 AM Sunrise: 6:40 AM Solar noon: 1:06 PM Sunset: 7:33 PM Twi A: 9:01 PM Moonrise: 4:04 AM Moonset: 5:44 PM Day length: 12h 53m

2

Twi A: 5:13 AM Sunrise: 6:40 AM Solar noon: 1:06 PM Sunset: 7:32 PM Twi A: 8:59 PM Moonrise: 5:00 AM Moonset: 6:19 PM Day length: 12h 51m

3

Twi A: 5:14 AM Sunrise: 6:41 AM Solar noon: 1:06 PM Sunset: 7:30 PM Twi A: 8:58 PM Moonrise: 5:57 AM Moonset: 6:52 PM Day length: 12h 49m

4

Twi A: 5:15 AM Sunrise: 6:42 AM Solar noon: 1:05 PM Sunset: 7:29 PM Twi A: 8:56 PM Moonrise: 6:55 AM Moonset: 7:25 PM New Moon: 5:37 AM Day length: 12h 47m

5

Twi A: 5:15 AM Sunrise: 6:43 AM Solar noon: 1:05 PM Sunset: 7:27 PM Twi A: 8:54 PM Moonrise: 7:54 AM Moonset: 7:58 PM Day length: 12h 45m

6

Twi A: 5:16 AM Sunrise: 6:43 AM Solar noon: 1:05 PM Sunset: 7:26 PM Twi A: 8:53 PM Moonrise: 8:54 AM Moonset: 8:33 PM Day length: 12h 43m

7

Twi A: 5:17 AM Sunrise: 6:44 AM Solar noon: 1:04 PM Sunset: 7:25 PM Twi A: 8:51 PM Moonrise: 9:56 AM Moonset: 9:11 PM Day length: 12h 40m

8

Twi A: 5:18 AM Sunrise: 6:45 AM Solar noon: 1:04 PM Sunset: 7:23 PM Twi A: 8:50 PM Moonrise: 10:59 AM Moonset: 9:53 PM Day length: 12h 38m

9

Twi A: 5:19 AM Sunrise: 6:46 AM Solar noon: 1:04 PM Sunset: 7:22 PM Twi A: 8:48 PM Moonrise: 12:02 PM Moonset: 10:40 PM Day length: 12h 36m

10

Twi A: 5:20 AM Sunrise: 6:46 AM Solar noon: 1:03 PM Sunset: 7:20 PM Twi A: 8:46 PM Moonrise: 1:04 PM Moonset: 11:33 PM Day length: 12h 34m

11

Twi A: 5:21 AM Sunrise: 6:47 AM Solar noon: 1:03 PM Sunset: 7:19 PM Twi A: 8:45 PM Moonrise: 2:03 PM Moonset: none First Qtr: 11:10 AM Day length: 12h 32m

12

Twi A: 5:22 AM Sunrise: 6:48 AM Solar noon: 1:03 PM Sunset: 7:17 PM Twi A: 8:43 PM Moonrise: 2:59 PM Moonset: 12:31 AM Day length: 12h 30m

13

Twi A: 5:23 AM Sunrise: 6:48 AM Solar noon: 1:02 PM Sunset: 7:16 PM Twi A: 8:42 PM Moonrise: 3:50 PM Moonset: 1:33 AM Day length: 12h 27m

14

Twi A: 5:24 AM Sunrise: 6:49 AM Solar noon: 1:02 PM Sunset: 7:14 PM Twi A: 8:40 PM Moonrise: 4:37 PM Moonset: 2:39 AM Day length: 12h 25m

15

Twi A: 5:24 AM Sunrise: 6:50 AM Solar noon: 1:01 PM Sunset: 7:13 PM Twi A: 8:39 PM Moonrise: 5:19 PM Moonset: 3:46 AM Day length: 12h 23m

16

Twi A: 5:25 AM Sunrise: 6:51 AM Solar noon: 1:01 PM Sunset: 7:12 PM Twi A: 8:37 PM Moonrise: 5:58 PM Moonset: 4:52 AM Day length: 12h 21m

17

Twi A: 5:26 AM Sunrise: 6:51 AM Solar noon: 1:01 PM Sunset: 7:10 PM Twi A: 8:35 PM Moonrise: 6:35 PM Moonset: 5:58 AM Day length: 12h 19m

18

Twi A: 5:27 AM Sunrise: 6:52 AM Solar noon: 1:00 PM Sunset: 7:09 PM Twi A: 8:34 PM Moonrise: 7:11 PM Moonset: 7:03 AM Full Moon: 5:14 AM Day length: 12h 17m

19

Twi A: 5:28 AM Sunrise: 6:53 AM Solar noon: 1:00 PM Sunset: 7:07 PM Twi A: 8:32 PM Moonrise: 7:47 PM Moonset: 8:07 AM Day length: 12h 14m

20

Twi A: 5:29 AM Sunrise: 6:54 AM Solar noon: 1:00 PM Sunset: 7:06 PM Twi A: 8:31 PM Moonrise: 8:25 PM Moonset: 9:09 AM Day length: 12h 12m

21

Twi A: 5:30 AM Sunrise: 6:54 AM Solar noon: 12:59 PM Sunset: 7:04 PM Twi A: 8:29 PM Moonrise: 9:05 PM Moonset: 10:09 AM Day length: 12h 10m

22

Twi A: 5:30 AM Sunrise: 6:55 AM Solar noon: 12:59 PM Sunset: 7:03 PM Twi A: 8:28 PM Moonrise: 9:47 PM Moonset: 11:07 AM Day length: 12h 8m

23

Twi A: 5:31 AM Sunrise: 6:56 AM Solar noon: 12:59 PM Sunset: 7:01 PM Twi A: 8:26 PM Moonrise: 10:32 PM Moonset: 12:02 PM Day length: 12h 6m

24

Twi A: 5:32 AM Sunrise: 6:57 AM Solar noon: 12:58 PM Sunset: 7:00 PM Twi A: 8:25 PM Moonrise: 11:19 PM Moonset: 12:54 PM Day length: 12h 3m

25

Twi A: 5:33 AM Sunrise: 6:57 AM Solar noon: 12:58 PM Sunset: 6:59 PM Twi A: 8:23 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 1:41 PM Last Qtr: 9:57 PM Day length: 12h 1m

26

Twi A: 5:34 AM Sunrise: 6:58 AM Solar noon: 12:58 PM Sunset: 6:57 PM Twi A: 8:22 PM Moonrise: 12:09 AM Moonset: 2:25 PM Day length: 11h 59m

27

Twi A: 5:34 AM Sunrise: 6:59 AM Solar noon: 12:57 PM Sunset: 6:56 PM Twi A: 8:20 PM Moonrise: 1:01 AM Moonset: 3:05 PM Day length: 11h 57m

28

Twi A: 5:35 AM Sunrise: 7:00 AM Solar noon: 12:57 PM Sunset: 6:54 PM Twi A: 8:19 PM Moonrise: 1:55 AM Moonset: 3:42 PM Day length: 11h 55m

29

Twi A: 5:36 AM Sunrise: 7:00 AM Solar noon: 12:57 PM Sunset: 6:53 PM Twi A: 8:17 PM Moonrise: 2:49 AM Moonset: 4:17 PM Day length: 11h 53m

30


New Mexico State Parks Your Best Recreation Value Close to Home!

FISHING IS AT ITS BEST RIGHT NOW AT NEW MEXICO STATE PARKS! Fishing, of all varieties, is one of the most popular activities at NM State Parks. Twenty-four parks have ponds, streams, rivers or lakes, providing a variety of different fishing experiences. From a lazy afternoon casting for pan-fish to a highenergy adventure of fishing for 40-inch tiger muskie, your State Parks have a lot to offer.

1 03$ 5.6 &2 0 ‡     103 $5.6


Open for Adventure R

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Camping

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Plan your Family Adventure today at NMPARKS.COM

A L SPONSO

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Try something dynamic and new at a park near you! Parks are open for kayaking, fishing, birding, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing and special events for all ages.

ICI F F O

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One of the best ways to experience a state park is is by camping under the stars. Different camping experiences are available and whether you like to roll out your sleeping bag or curl up in your RV, state parks has it all.

Night Sky & Star Parties

State parks star parties provide star gazing basics, views through telescopes and large-scale observatory experiences. There are programs for all levels of night sky enthusiasts.

Trails

Hiking a trail is one of the best ways to get to know a park, and 22 of our 35 parks have established trail systems. Whether you are interested in a quiet nature hike or a more adventurous experience, hit the trail in a state park.

Birding & Wildlife Viewing

For a growing number of people, birding and wildlife viewing is a great adventure. State parks are great settings to observe the unique wildlife and birds in our state.

NMPARKS.COM

888.NMPARKS


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Only 5% of Tiger Muskies stocked make it to 40”. I don’t know the

percent of tigers that reach 48-50” but I do know we’re the luckiest

anglers in the entire USA! This big girl was released after being taped at 48” without pinching the tail. I didn’t even think about it

until after she swam away... All I was worried about at the time was making sure she remained alive and in the best shape possible!

Photo By: Dennis Howard


FIRST CAST These photos were taken at Vermejo Park Ranch during a trip we took this Spring. Kevin Menicucci started the trip off with a bang, his first fish to the net was this beast 25x14� Rainbow that was admired and quickly released.

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Photos By: Matt Pelletier

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Colorful underwater shot of my Redington RS4 5WT taking a break

while I released a fish on the San Juan River at Navajo Lake State Park. I can’t count how many fish that rod has hauled in over the years. Photo By: Matt Pelletier


HOOKED


Win a print o f this comic with yo ur winning caption by submitting yo ur captions to cmxacc@gmail.com. Congrats to the Spring issues Hooked Caption Contest winner, Sherryl Stine

st not s are ju k w a h o m Stine "Dude, Sherryl y B " e r mo cool any

W ill Wells aka Roxors�


YOUR FLY’S DOWN

Juan Ramirez -Tails of Enchantment Contributor

-Member of Montana Fly Company design team. -blogs about fly tying and fly fishing. hopperjuan.blogspot.com During the winter, as the cold winds blow on the windows, I often find myself reviewing the previous summers awesome fishing. Usually, it has something to do with hoppers. I love throwing hoppers and stoneflies for trout. After fishing small bugs for most of the year, it’s time to get out the big dries on top to see what the fish will do. There are hundreds or even thousands of pattern options out there and these patterns have proven that they work. They are all high floating, built with foam and very durable. You can fish them alone when fish are looking up, or you can drop a hefty dropper behind them to entice those fish who are too lazy or smart to eat on the surface. Tying with foam opens up a ton of new ideas and it’s a blast. Give it a try and see what type of results you get.

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Terrestrials The Hopper Juan http://vimeo.com/8552463

Lil Hollywood Hopper http://vimeo.com/58280740

Club Sandwich http://vimeo.com/8527336

Chubby Chernobyl http://vimeo.com/25954237


OUTDOOR EVENTS Saturday July 27, 2013

Fees: Regular Entrance Fee

Saturday, August 24

Bluewater Lake State Park

Contact: Salvador Gonzalez 575-743-3942

07:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Free Basic Boating Safety Class Classes will be offered at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Boating classes are a free one day, 8- hour course, that runs 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upon successful completion, participants receive a boater education card and a coupon for two nights of camping for the price of one. One coupon per family and the coupon is redeemable at most New Mexico State Parks. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1989 who intends to operate a motorboat must successfully complete a state certified boating education course.

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NM Outdoors Expo The New Mexico Outdoor EXPO is fun for the whole family. Children and adults will enjoy firearm and archery target shooting, casting, fly tying, fishing for huge catfish, free exhibits, a climbing wall and much more. www.wildlife.state.nm.us

Saturday, August 24 08:30 AM - 05:30 PM Heron Lake State Park Boating Safety Education Courses The course provides students the opportunity to interact with an experienced boating instructor. Students must score 80 percent on the closed book exam to receive their Boater Education Card. For information, call (575) 588-7470- ask for Officer Armendariz Fees: Regular Entrance Fee Contact: Andrew Armendariz 575 588 7470

Fees: Regular Entrance Fee Contact: Valerie Russ 575-356-5331

Saturday, August 31 05:00 PM - 09:00 PM Oasis Lake State Park 5th Annual Catfish Derby Oasis State Park with the support of the Friends of Oasis will be holding their 5th Annual “Biggest Catfish Challenge� Derby on Saturday, August 31, 2013. Registration will start at 3:30 p.m. and run until 7 p.m. with the derby starting at 5 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. The event is open to all ages. The park entrance fee of $5 is required for non-annual permit holders. The entry fee is a charge of $5 per person. There will be two categories in the challenge: Adult (age 16 years and older) and Junior (age 15 years and younger). Prizes will be the same for both categories with a

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City of Albuquerque Shooting Range Park

Ever wondered what the different parts of a fish are called? Come to Oasis and learn about them. There will be a trout and a catfish to learn about, since those are the main two fish stocked in the pond. This event will be held at the park Group Shelter area at 7 p.m. on August 24, 2013. Regular entrance fees apply for nonannual permit holders. All ages are invited to attend.

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(NMMI) New Mexico Muskies Inc Members will be volunteering their day as requested by NM State Parks to operate booths and educate the public about these trophy fish. Each booth will cover proper catch and release gear, techniques, proper handling, and the necessary gear needed to safely and successfully catch these fish. Booths open from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m and an on the water/bank demonstration will take place from 6:00 p.m.7:00p.m.

August 21 & 22, 2013

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first, second and third place for each. Prizes will be based on the weight of the fish. Door prizes will be drawn throughout the derby as well. The catfish limit is 2 per person per day. Anyone 12 years of age and older must have a valid NM fishing license. Contact: Oasis State Park 575-356-5331

Saturday, September 7 08:00 AM - 05:00 PM Caballo Lake State Park Free Basic Boating Safety Class Classes will be offered at Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Boating classes are a free one day, 8- hour course, that runs 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Upon successful completion, participants receive a boater education card and a coupon for two nights of camping for the price of one. One coupon per family and the coupon is redeemable at most New Mexico State Parks. Fees: Regular Entrance Fee Contact: Salvador Gonzalez 575-743-3942

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NMDGF photo by Dan Williams.

Outdoor Expo N e w

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Free Event

Fun for the entire family.

Free events for

children and adults include: FDW¿VKSRQG¿UHDUPDQGDUFKHU\WDUJHW

Aug. 17–18, 2013

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City of ABQ Shooting Range Park

DQGRXWGRRUVNLOOV Open from 9am to 5pm.

Directions. Outdoor Expo at the City of Albuquerque 6KRRWLQJ5DQJH3DUNLVHDV\WR¿QGIURP,DQG, 1. 7DNH,ZHVWERXQGWRZDUG*DOOXS  ([LWDWWKH ([LW $WULVFR9LVWDRIIUDPS 3. 7XUQULJKWRQWR$WULVFR9LVWD  &RQWLQXHQRUWKPLOHV 5. 7XUQOHIWRQWR6KRRWLQJ5DQJH5RDG 6. &RQWLQXHZHVWPLOHVWRWKHSDUNHQWUDQFH

Information.

For more information, WHOHSKRQHWROOIUHH

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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish www.wildlife.state.nm.us 6XSSRUW1HZ0H[LFR¶V:LOGOLIH²%X\DKXQWLQJ¿VKLQJRUWUDSSLQJOLFHQVHDQGJLYHWRWKHShare With WildlifeSURJUDP

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Insured by Menicucci Insurance Agency| Website by Halo Martine Design

Fish Enchantment Guide Service Bluewater Lake Tiger Muskies FEGUIDES.COM | 505-264-2999

FLOAT ‘N FISH

Fly Shop & Guide Service 888-475-5770 www.sanjuanfloatnfish.com

We carry a huge variety of flies for anglers fishing for trout, pike, bass, carp, tarpon, bonefish... ANYTHING WITH FINS!


PRODUCT SHOWCASE Dynamic Lures Polarized Fishing Glasses These stylish Polarized sunglasses from Dynamic Lures are comfortable, inexpensive, and even come with a bag for you to stow them in. Dynamic is trying to provide a quality product that all of us anglers use but at an affordable price. Get your Dynamic Polarized Sun Glasses today for $29.99. DynamicLures.com

Abu Garcia REVO NacL Baitcast Reels While made with inshore and salt anglers in mind these reels are by far my favorite for fishing Tiger Muskie or Pike. They have an incredibly solid drag system, and the NacL60 and 61 hold a ton of line which is perfect for chucking big baits long distances. MSRP for the Revo Toro NaCl 50 and 60 is $299.95. The striking blue cosmetics are a perfect fit for the inshore/Muskie actions of the Volatile rod series. AbuGarcia.com

Berkley GULP! Alive This stuff is magic and in New Mexico many of our waters don’t allow live minnows so this is the ticket! I’ve personally landed Carp, Bass, Catfish, Perch, Trout, Pike, Crappie, Whites, and Tiger Muskies with Gulp! Alive Minnows. Make sure you don’t get caught without them next time you’re on the water. BerkleyFishing.com

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www.vermejoparkranch.com 575-445-3097

The West’s Exclusive Private Park

-PHOTOGRAPHY-SCENERY & WILDLIFE TOURS-FISHING-& MORE-

575-445-3097


ANGLERS ART I’ve always been inspired by the cover illustrations of the 60’s from Field & Stream magazine in my youth. As an avid fisherman this has led me to pursue fish as an art form and is one of my favorite subject matter. With access to a wide range of medium, I try to portray fish both two and three dimensionally and three dimensionally in art. When I’m flyfishing for trout I try to bring those experiences to the drawing table.

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For inquiries or to see more of his art contact: Joe Dowell- (505)-702-9783 PO Box 582 Estancia, NM 87016

Brown Light 12” x 48” Original watercooler $1,000

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Brookie Placard 33” $200

Stockers and Natives 24” x x48” $3,000


www.deadhorsebaits.com

GIANTS BY THE FACE!


F I S H E N C H A N T M E N T . C O M

Videos Forums Reviews ARTICLES Interviews BLOGS CONTESTS Guide Service and MORE!


SPIRIT

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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Summer 2013


FLYFISHING

“or An Angling Angel of Mercy” By: Bob Widgren

People have asked me over the years of how I got started in fly fishing or how did you get into fly fishing? One does not ‘get’ into fly fishing; once you have made the leap of faith that you can catch fish on fly tackle, it gets you. For some it’s a distraction for others an obsession. I probably fall into the latter category. For me the change became an attitude, a state of mind, and in my case a way of life. The way of life transformed into starting a custom fly rod building business and that evolved into a full service fly shop for over 30 years. Sure, I have other distractions, but fly fishing became the driving force in my life. Not only do I make my living from building custom rods and helped out occasionally in my wife Lee’s fly shop but also because fly fishing takes me to some of the most beautiful places in the world and I get to meet some of the best anglers in the world. Every time I fish with one of the ‘best’ I come away a little smarter and a little more intense about fishing. Afterwards, and this is true about all of my fishing trips, I already start planning my next angling adventure to who knows where! My motto is: Any fish, anywhere, anytime on the fly.


SPIRIT

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After developing the fishing mind-set of the desire to catch any fish on a fly rod or should I say overcoming the fear of fly fishing, the next challenge was learning the art of casting. The fear was that it appeared quite difficult for someone of my fishing skills. I grew up spin fishing and I remember my father telling me, “Pay attention, as soon as you let your mind drift, the fish will hit”. This is probably the only fishing advice that I got as a kid.

But casting skills are just the beginning, the fly selection, recognizing the strike, knots, equipment selection, and on and on... That’s the wonder of fly fishing. The more you learn, the more you realize that there is so much more. When I first got started in flyfishing, I didn’t know anyone who fly fished. A college buddy of mine said that he fly fished a little but that his dad was quite accomplished. So we fished a bit and luckily there are a few trout that just gave it up for us. The occasional suicidal trout did not instill a lot of confidence. I never did get the chance to fish with my friend’s dad. At my initiation into the world of fly fishing I first started messing around with the fly tackle. The rods, reels and lines, that’s the stuff of fly fishing which enchanted me. I had bought my first fly rod, well, that’s not exactly true unless you call the Trail Master combo rod a fly rod. I later discovered that it was a

FLYFISHING

better spinning rod than fly rod. I don’t remember what happened to that rod. I probably left it in a cold, dark corner somewhere dying from starvation. I try to feel sorry for that little combo rod but it’s fate was sealed when I found an old bamboo rod in my father-in-law’s garage and realized that my heart was pounding and my head starting swimming just staring at this marvel of angling technology. Wow! This is great! But what the heck do I do with it? This piece of angling magic deserved more talent than I had. I also found a single action fly reel, and a leather pouch filled with snelled wet flies. Rio Grande Kings, Leadwing Coachmans and other marvelous creatures that had survived the decades locked away in that leather fly wallet. But the Rod. The Rod is what captured me. The long wispy rod just grabbed me and I couldn’t put it down. I put the reel on and the balance was just marvelous. I didn’t know what balance meant at the time but it sure felt right! To this day I still have the Rod and the original reel. But the Rod. The Rod is what made me crazy. I closely examined the six sides of bamboo, the ferrules, the smallish cork grip and the reel seat. What technology to put all those things together to make a tool to catch trout! The rod building bug was growing inside and I didn’t realize it until I took a fly rod apart to see what made


SPIRIT

“or An Angling Angel of Mercy”

it tick. Yikes! I have a bunch of parts but it’s no longer a fly rod.

So rod building was to be my destiny and it’s been a true love and something I’ve enjoyed and even made a bit of a living building custom fly rods. But there comes a time when the beginner is transformed into the next evolutionary stage of becoming a fly fisher, like pupating from the nymph. It’s that time when the light bulb starts to flicker and slowly, let me repeat slowwwly, becomes brighter and brighter but never quite fully illuminated. That’s the charm and the bug-aboo about fly fishing, the light never gets totally bright, and hopefully the light never dims. But I’m getting a little off the track, back to where the bulb is beginning to flicker. At the beginning days of me becoming a true fly fisherman, I could recognize most of the fly gear of the day, but my angling skills were still in dire straits. I still didn’t really know a bonafide fly fisherman. The genuine, authentic fly fisherman. That was soon to change. One day on Park Creek in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado in the early 1970s, I had just returned to camp from an exhausting morning of being totally skunked! I know I was talking to myself as I walked the long, fishless walk back to camp. Must be that there’s no fish I mumbled to myself. It can’t be my marginal skills, can it?

FLYFISHING

Well I was just sitting like a lump on this log next to the dead campfire staring at a cold pot of coffee and wondering what the heck am I doing wrong? I dunno, I don’t know what’s right. I was a pathetic sight sitting on that log with my face in my hands and trying to decide how much longer I could survive at this level of incompetence. Lee staring at me with a ‘My poor stupid husband’ look on her face. The dog even seemed sympathetic laying her head on my lap and staring up with her big brown eyes. I was contemplating going someplace else where the fishing is easy and stupid. That’s how far down I had fallen. All of a sudden an older fellow appeared in camp and asked me how I was doing? Instead of the standard fishing answer of, “Great!! how ‘bout you?”, I said, “Ya know... not worth a darn, I don’t think I know what I’m doing”. I say, “Ya know....” followed by a pause when I’m pondering the truth of the universe and other deep and meaningful matters. It’s like that first meeting at AA, when you have to admit you have a problem. A terrible feeling until the admission and then you feel relived and everyone around you nods their heads and they understand and are sympathetic. This fisherman, I knew he was a fisherman, in fact a fly fisherman, by the long fishing rod that I recognized

from my prior experiments and the wicker creel filled with a couple of nice trout that was going to taste mighty good over his campfire that night. The stranger had all the trappings of a fly fisherman beside the fly rod. His vest showed years of faithful service and there was this greasy looking pocket that showed years of fishing and the flap didn’t quite close properly. He had clippers, he had pliers, he had a patch of sheepskin with trout flies barely holding on for dear life. There wasn’t anything about this guy that didn’t look the part of what I thought to be the master angler. He said that he had a pretty good morning and that he was headed back to his camp. He said he would come by in the morning and we would go fishing together. Wow! You would not believe my transformation into the largest grin with a hat, begging the sun to set and wishing to get this no-fish, dreadful afternoon over. Done. Forgotten. The evening meal without trout was gulped down and the dinnerware burned and finally bedtime. I think I went to bed about 7:45 PM that night and was up at the crack of dawn waiting impatiently for my mentor, whom of which I knew nothing other than he was about seventy years old and had the confidence of an old curmudgeon that had landed more trout than I will ever see.


After the wife’s thumbs up and the dog’s indifference I went down to path leading to the stream. Finally I could see him coming slowly up the path to where I was waiting and after the morning greetings we talked about this part of the world and how he really enjoyed small stream fishing since he was getting older. We talked a bit about the time of year to fish this stream and when the fish were biting. He said to follow him and watch. He looked back at me and repeated the word ‘watch’ and I took that as a hint. As he started to work out a little fly line he started to tell me about watching for the trout and reading the water to where fish might be holding. He pointed with the tip of his rod places where

he thought trout might be. He said that the fly he used was a simple fly that the fish seemed to like and had success with it over the years. He explained presenting the fly so the fish could have a good chance at taking it and then he said that recognizing the strike was one of the more important challenges of fishing a trout stream or for that matter any type of fishing with a fly rod. He stated that he thought that presentation was perhaps slightly more important than fly pattern and to this day I would have to agree with him. If you can’t put the fly where it should be when it should be, not much of the act of fly fishing counts. Tom, I think his name was Tom. I’m pretty sure it

wasn’t Michael or Gabriel. My fishing angel Tom, that’s what I remember anyway, used one fly; a renegade. If it floated it was his dry fly, if not, then it was his wet fly. He explained that dry fly fishing was only a small part of what fish do. That most of the time they are feeding below the surface but he also said that the splash and the take of dry fly was the most fun. Well I stared at him while he flicked his rod back and forth and delicately let his fly land just at the top end of a small riffle and suddenly a fish darted out and engulfed his renegade and he instinctively set the hook and raised his rod almost simultaneously. I could see that water fly from his taut line and the fish leaped and fought with all


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its heart and strength but finally gave up and slid into his landing net. He turned and smiled and said that this one is a good one to keep, not too small and not too large. Tom said he liked to return the bigger ones to the water for they are the breeding fish. It happened so quick that I feared that I might have missed something. But after doing this spectacular feat of angling many times I saw how smooth and effortless he made it look. We spent the rest of the morning talking and pointing and me trying to imitate his actions. There was a lot of him saying: “No, no, no, not that way, this way”. At about midday the summer sun was high in the sky he said that it was time for him to go and that the fishing sometimes gets kind of slow in the afternoon anyway. Slow? My goodness, if this is slow then what I’ve been doing was backwards. As he started to leave he reached into his fly box and grabbed a handful of flies that he said he hand-tied and dumped into my outreached hands. Staring down at the bunch of Renegade flies I tried to thank him with all the heartfelt appreciation I could muster. My head was still swimming from all the information that it was trying to file away for future reference, smiling I said goodbye and to take care. I never saw that man again and to this day I call him my ‘fishing angel’ or should I say ‘an angel of mercy’. I sometimes wish I had gotten to know him better but I think the best way to thank him is to do for someone getting started in fly fishing as he did

for me. This is how I have ‘Paid It Forward’ over the years. I’ve helped budding anglers and now and then I catch myself saying; “No, no, no, not that way, this way. Watch!” Fishing clubs and organizations help with the new generation of fly fishers by teaching fly fishing tactics and the etiquette of angling with a fly. That day, things seemed to come together and started making sense. Even though that afternoon I didn’t knock ‘em dead, I did make a great cast to a feeding fish and watched as the entire scenario unfolded before me. The sun came through the trees and lit up the stream just enough where I could see this trout hanging just below the surface. Time seemed to slow and my breathing quickened like buck fever and it felt great! My cast was right on target and the fly was presented just right and I watched as the trout slowly came up and sipped in the renegade. I lifted the rod tip and set the hook. To this day this was my perfect cast. The perfect cast where the fly landed just right and the fish took it just right. Not the Moby Dick of trout but a nice brown trout of about ten inches. As I released him back into the stream and watched as he darted away, I thought to myself that perhaps next time he’ll be stronger and smarter. Maybe the same for me. This whole scene is burned into my memory and it’s something that I will never forget. A lot of things came together that afternoon, the light grew a bit brighter and the hook was set a little deeper. A wonderful combination of genuine luck and a fishing angel’s guiding hand.


FE JERSEYS COMING SOON!


FE JERSEYS COMING SOON!


Splitshoting vs. Dropshoting

Splitshoting vs. Dropshoting By: Kris Johnson

Splitshoting vs


s. Dropshoting


Splitshoting vs. Dropshoting Now that Dropshoting has taken over the bass fishing scene, so many people have forgotten about the lost art of splitshoting. I recently saw an article in Bassmaster magazine that Gary Klein Co-wrote talking about this technique versus the new dropshot system. I had already had this idea for my story in my head, so I figured I would share my own opinion on this topic. Splitshoting is a technique where you use a split shot weight about a foot to two feet above the hook. Generally a light line finesse technique that lets the bait of your choice “float” above bottom on more of a slack line, whereas the dropshot technique is more of a stacked rig where the bait is still off the bottom, but is more of a taut line technique. Hook placement off the bottom ranges from a few inches to a few feet depending on the application. The major difference between these two presentations are the way they are fished and presented. Dropshoting is a direct link to your bait. Because the weight is below the bait, any rod movement will cause an erratic shaking movement to your bait. With the splitshot technique, the weight is in front of the bait and causes the response to any rod movement to be delayed and sluggish. This gives the angler two very different options on bait presentations. Both have there time and place.

I cut my bass fishing “teeth” on the West Coast fishing ultra clear, and highly pressured lakes like Castaic, and Casitas where light line and splitshoting was the norm due to water clarity of over 30 feet. As far as I know, the grandfather of splitshoting was a man by the name of Dick Trask. He was the O.G. of light line fishing in Southern California, and taught bass fisherman like Aaron Martens this technique in the early 1990’s. I also think one of the first people who fished the dropshot rig in the states was Aaron Martens, who learned this technique from a couple of Japanese fisherman, who were on vacation in the states. They had hired Aaron to guide them on Castaic, and showed him a technique common in Japan but never seen in the states, called dropshoting. This would change Bass fishing as we know it! In the early 90’s, there was a huge uprising in the splitshot scene due to Aaron and Dick winning everything in Southern California. It was still kind of a secret to most people on the tournament circuit scene, but we were all learning it….quickly. Everybody was fishing custom hand poured worms and super small baits from leeches to straight tails. Now you still see a lot of hand pours for dropshoting as well, but the big difference now is with the dropshot rig. You can fish a variety of different baits with a variety of different presentations. With a split

shot, you are limited to leader lengths and bait size. You can fish large plastics on a splitshot rig, but generally, you are using the splitshot method as a light line, small plastic rig. Dropshoting can range from 4 pound test up to as much as 20 pound test. I fish senkos, straight and curl tail plastics and even crawdad patterns on a dropshot rig. As a rule, at least for me, I use the splitshot method for mostly 6 to 8 pound test, and keep it limited to long flats with little to no brush or trees. I’m dragging this bait across vast areas looking for fish. With a dropshot, I am fishing localized areas like a tree of brush piles, pitching or casting to specific areas. Sometimes I even flip it to visible structure close to shore. I’m not saying one technique is better then the other, but more that you have to use the technique that suits your conditions. Now let’s talk a little about tackle and baits. I like to throw both rigs on a St. Croix Legend Elite LES70MLF spinning rod with a Wright and McGill Victory 2500 series spinning reel. This rod is a medium-light blank with a line rating of 4-10 pound test, and 1/8th to 3/8 oz. lure size. I like this rod because it has a fast tip, which gives you the ability to fish light line, and cast these small baits, but has plenty of backbone to pull fish from structure. I fish 8 pound test made by Triple Fish, in the camo color. I have been fishing some plastics made by Maniac Lures lately and I think I have found a little secret. I really like the Maniac Minnow and also their Cutter


Art By: Joel Baca


Splitshoting vs. Dropshoting

Above> Kris with a Smallmouth from Navajo Lake State Park. Photograph by: Colt Roberts Above> Kris with a Largemouth and Smallmouth from Navajo Lake State Park. Photograph by: Colt Roberts

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Below> Kris fishing a deep flat at Vallecito Resevoir in Colorado. Photograph by: Brian Sims

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Summer 2013


Bug. The minnow is a slender bait that looks just like a lot of different baitfish and has a ribbon tail for lots of action, especially when splitshoting. I also like the cutterbug when the fish are more on the crawdad pattern. The cutterbug is a Leech type bait with a perforated tail that you can split to look just like a crawdad. They have a ton of great colors to match your baitfish and crawdads for anytime of the year you fish. I also fish a RoboWorm 4 ½ inch Fat Worm in any shad colors and also some of their pink and red colors to match the crawdad colors. Hooks are especially important when fishing these two different techniques. I like to use the TroKar TK-150 dropshot hook for the dropshot rig, and the TK180 and the TK-110 hooks respectively for my Splitshot rig. I

feel that these hooks make all the difference when you’re fishing light line. You need to get maximum penetration with minimum power to reduce the risk of breaking your line. I have fished these three hooks for about a solid year now and have seen a HUGE improvement in my catch ratios.

presentations the next time you go out bass fishing. I bet you’ll catch some fish you might have been missing with a Texas rig.

-Kris Johnson Kris wants to say thanks to all his great Sponsors: Dynamic Lures Simms

I try to keep my baits fairly simple to avoid a bunch of tackle in the boat, and also, I feel that if you fish a few good baits in the right colors, you should not need a ton of different baits. Keep your selection simple, and fish with baits that give you confidence when you’re out fishing. Splitshoting and Dropshoting are both great techniques for catching summer bass, especially when the summer crowds pressure the fish. Do yourself a favor and try these two

Spro Maniac Baits TroKar Hooks Richs Performance Marine, St.Croix Rods HaberVision Sunglasses Deka Batteries Pepper Custom Baits.

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mesBy:wiMatttPelletih aer Photograph by: Dennis Howard

Photograph by: Matt Pelletier


Your Passion for angling comes with a

RESPONSIBILITY!

One fall morning while wading the San Juan river I befriended a wiser and older gentlemen that was on the water that day. We were fishing near the upper flats on a day where the trout where “off”. It was one of those days where every bite was a challenge and each fish a blessing to catch when a decent fish slurped my dead chicken from calm water. After playing the fish and quickly releasing it the man commented on how slow the fishing was and congratulated me on fooling a nice fish with a dry. I gladly accepted the praise but made sure he knew I had been having a tough day and that I was by no means “slaying em”. He was sitting on the bank so I joined him. As I dried and put fresh dressing on my fly, he reminissed about the good old days on the San Juan. He has been fishing the river for over 30 years and has seen it change drastically over time. He was a down to earth guy who had a dire passion for the river and fish swimming in it. He told me about a time when the river was stacked with large aggressive fish and anglers had to be careful not to let their flies dangle in the water while releasing a fish or another would swipe it

up! He mentioned the physical changes the river has endured and attributed the majority of them to low flows, poaching, and extensive pressure. He was rather upset anglers aren’t able to fish beyond the island below the dam. He had other quarries he shared with me and by the time I was done talking to him I came to realize something I’ve never gave a lot of thought to. Everyone has a favorite specie or body of water that’s near and dear to them. For years I didn’t care what I was catching as long as I was fishing. These days it’s no secret that Tiger Muskies are my passion... The same sense of ownership this man had with the SJ is the same relationship I’ve developed with Tiger Muskies. I didn’t understand why he was mad about some of the things he mentioned but I believed he had his say for a good reason. Then a few days later I was talking to a friend over the phone when I brought up all the juvenile tigers we had been catching with hooks in there mouth and lures down their throat. Some had steel leaders attached but that doesn’t help when your mainline’s 6 pound test! Then he shared a story about some-

one who was fishing Navajo Lake and noticed something floating in a cove. Once they motored over to it they found a 9 pound largemouth choked by big jerkbait and wimpy line that had snapped. The people who found the fish did all they could to revive it but the fish just wouldn’t survive. Then he shared a recent story about a couple guys on a different body of water that had caught 3 bass in one day that had all snapped off someone’s insufficient line. So everyone has a favorite species to target but we all see the same issues all around the state. Uneducated anglers, small state budgets, low water levels, and a lack of enforcement/management that supports trophy fisheries. Whether you’re a trout purist, bass bum, or muskie maniac, we all need to become the eyes and ears of our fisheries so that we can do our best to help state officials better manage the waters we are so passionate about.

Addicted to Tiger Muskies? If you or someone you know is planning on fishing Bluewater Lake anytime soon go to www. newmexicomuskiesinc.org first. It is an endless resource for beginner and experienced anglers alike. The information collected there comes from NMDGF, NMMI, Muskies Inc, and other reliable resources such as Dr. John Casselman and other ded-


Photograph by: Doug Manley


Your Passion for angling comes with a

RESPONSIBILITY!

Photograph by: Doug Manley


icated muskie biologists. Please practice responsible Catch, Photo and Release techniques and make sure you let the big ones go! These Tiger Muskie lakes we have in NM are world class trophy fisheries and we need to do everything we can to make sure it stays that way. Scratch that, we need to do everything we can to make it an even better fishery!

The small things you can do to make a difference: -Take a minute to go through your tackle box, check your lines, reels, rods, etc... Ask yourself if the gear you’re using is fit for what you’re using it for. If not, make the necessary adjustments where needed. -Practice catch and release over and over. There are always adjustments to be made there too. Try to decrease the average amount of time you handle fish out of water. -Try making it a habit to wet your hands before handling a fish, not laying them on the carpet of the boat or holding them against your shirt if possible. -Check your knots and line often while fishing. Losing a trophy fish due to faulty tackle can make you mad beyond explanation, add to that the guilt of knowing the fish might not survive if it was hooked deep, and it got away with your expensive lure... Why take the chance? Re-tie knots and re-spool fresh line on your reels often!

-Make sure you’re prepared for the next catch at all times. Regardless of what species you’re after, they all have one thing in common, they live in the water and don’t breathe air like you and I. By having all your Catch and Release tools, net, camera on you at all times you’ll be able to keep the fish in the water longer and in return will help ensure those fish you enjoyed catching are strong and healthy upon release so that they’re even bigger for the next angler who hopefully does the same. -Share the importance of proper catch and release practices with anyone you can. Make sure they know we as anglers are responsible for getting this message out to the public and be sure to let people know that “Selective Harvest” is the underlined message. It’s not bad to keep fish, but we definitely shouldn’t be keeping any and everything we reel in. Our Fisheries simply won’t survive if everyone is only taking and never giving back. -We also need to remember that people watch other people, especially out on the water. Always set a positive example for others when we’re out on the water. Make it a habit to keep your C&R gear handy at all times, net and unhook fish in the water if you plan on releasing them, and pick up trash on your way out. Some of these things don’t sound like much but they each play a role in taking the responsibility to do your best to ensure the fisheries are left in better shape then when you arrived.


Your Passion for angling comes with a

RESPONSIBILITY! Photograph by: Matt Pelletier


Let your voice be heard: We as anglers need to be active calling our state agencies and voicing or desires for trophy fish management. If the only people they hear from are asking for more trout to be stocked, then that’s what they’re going to provide. If we steadily, and respectfully push for more trophy fishing opportunities they would have reason to provide it. Contact your local Game and Fish regularly to make sure they know there are a lot of anglers who appreciate sport fishing and would love to see the Department spend more time working on bettering fisheries instead of so much focus on stocking trout in put and take fisheries. We know the trout program is a big part of what NMDGF is about and we shouldn’t ask them to change that. However, requesting for a small percentage of their efforts to be towards sport/trophy fish management shouldn’t be out of the question. NMDGF is our friend, we may not like how they operate but without them we’d be in big trouble! Remember this when you call and talk with state officials, there’s nothing wrong with steady pressure if you do it in a respectable manner. Just be sure to thank them for the time they have vested in our resources and make sure they know you’re serious about helping to make a difference where needed.

Fishing Clubs and Non Profits worth looking into: We also need to become members of organizations and clubs that can help make a difference. Don’t just join, be an active Member in those organizations and help when and wherever you can. NM Muskies Inc NM Trout Trout Unlimited- Truchas Chapter and Sunshine Valley Chapter Pike Inc will be on its feet soon. (For info contact FE Member Lucius) Striped Bass Association (based out of NC) I’m sure there are plenty more out there. Do some research and see what organizations support your favorite fishery. In conclusion I’d like to remind everyone that we need you to share this message with your friends and family. Share responsible catch and release or selective harvesting practices with anglers you meet on the water and make sure they understand why it’s so important they then do the same. Thanks for helping us spread the message!

-Matt Pelletier


-FE FORUM POST-

C a ut i o n a r y T a l e I fished Bluewater 2PM-9PM on Friday with two other guys and wore out the trolling motor battery fighting the wind. We did a bunch of casting and trolling looking for fish, but they certainly were not as active as they had been. We ended up with six hook-ups, and of those we only had to take hooks out of two of them. But it was the 36 incher that will haunt me for a while, because it ended up as another casualty floating in Bluewater Lake. We were trolling, and had just past a dead fish that looked like it was in the 40” range. One of the guys asked me what the normal C&R mortality was, and I said that for muskies it’s about 10% if you know what you’re doing, but it’s much higher if you are unprepared or inexperienced. I’ve been doing this for over 15 years, have put over 100 muskies in my boat, have all the gear, and have fished with some experienced guys, so I claim to know what I’m doing. Anyhow, a guy who had never caught a muskie was holding a rod that got hit while trolling, so we stopped the boat and cleared the other lines. It took longer than I had expected to get it to the boat, perhaps because the wind was pushing us at about 1.5 MPH away from the fish, so we were fighting both the fish and the wind. When we got it next to the boat, I noticed that it wasn’t too badly hooked, but decided to net it so we could get a picture of this guy with his first fish. We netted it headfirst, and it got into the 38x34 net with no problem and was laying flat in the water. So far, so good, in fact all of the hooks came out of her. I was trying to get the lure out of the net (which I usually do so the fish or I won’t get re-hooked) when she started the deathroll and managed to wrap her head and the lure into a giant ball of netting. She had netting in her mouth, wrapped around her snout, and some of it had started slicing under that bone that starts at the back of the jaw. Every time she wrapped, she got it tighter, and with the way the net was sitting, we couldn’t keep her head in the water. So I decided that we’d get her out of there faster if we brought her in the boat. After a little work in there, it because obvious she was stressed (red fins, red back, etc), so we went back to work in the water, and decided to just cut the net. We were well past the point of cutting hooks, and they weren’t the problem anyways. So we cut the netting that had now cut about an inch between the fish’s body and that outer jawbone on both sides. Because she was in such bad shape, we just tried to get her back in the water, so there isn’t even a picture. Long story short, after 20 minutes of trying to revive her, she couldn’t stay upright, and seemed to be getting weaker in spite of our efforts, so we had to leave her as another fish floating in the lake. I felt terrible, but as one of the guys said, “I guess this is one of the 10%.” There were others that I wasn’t so sure about, but this is only the second muskie I’ve caught that I’m certain didn’t make it; the other was a small one that took a hook to the head and was dead by the time it got to the boat.

So what went wrong, and what is there to learn? I had all the gear: heavy tackle, big net, hook remover, hookcutters, jaw spreaders, etc. I knew what to do and had done it before. And while every time we go out we risk killing a fish, I still wonder what we could have done differently. This is what I come up with: 1. Water conditions. The water temperature was 67F. This is not particularly high for purebred muskies, but is starting to get on the warm side for tigers. I don’t know what the pH and oxygen con-

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tent of the water was, but with the onset of summer it may have been borderline as well. 2. Wind. The wind extended the fight and made it hard to revive the fish. Having a near-dead trolling motor didn’t help. 3. The net. This is a 15 year-old net, and doesn’t have “fish friendly” mesh. I’ve had some annoying tangles before, but this was a whole new category of mess. In fact, prior to this trip I was starting to look into getting a different bag, and will now certainly do so because this one contributed to this problem and now has the holes that we cut in it to get the fish out. The new bag will be knotless and have hookproof plastic coating, and will have a smaller mesh to reduce the chance of a fish burying its snout into the mesh. 4. The netting process. I think this is where it went wrong the most. We probably could have popped the hooks out without netting the fish, and there would never have been a problem. We may have netted the fish too early, leaving her too feisty in the net. There were three guys involved: one holding the rod and keeping tension on the line, one holding the net in the water, and me trying to work on this fish. What this meant was that when the fish rolled and got caught in the mesh, all of her weight was supported by the mesh, tightening it worse. I don’t know how much of a difference it made, but usually when I fish alone, I put the rod into freespool and let the net sit deeper in the water, and I haven’t had problems like this before. 5. Fish out of water. While we didn’t have much choice because of the way the net was holding her head out of the water, bringing her into the boat to attempt to untangle the mess only made things worse. I lost track of how long she was in the boat, but obviously it was too long. 6. The revival. There wasn’t much we could do at this point, as she was in bad shape by the time we were trying to get her to swim free. The wind made it harder to gently hold her upright, and it also made it hard for her to keep her balance the one time we tried to get her to swim. I realize that, in spite of best efforts, fish die. Especially with warmer water temperatures, one has to take precautions to reduce stress on the fish. It will become even less forgiving as the water temperatures at our two tiger lakes go through the 70’s, water levels drop, and the algae blooms start. On top of all the usual things (heavy tackle, land fish quickly to limit exhaustion, have good release tools ready to go) you should already be doing, things that you can do over the summer to improve the fish’s chance of surviving include: 1. Quit fishing when the water temperature is above a certain temperature. People use 78-80 for purebred muskies, but evidence is that it should be lower (maybe even low 70’s) for tigers. 2.

Use techniques that make it easier to release fish (barbless hooks, lures with single hooks, etc.).

3.

Don’t take the fish out of the water, even for a few seconds.

So why did I just spend my time writing this long story? I fear for what this summer will bring for NM’s tiger waters. High temperature, low water, and incredible fishing pressure will result in the deaths of many fish that could be our next 50 incher. All summer we see fish handled much worse than what I’ve described here, and I suspect that those fish have much worse that 10% mortality rate after release. Don’t be one of those people, and please do the best that you can so we can have good tiger fishing in years to come.

Read the original post and responses from the other Forum Members. http://www.fishenchantment.com/forum/showthread.php?5332-Bluewater-6-21 Tight lines and good luck, Chris


Photograph by: Sean Gifford

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I am the lucky son of a tournament bass angler. I was fortunate enough to fish with him as often as I could and we had lots of fun together. My father fished numerous bass tournament circuits in Arizona and throughout the country. In addition, a major bass boat manufacturer sponsored Dad, and therefore, I had the pleasure of fishing from a shiny new boat each and every year, which was equipped with the latest and greatest high tech equipment and technology. It was awesome! However, when Dad passed away about seven years ago I began to realize the high cost of fishing from a brand new boat, having the newest tackle and the latest technology. It was staggering. I began to bemoan my plight to my loving stepmother regarding what it would take to continue fishing in the style I had grown accustomed to now that dad was gone. Mom then kindly reminded me of how Dad and I started fishing before the boat sponsorship. She reminded me of the good old days fishing from a 12-foot aluminum boat with a 15-hp motor out on those large reservoirs in Arizona. Then how happy we were when in 1982 we moved up to a 1971 open bow 16-foot runabout with a 65-hp motor. Dad built a homemade casting deck and ice chest livewell (we thought we were in heaven). Then in 1986 Dad finally bought his first 18 foot fiberglass bass boat with a 150 hp motor designed specifically for tournament bass fishing. Mom then told me that boat cost Dad about $19,000, which meant every extra dime he earned went towards the boat (i.e. boat payment, tackle, fuel, maintenance, etc.). It actually wasn’t until 1990 that Dad signed a boat sponsorship deal and things began as I was remembering them.

Photograph by: Matt Pelletier


KAYAK KONVERSION

I started thinking about the days before Dad’s sponsorship deal and all the fun we had fishing from those smaller and older boats. I also began to remember all the lessons I’d learned fishing with my father. The three most important were: “If you’re not having fun then what’s the point?” “Never stop learning or being open to all fishing styles and types.” Finally, “If you’re not having fun then what’s the point?” I also recalled that Dad used to say that we caught more fish and had more fun fishing from the 12-foot aluminum and that 16-foot runabout than we did fishing from the big money bass boats. With this in mind I began to look around for a good boat and wound up buying a 20 foot 9 inch fish and ski fiberglass boat with a 200-hp outboard. It was worn in spots and needed lots of repairs, which I have fixed myself. I modified the front deck, the livewell system, the electronics, the trolling motor, added new carpet and an onboard battery charging system. I love my boat and have spent every extra dime and tons of man-hours to make it into a great tournament bass boat. However, I continued to lust after, and beg my wife, to let me buy a shiny new bass boat with all the latest and greatest stuff just like the good old days with Dad. This longing and lusting became the same old story that I’m sure many anglers’ experience. You know… the wife says no to a huge boat payment, complains about the ever increasing cost of fuel, maintenance, tackle, electronics, and tournament entry fees. I just couldn’t make it work in my mind either, so I began to reassess my fishing priorities with the lessons I learned from Dad. Was I having fun? Was I able to keep up with the rising prices of competing in tournament fishing? Was I having fun? In addition, my father’s voice began to creep into my mind and I heard him saying we had more fun and caught more fish from smaller boats. I knew I needed to make some changes. I stopped tournament fishing except for small local tournaments. I began to explore fishing for species other than bass and began to target crappie, whites, walleye or whatever was biting. I began to have fun again, but I was still stuck with all the hassles that come with fishing from a large boat like the high cost of fuel, maintenance, and the too often nightmare crowds associated with loading and unloading at the boat ramp. Again, I reassessed my fishing and began to consider fishing from the bank or from a smaller boat, but I didn’t want to give up my boat or it’s advantages. After all I love my boat like any good angler does. In December of last year I wandered into Zia Kayak Outfitters in Elephant Butte looking for some tackle. As I entered the store I noticed the huge selection and diversity of sit on top fishing kayaks. As I wandered around I was met by the shop owner Russ Trager who described all the features offered in the sit on top kayak world. I began to consider that this type of fishing could offer me a great solution to my changing fishing priorities without giving up any of the advantages I currently experience in my bass boat. I was instantly attracted to the Hobie Pro Angler. The Hobie offered all the bells and whistles of my bass boat at fraction of the cost. It had a top quality Lowrance fish finder with high definition down scan imaging, a stand up casting deck, a livewell option, an ice chest storage area, tackle storage, built in rod holders, a comfortable 6 way adjustable seat, and mounting boards to allow for further customization with almost any option I could imagine. Also, the Pro Angler 14 was rated to hold 600 pounds. In addition, the Hobie offered a unique, and industry leading, Mirage Drive propulsion system that allows you to peddle rather than paddle to move through the water. This leaves both hands free to fish just like a regular motor powered boat. This was my bass boat without an outboard motor. I was stunned that this type of boat could offer so much in such a small package. Russ then showed me numerous other sit on top kayak models starting at around $600 to get started all the way up to the top of the line Hobie Pro Angler, which was just below $3000. Then I began


Photograph by: Sean Gifford to consider that the cost of the least expensive 16-foot aluminum bass boat models start at about $10,000. Under my breath I said, “Could this type of fishing be a solution to my big boat issues?” I then began to think of all the different ways I could use this type of boat in big reservoirs, small mountain lakes, rivers and streams throughout New Mexico where traditional large boats cannot go. Plus, there are no maintenance costs, no fuel costs, no dealing with the crowds at the ramp, and the health and exercise benefits of self-propulsion. In my mind I was saying, “Was I really considering this? No, you love your boat.” Russ then mentioned he was looking for someone who was a traditional bass guy to try this type of fishing and tell others about its advantages and benefits. I indicated all the guys I knew, including me, were attached to their boats. Russ then asked if I did think of anyone to let him know. I left the shop and drove home. As soon as I got in the truck I began to hear Dad’s voice talking about having fun and the memories of all the fun and all the fish we caught from those smaller boats. With this in mind plus all the things I had learned from Russ. I began to do some research on kayak fishing. I found there were tournaments where they photograph and measure fish using total length of fish caught not the total weight to determine the winner. I learned that there was a huge community of anglers fishing this way. I also learned that kayak fishing allowed anglers to become part of the environment and focus on fishing not on running a huge boat. I talked to my wife and she told me I better try it or I’d likely be sorry later. For once I listened and I contacted Russ. I told Russ I had someone in mind to take him up on his offer. He asked who the person was and told him it was me. Russ laughed and told me he was surprised. Russ explained that after our discussion he thought that I wasn’t interested. Because just like all the other guys he’d talked to in the competitive bass fishing community, we love our boats. I explained I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the advantages this type of fishing could offer an angler and how I was looking for a new fishing experience.

Photograph by: Sean Gifford

Photograph by: Sean Gifford


KAYAK KONVERSION

My first time out on my Hobie Pro Angler 14 I was hooked. The feeling of being in the water with the fish is just so different from fishing out of a bigger boat. The first, and every, time you catch a fish from a kayak it’s just such a rush. Even a smaller fish can pull these boats around a little, and when you catch a big one… well hold on because it’s just plain fun. There is nothing like battling fish in their own environment. Not to mention it takes me about 5 minutes to get on the water instead of the sometimes 30 to 40 minutes using my bass boat. I don’t mess with a busy ramp. I just drive to where I want to launch put my kayak in the water and I’m off. I also get to fish from spot to spot instead of picking up my gear and roaring down the lake to the next spot like in my bass boat. I even fished in my first kayak only tournament in June. It cost me a whopping $35 entry fee compared to the $240 I regularly pay for bass tournaments. The weather was tough on tournament day and I didn’t catch a fish, but you couldn’t get the smile off my face because I had such a good time with everyone. It was an all fish species tournament (not just bass), and because kayak tournaments require that you photograph and release the fish immediately there is almost no impact to the fishery that I can see. I would love to see more of the traditional bass tournaments go to this photo, weigh and release format too. It just makes sense to release a fish immediately rather than hauling your fish around all day in a livewell.

Photograph by: Sean Gifford


These boats are perfect for New Mexico and all its diverse fishing opportunities. You can fish a big reservoir like Elephant Butte just as easily as the smallest pond, river or stream. Sit on top kayaks are so stable that you have to try to make one turn over. Not to mention that sit on top kayaks have scupper holes in them. These scupper holes mean if you get water inside the kayak it will drain out so there’s no need worry about becoming swamped like in a canoe or small aluminum boat. Sit on tops also maintain a consistent water line regardless if they are loaded to their weight limit or not. In addition, sit on top kayaks provide stealth when approaching those wary and highly pressured fish that you just can’t get in a traditional boat. I can say without reservation I am a convert to kayak fishing and I don’t see myself going back to the world of traditional powerboat fishing any time soon. I think that fishing from a kayak allows me to catch more fish, be more diverse in how and where I fish, enjoy my time on the water more and just plain feel closer to the beautiful environment we enjoy as anglers. I hope I can continue to grow as a kayak fisherman and bring others to see the advantages of fishing from a kayak. Oh yeah, just want to take this last line to say, thanks Dad for all the lessons you taught me on the water, and that the most important thing about fishing is “If it’s not fun then what’s the point?”

-Sean “Giff” Gifford

Photograph by: Sean Gifford


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BLUEWATER-THE GLORY DAYS! I miss the days when you could go to Bluewater Lake State Park and have the entire fishery to yourself. Amazing how even now with all the pressure it’s getting, we still don’t quiet understand how unique this fishery is... CATCH, PHOTO & RELEASE IMMEDIATELY! -Photograph By: Leah Pelletier


CAPTURED BLUEWATER-NOWADAYS!!! Myself along with 2 clients watched this fish being dragged up the bank and my client was so appalled he started filming. Next thing we know the guy pulled out a knife and slit the fish’s stomach open! then the guy turned around and walked back to his camper like it was normal! Later that day we walked over and took this picture. What made it worse was that there were 2 other fish that looked like they suffered the same treatment a couple days earlier! NMDGF NEEDS TO PUT AN END TO THIS BEHAVIOR BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!

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Abiquiu Lake State Park about to get hammered by Rain. We sure could use this right now! -Photograph By: Matt Pelletier 2009


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Sailboats from Hobie Fleet 48 enjoying Heron Lake State Park during 2013 Memorial Day Regatta. -Photograph By: Matt Pelletier


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I found this Garter snake trying to eat the remnants of a trout that someone or something had left behind at Charette Lakes.

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CAPTURED Bison getting a drink from Munn Lake at Vermejo Park Ranch.

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YAK HACK

Getting started Ka By Felipe Manuel Ortega

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ayak Fishing in NM I grew up primarily fishing streams in northern New Mexico and had never done all that well fishing lakes. I felt like fishing a lake from shore was limiting me, so in my attempt to better myself at lake fishing, I went out and bought a 14 foot fishing boat. The boat did help my lake fishing but I didn’t like the extra work that was involved in owning a boat. I kept the boat in Northern New Mexico and the cold winters were brutal and didn’t help my outboard. I had to get it tuned up every spring, even after doing the proper winterizing. At the time I was a close to broke college kid and the extra money I had to put towards the boat was a turn off. When I first learned about fishing from a kayak, the majority of what I found online was about fishing in the ocean, but it sure looked like the answer to my predicament. I was instantly intrigued and knew it was something I would love to try.

Photograph by: Manuel Ortega


YAK HACK I’ve always been someone who researches something way too long before pulling the trigger. This was a good thing, as in my searches, I found something I had never seen before in my life, a kayak that you propelled with your feet. I had stumbled upon Hobie Kayaks which came with the Mirage Drive, a pedal system that was modeled after the way a penguin swims. Reading more on this, I found there were already a lot of people on these water bicycles and all of them had nothing but great things to say. I was sold on them but was now faced with the difficult decision of either getting the 12ft Outback or the 9’ 7” Sport. At the time I drove a small truck and was planning on fishing a lot of the smaller lakes of NM. Since there were no dealers anywhere near, I had to shop online and could not go test them out for myself. I finally decided on the Sport because of its size and weight. I bought it from a shop in NJ and had it shipped. I was eager to get it on the water but wasn’t sure about what I should have with me on the kayak. I knew that I would be wearing a life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD) but not sure of how many safety devices that the saltwater guys were using applied to me. I finally found a list of required equipment

Photograph by: Manuel Ortega


on the New Mexico State Parks website but it was written for white water kayaks. The list called out for a throwable Flotation Device (Type IV), a whistle that is capable of producing a blast of two second duration and is audible for at least one half mile, a length of rope that was at least the length of the kayak, a manual bilge pump and of course a wearable lifejacket. It seemed like a lot of things to have on such a small vessel but I went ahead and got the required equipment. My first trip was to Fenton Lake. I figured it would be a nice small and shallow lake to learn the ropes. I had only been to Fenton a few times before and only caught a few small rainbows. The Sport had almost no learning curve and I was out exploring the lake in no time at all. After a couple minutes on the lake, I was ready for some fishing. I tossed a spinner out behind me and began trolling. I would never be the same. Although, I only caught small trout on this particular trip, I was doing unbelievably well. I remember that I went on a 7 straight fishing trip streak of great fishing on the kayak after that first trip.


YAK HACK Soon I was using the kayak on majority of lakes in Northern New Mexico including some that had, more than likely, never seen a boat. My kayak found its way into Colorado and was holding its own amongst boats. I had installed a fish finder and a couple of rod holders and was getting into fish. As if getting infected with the kayak fishing bug wasn’t bad enough, I will gladly pass it on. The biggest questions I get about the kayak, besides “What is this thing?” are “Where can kayaks be used for fishing?” and “What do I need to get started?” Well to begin with, you need a kayak and I highly recommend the Sit on Top (SOT) type which is basically a hollow hull with a seat attached on the top. These types of kayaks are nearly impossible to sink. I can run a hose over my kayak while I’m out in the water and the water just flows out draining holes called scuppers. The Sit on Top kayak also provides a very stable platform to allow for casting and fighting a fish. Hobie makes several varieties of this kayak, with and without the mirage drives and majority of them are built with the angler in mind. The very next thing and the most important of all is safety. For the longest time, while I would be setting up on shore, I’d have someone come up to me and inform me that someone drowned last week in a contraption just like the one I was about to take out. “Don’t get in that thing, they are too dangerous for the waters we have around here!” was a common phrase I received.

I agree that boating in general involves a certain risk and you could drown while being out in any vessel. The danger wasn’t in the kayak itself, these were designed and built for the ocean and could handle any water that New Mexico could throw at it. That’s why there are safety devices such as lifejackets and why the state of New Mexico has rules written up to make sure we stay safe out there. The mandatory equipment required by the state of New Mexico is

Photograph by: Manuel Ortega


a good start. For kayaking this equipment is a whistle that can be heard for a half mile for two second durations and you must wear a lifejacket. Unlike boating, it is mandatory for the life jacket to be worn at all times. A nice lifejacket can be purchased at any sporting good stores, which is what I started with but quickly upgraded to a hi-back jacket that is specifically made for kayak fishing. This type of jacket allows you to sit comfortably without the back part of the jacket hitting your seat causing discomfort. When choosing a jacket, comfort is the number one rule in my book. If it’s not comfortable chances are that you’re not going to wear it, defeating its purpose. Above and beyond mandatory equipment, I also suggest having a flag attached to your kayak for visibility purposes. Some big boats may have a hard time seeing you without one. Also, it’s a good idea to have a light mounted on the kayak for when visibility isn’t very good. Add your typical fishing gear and you’re ready for some fun. If you’re sold on getting a kayak or maybe you’re on the fence, or are curious but a bit concerned about a kayak, Zia Kayak Outfitters in Elephant Butte, the biggest kayak dealer in NM, will take you out on the water with all the safety gear you need and let you demo them for free. There is nothing like a supervised trial to help you figure out if this is the sport for you! Zia Kayak Outfitters can be reached at 1 (575) 744-4185, ask for Russ. Also, there is on online training for paddle sports that was recommended by New Mexico State Parks. The training can be found at http://www.boaterexam.com/paddling/ and will get you familiar with paddle craft and its terminology. Get out and enjoy yourself out there!

-Felipe Manuel Ortega


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GIVING BACK

Severe fire can dramatically impact the status of a watershed for years to the extent of being uninhabitable by fish for a number of years. Frijoles Canyon two years after Las Conchas Fire, still fishless.

Fire is a Fact of Life Photos By: NM Game & Fish File Photos and Jared Langenegger

The aftermath of fires can have dramatic effects on channel structure and stability. East Fork of Jemez River, before and after Las Conchas Fire.

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Sugarite Canyon Lake State Park after the fire devestated the area. Fire is a fact of life in the Southwest. It is no different for our fisheries resources. We have seen no fewer than 15 watersheds affected by wildfires in the last two years. Flooding, channel modification, and fish kills are the most obvious damage following fires, but fire related impacts can be fairly complex. Fisheries populations experience both acute and chronic stressors following a wildfire. Acute stressors are those that directly affect the fish and include sediment transport due to rapid erosion of burned hillsides, oxygen deprivation due to increased organic loads in streams, and rapid changes in water chemistry due to ash. These impacts are generally greatest during the initial monsoon season following a fire. During runoff events and subsequent fish kills, the public often becomes concerned and reports seeing dead fish. This is also when we are asked what we are going to do about things. The truth of the matter is that there is nothing we can do and no way to evaluate the severity of the situation for several months. Chronic stressors do not result directly in fish kills, but reduce the ability of a system to support a fishable population. Chronic stressors can affect a fishery for years after a wildfire. Water chemistry can vary greatly for 2-3 years following the burn. The stream channel continues to evolve

until the watershed stabilizes with the establishment of vegetation and equilibrium of sediment transport. Channel instability inhibits primary productivity and recolonization of macroinvertebrates, limiting food sources for fish. Recovery from these factors can take 5-10 years depending on the severity of the burn. It is during this period that we can make a useful evaluation of the damage our fishery has suffered. Our reaction to fire varies. In the case of sensitive species, such as Rio Grande cutthroat trout, we may try to salvage some of the fish before monsoon rains strike. With cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service we have attempted salvages of Rio Grande Cutthroat trout from Cow Creek following the Viveash Fire of 2000, Polvadera Creek following the South Fork Fire of 2010, and Gila Trout from Spruce Creek in the aftermath of the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire of this year. Our success at maintaining wild fish in a hatchery environment is limited so salvage is not generally a viable alternative unless there is an unaffected stream to release them into rapidly. If the fishery was one we manage with put-and-take stocking we can likely reestablish angling opportunity within a year or so. Catchable rainbow trout do not tend to persist in the

environment and shifting conditions due to the aftereffects of the fire have limited influence on the fishery. We have applied this management strategy to sections of the Rio San Antonio and East Fork of the Jemez following the Las Conchas fire of 2011. Most of the waters affected by wildfires are wild trout waters. Typically these streams are inaccessible to our trucks and stocking with hatchery fish is not a practical management alternative. In most cases, the wild fish are not completely killed and they will reestablish on their own within a couple of years. Occasionally we will get a complete kill within a stream/watershed. Examples include Capulin Creek in the Jemez Mountains following the Dome and Cerro Grande fires, and Pine Lodge Creek in the Capitans following a 2004 fire. Complete fish kills can be a blessing in disguise. In both of these examples, we introduced Rio Grande cutthroat trout populations and increased their range. Unfortunately, the Las Conchas fire of 2011 appears to have wiped out the Capulin population, but we are working towards repatriation of cutthroat into this stream and about six others affected by fires in 2011 and 2012.

-Richard Hansen


FISH SCIENCE

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Using your trout sense

We are blessed here in New Mexico because we have a variety of Trout and Trout waters to fish. The diversity of the fish and the places we fish define who we are as anglers and ultimately our overall game plan strategy. As trout anglers, most of the fish we pursue are non-native transplants. Whether wild populations or continually stocked for sport, these fish and the places they inhabit give us great joy and humiliation and everything else between. In the first installment to “fish science”, we got into the taxonomic side of the story and the ancestral differences between the Brown, Brook, and Rainbow Trout. In this piece,

we will explore the ecological differences of these fish. The ecology of a fish population is a product of genetic limitations and existing environmental conditions. Humans have relocated fish in New Mexico, especially trout, in extremely industrious and creative ways for well over a hundred years. Early on, the intent was simple and innocent, with a manifest destiny agenda and the simple truth that people could eat trout to stay alive. There were after all plenty of lakes and streams that didn’t have fish in them. Many experimental introductions were made

By: Kevin Terry

by means as simple as a mule and a miner. The different species performed differently in the various environments that they were introduced into. Today, we have evidence of what worked and what didn’t in almost every place that we go to catch trout. We know how to catch trout in these places and therefore we all know about their ecology. Thinking in an ecological context can help with our overall strategy. The Rainbow Trout is good start for this discussion, as it is the world’s most commonly cultured and stocked sport fish. When I think about Rainbows in New Mexico, several rivers and lakes pop into my head.

Photograph by: Andrew Terry


FISH SCIENCE

Photograph by: Kevin Terry


Above all, I think about the several hundred thousand rainbows that live in the first few miles of the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. This tailwater is world famous and it only takes one trip riverside to literally see the fish stacked up by the hundreds. The large average size and outrageous numbers draw the crowds year round, but why is the rainbow king of the river in this area. Several factors including continually stocking factor in, but so too does the environment. The water temperature is relatively constant year round with predictable controlled flows. There is always deep pool habitat available and the insect activity is predictable and available around the clock. The river in this section is not very complex from a habitat perspective, mostly consisting of big slow moving pools and runs separated by riffles. Rainbow trout in optimal conditions have a competitive advantage to other trout species in several ways. Rainbows will grow very fast with abundant food and they are not shy or stressed out by bunching up in fairly dense groups. They will distribute themselves without much fuss into efficient feeding formations with larger and more dominant fish selecting the best slot and the rest falling behind. While often very selective, the rainbow will feed voraciously for long periods of time. In New Mexico Lakes, we find the best populations of Rainbows in mid elevation areas that have predictable cool water seasons, mild short ice season winters and in productive environments with lots of aquatic insects and baitfish. In the right Lake, the Rainbow will achieve enormous sizes in a relatively short period of time.

Next up is the good old Brookie. The Brook Trout, as we know, is actually a char native to high latitudes of North America. A very successful transplant to New Mexico. The brook trout now inhabits many of the high mountain lakes and streams that were originally inhabited by the native Rio Grande cutthroat or fishless prior to human introduction. In streams with a mixed stock, the Brookie will dominate in the cold, small, headwater areas of the drainage. The brook trout has a reputation of being the stupid fish in the group because it seems like they will eat anything. They thrive in places that were originally fishless because they can endure cold temperatures and long winters. They can seek out refuge in tough times and it has been theorized that they can find sources of oxygen rich groundwater to successfully reproduce in lakes lacking perennial inflow and outflow. They do eat about anything including each other and their babies. This strategy makes up for a short growing season and reflects a “make the best of it� agenda. If unchecked by a predator they will almost certainly overpopulate resulting in a population with a lot of the same sized fish. Habitat structure will hold lots of brookies together and the bigger fish will defend the prime locations, but they will also be found out in the open water cruising for any sign of snacks. A fall spawning strategy helps survival by giving the little guys a shot to feed as much as possible in one season before the tough long winter. As long as it is cold and clean, the brook trout will survive.


FISH SCIENCE Lastly, we have the Brown Trout. The Brown trout is perhaps the most successful immigrant we have. Fabled throughout the land, the good old “German Brown” (named for the source of eggs) is the fish that stories are made of in the land of enchantment. The king of the Rio, wild brown trout persist and dominate the natural unregulated streams of mid to low elevation. The Brown will seek and protect good habitat that includes overhead structure and pools that stay cool and deep during low flow times. In streams impacted by human activities like grazing and irrigating, the brown will eek out an existence by holding habitat. There are lots of small to midsize streams that have Browns in them but we don’t fish them because the numbers are low and the fish are canny and selective. A tremendous preda-

tor, the Brown will grow to big sizes in small water as long as the habitat is there. Tolerant of higher water temperatures, the Brown Trout can endure tough summer periods and they take advantage of the situation with nocturnal activity. Often revered as the smartest of our game trout, the brown can be particularly tough to catch because of their propensity to feed at odd times of day including night and because they select habitat that is specifically chosen to avoid predators including us. Yes, there is a huge brown living in the bottom of that gnarly boulder eddy with the old twisted bumper and the dragging barbed wire fence anchored by tires and drift wood that you have to cast over. He is there and will always be there, but catching him is another story.

By now, you are saying, “tell me something I don’t know?!?” Right? Well that’s just the point. We all have a sense of trout ecology because we all spend time in their environment trying everything in the box to get them. We learn that ice out is killer for brooks and rainbows. We have documented hatches, and planned trips during certain times of the year. We all remember a good hole that produced ten fish with a hopper in August, or we have a pet Brown that we hunt year to year remarking on his/her growth since last encounter. We have a secret high mountain lake where we can escape the heat to watch brook trout fight each other for any and every dry fly in the box. What we don’t do enough, is use that info when times are tough or when we visit a new body of water. Take a step back and look at the ecology of the situation. As the saying goes, When in Rome….. or is it, When in the Rio…

-Kevin Terry

Photograph by: Andrew Terry


RIOPRODUCTS.COM


Matt McLean landing a nice rainbow at Navajo Lake State Parks infamous San Juan River. Photo By: Matt Pelletier

Thank you for Reading the Summer Issue of Tails of Enchantment! Upcoming FALL SUPER Issue Available: October 7th 2013


Tails of Enchantment Summer 2013: Fishing New Mexico