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TAILS OF ENCHANTMENT MAGAZINE Fall 2013 | FISHENCHANTMENT.COM

Without Batteries

A Lasting Hold... The Stingy River Chronicles of a Fishing Guide Home Again Carpe Diem Musky Mystique

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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 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. Plan your Family Adventure today at NMPARKS.COM

Camping

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


TABLE OF CONTENTS TAILS OF ENCHANTMENT MAGAZINE Fall 2013 | FISHENCHANTMENT.COM

Without Batteries

A Lasting Hold... The Stingy River Chronicles of a Fishing Guide Home Again Carpe Diem Musky Mystique

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Editor’s Message

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Solunar Calendar

10

First Cast

16

Hooked Comics

18

Your Fly’s Down

20

Outdoor Events

22

Product Showcase

102

Captured

116

Yak Hack

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C O V E R S T O RY Rita Adams with a dandy Pike caught with a fly and released back to the Rio Grande River.

F E A T URE

A Lasting Hold... The Stingy River. Page 26. Photograph by: Johnny Pares

4

DEPARTMENTS

128

Will Wells

Juan Ramirez

Sean Gifford

Giving Back

130

New Mexico Trout

124

Tipping the Scales

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013

Fish Science

Kevin Terry

Shawn Jones


FEATURES 26

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A Lasting Hold... The Stingy River

New Mexico’s bloodline, the Rio Grande River is an must fish for brave New Mexico flyfishing bums! -By: Rita Adams

38

Chronicles of a Fishing Guide

...at Elephant Butte Lake State Park. There’s always fish to be caught at “The Butte”! -By: Frank Vilorio

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Home Again

38 50

The inside scoop on flyfishing the Salt River in Arizona. - By: Vince Deadmond

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Without Batteries

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Carpe Diem

Tips for getting the kids outdoors and experiencing the world without batteries - By: Ti Piper

Sieze the moment and learn more about targeting Carp with Euro Techniques. - By: Eddie Flores

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Musky Mystique

Annual trip to The Lake of the Woods with two muskie maniacs. What timing! - By: Andrew Ragas

Subscribe for FREE 82


EDITORS MESSAGE It’s hard to believe that Tails of Enchantment has been around for an entire year already but that’s where we find ourselves as I write this the fourth instalment of the Editors Message! Thanks to all our contributors for making this magazine possible and thank all of you subscribers for reading and sharing it with so many others. What an awesome experience it has been designing these issues, I look forward to next year and seeing how the magazine grows.

Matt Pelletier

Tails of Enchantment Editor in Chief matt@fishenchantment.com

Subscribe for FREE

You’ll notice some changes to this and the next issues layout and design. After a year of seeing the same design I’ve noticed a couple things that needed to change. I hope you like the new look, it’s mostly font changes but I hope you find everything more appealing to the eye and much easier to read. The fall super issue is loaded with content and is sure to be a great read with Articles and Departments covering a wife variety of topics. I recently acquired a DSLR camera so look for some new exciting photos that couldn’t have been captured with our regular point and shoot camera. Look for the randomly placed RIO Bug somewhere in this magazine. Once you find it send me an email with the page it’s on and if you’re correct you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a free spool of RIO PRODUCTS 5WTF Outbound Short! Catch, Photo & Release

THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR-

Matt Pelletier

INDEX OF ADVERTISERS 2-3--NM State Parks

67--Qualifly Products

23--Vermejo Park Ranch 68--Abu Garcia 24-- Casa Playa Blanca

69--Dave’s Wildlife Studio

25--Santiagos Grill

72--The Reel Life

25--Goat Head Gear

82-Qualifly Products

25--AJ’s Hardware

82--Muskies Inc

36--Trout: On The Fly

84--FE Guide Service

37--RIO PRODUCTS

100--JawJacker

38--RayJus Outdoors

101--The Reel Life

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

49--Zia Kayak Outfitters 123--RayJus 49--LOE Fishing Adventures

137--Menicucci Insurance 137--Float-N-Fish

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


FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS

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V ilorio

F lores


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 Astronomical Twilight), Sunrise, Solar Noon, Sunset, Twi A (PM Astronomical Twilight), Moonrise, Moonset, Moon Phase, and Day Length. Resource: www.sunrisesunset.com

Sunday

October 2013

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Twi A: 5:37 AM Sunrise: 7:01 AM Solar noon: 12:56 PM Sunset: 6:51 PM Twi A: 8:16 PM Moonrise: 3:46 AM Moonset: 4:50 PM Day length: 11h 50m Twi A: 5:41 AM Sunrise: 7:05 AM Solar noon: 12:55 PM Sunset: 6:44 PM Twi A: 8:09 PM Moonrise: 8:48 AM Moonset: 7:51 PM Day length: 11h 39m

6

13

Twi A: 5:46 AM Sunrise: 7:11 AM Solar noon: 12:53 PM Sunset: 6:35 PM Twi A: 7:59 PM Moonrise: 3:17 PM Moonset: 1:37 AM Day length: 11h 24m

20

Twi A: 5:52 AM Sunrise: 7:17 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:26 PM Twi A: 7:51 PM Moonrise: 7:41 PM Moonset: 8:54 AM Day length: 11h 9m

27

Twi A: 5:58 AM Sunrise: 7:23 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:18 PM Twi A: 7:43 PM Moonrise: 12:39 AM Moonset: 2:14 PM Day length: 10h 55m

8

Twi A: 5:42 AM Sunrise: 7:06 AM Solar noon: 12:54 PM Sunset: 6:43 PM Twi A: 8:07 PM Moonrise: 9:53 AM Moonset: 8:37 PM Day length: 11h 37m

7

14

Twi A: 5:47 AM Sunrise: 7:12 AM Solar noon: 12:53 PM Sunset: 6:34 PM Twi A: 7:58 PM Moonrise: 3:56 PM Moonset: 2:42 AM Day length: 11h 22m

21

Twi A: 5:53 AM Sunrise: 7:17 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:25 PM Twi A: 7:50 PM Moonrise: 8:25 PM Moonset: 9:51 AM Day length: 11h 7m

28

Twi A: 5:58 AM Sunrise: 7:24 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:17 PM Twi A: 7:42 PM Moonrise: 1:33 AM Moonset: 2:48 PM Day length: 10h 53m

Twi A: 5:42 AM Sunrise: 7:07 AM Solar noon: 12:54 PM Sunset: 6:42 PM Twi A: 8:06 PM Moonrise: 10:56 AM Moonset: 9:29 PM Day length: 11h 35m

1

8

15

Twi A: 5:48 AM Sunrise: 7:12 AM Solar noon: 12:52 PM Sunset: 6:32 PM Twi A: 7:57 PM Moonrise: 4:32 PM Moonset: 3:46 AM Day length: 11h 20m

22

Twi A: 5:54 AM Sunrise: 7:18 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:24 PM Twi A: 7:48 PM Moonrise: 9:11 PM Moonset: 10:44 AM Day length: 11h 5m

29

Twi A: 5:59 AM Sunrise: 7:25 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:16 PM Twi A: 7:41 PM Moonrise: 2:29 AM Moonset: 3:21 PM Day length: 10h 51m

Twi A: 5:38 AM Sunrise: 7:02 AM Solar noon: 12:56 PM Sunset: 6:50 PM Twi A: 8:14 PM Moonrise: 4:43 AM Moonset: 5:24 PM Day length: 11h 48m Twi A: 5:43 AM Sunrise: 7:07 AM Solar noon: 12:54 PM Sunset: 6:40 PM Twi A: 8:04 PM Moonrise: 11:58 AM Moonset: 10:26 PM Day length: 11h 33m

Thursday

2

9

16

Twi A: 5:49 AM Sunrise: 7:13 AM Solar noon: 12:52 PM Sunset: 6:31 PM Twi A: 7:55 PM Moonrise: 5:08 PM Moonset: 4:50 AM Day length: 11h 18m

23

Twi A: 5:54 AM Sunrise: 7:19 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:23 PM Twi A: 7:47 PM Moonrise: 10:01 PM Moonset: 11:34 AM Day length: 11h 3m

30

Twi A: 6:00 AM Sunrise: 7:26 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:15 PM Twi A: 7:40 PM Moonrise: 3:27 AM Moonset: 3:54 PM Day length: 10h 49m

Friday

Twi A: 5:39 AM Sunrise: 7:03 AM Solar noon: 12:56 PM Sunset: 6:49 PM Twi A: 8:13 PM Moonrise: 5:42 AM Moonset: 5:57 PM Day length: 11h 46m

3

10

Twi A: 5:44 AM Sunrise: 7:08 AM Solar noon: 12:54 PM Sunset: 6:39 PM Twi A: 8:03 PM Moonrise: 12:55 PM Moonset: 11:27 PM Day length: 11h 31m

17

Twi A: 5:50 AM Sunrise: 7:14 AM Solar noon: 12:52 PM Sunset: 6:30 PM Twi A: 7:54 PM Moonrise: 5:44 PM Moonset: 5:52 AM Day length: 11h 16m

24

Twi A: 5:55 AM Sunrise: 7:20 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:21 PM Twi A: 7:46 PM Moonrise: 10:52 PM Moonset: 12:19 PM Day length: 11h 1m

31

Twi A: 6:01 AM Sunrise: 7:27 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:14 PM Twi A: 7:39 PM Moonrise: 4:26 AM Moonset: 4:28 PM Day length: 10h 47m

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013

Saturday

Twi A: 5:39 AM Sunrise: 7:03 AM Solar noon: 12:55 PM Sunset: 6:47 PM Twi A: 8:11 PM Moonrise: 6:42 AM Moonset: 6:32 PM New Moon: 6:36 PM Day length: 11h 44m

4

11

Twi A: 5:40 AM Sunrise: 7:04 AM Solar noon: 12:55 PM Sunset: 6:46 PM Twi A: 8:10 PM Moonrise: 7:45 AM Moonset: 7:10 PM Day length: 11h 42m

12

Twi A: 5:45 AM Sunrise: 7:09 AM Solar noon: 12:53 PM Sunset: 6:38 PM Twi A: 8:02 PM Moonrise: 1:47 PM Moonset: none First Qtr: 5:03 PM Day length: 11h 29m

Twi A: 5:46 AM Sunrise: 7:10 AM Solar noon: 12:53 PM Sunset: 6:36 PM Twi A: 8:00 PM Moonrise: 2:34 PM Moonset: 12:31 AM Day length: 11h 26m

Twi A: 5:50 AM Sunrise: 7:15 AM Solar noon: 12:52 PM Sunset: 6:29 PM Twi A: 7:53 PM Moonrise: 6:20 PM Moonset: 6:54 AM Full Moon: 5:39 PM Day length: 11h 14m

Twi A: 5:51 AM Sunrise: 7:16 AM Solar noon: 12:52 PM Sunset: 6:27 PM Twi A: 7:52 PM Moonrise: 6:59 PM Moonset: 7:55 AM Day length: 11h 12m

Twi A: 5:56 AM Sunrise: 7:21 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:20 PM Twi A: 7:45 PM Moonrise: 11:45 PM Moonset: 1:01 PM Day length: 10h 59m

Twi A: 5:57 AM Sunrise: 7:22 AM Solar noon: 12:51 PM Sunset: 6:19 PM Twi A: 7:44 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 1:39 PM Last Qtr: 5:42 PM Day length: 10h 57m

18

25

5

19

26


Sunday

Twi A: 5:04 AM Sunrise: 6:30 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:10 PM Twi A: 6:36 PM Moonrise: 7:43 AM Moonset: 6:19 PM Day length: 10h 40m

10

Twi A: 5:10 AM Sunrise: 6:37 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:04 PM Twi A: 6:31 PM Moonrise: 1:34 PM Moonset: 12:40 AM Day length: 10h 27m

17

Twi A: 5:16 AM Sunrise: 6:44 AM Solar noon: 11:52 AM Sunset: 4:59 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 6:04 PM Moonset: 7:36 AM Day length: 10h 15m

24

Twi A: 5:22 AM Sunrise: 6:51 AM Solar noon: 11:53 AM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 12:19 PM Last Qtr: 12:29 PM Day length: 10h 6m

Twi A: 5:09 AM Sunrise: 6:36 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:05 PM Twi A: 6:32 PM Moonrise: 12:57 PM Moonset: none Day length: 10h 29m Twi A: 5:15 AM Sunrise: 6:43 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:00 PM Twi A: 6:28 PM Moonrise: 5:19 PM Moonset: 6:41 AM Full Moon: 8:17 AM Day length: 10h 17m Twi A: 5:21 AM Sunrise: 6:50 AM Solar noon: 11:53 AM Sunset: 4:57 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 11:18 PM Moonset: 11:46 AM Day length: 10h 7m

Sunday

Twi A: 5:32 AM Sunrise: 7:02 AM Solar noon: 11:58 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 11:36 AM Moonset: 11:36 PM Day length: 9h 52m Twi A: 5:36 AM Sunrise: 7:07 AM Solar noon: 12:01 PM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 4:01 PM Moonset: 5:30 AM Day length: 9h 49m Twi A: 5:40 AM Sunrise: 7:11 AM Solar noon: 12:05 PM Sunset: 4:59 PM Twi A: 6:29 PM Moonrise: 10:04 PM Moonset: 10:20 AM Day length: 9h 47m Twi A: 5:43 AM Sunrise: 7:14 AM Solar noon: 12:08 PM Sunset: 5:03 PM Twi A: 6:33 PM Moonrise: 4:04 AM Moonset: 2:42 PM Day length: 9h 49m

Tuesday

3

Twi A: 5:03 AM Sunrise: 6:29 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:11 PM Twi A: 6:37 PM Moonrise: 6:37 AM Moonset: 5:29 PM New Moon: 5:51 AM Day length: 10h 41m

Twi A: 5:27 AM Sunrise: 6:56 AM Solar noon: 11:55 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 5:21 AM Moonset: 4:05 PM Day length: 9h 59m

November 2013

Monday

4

Twi A: 5:05 AM Sunrise: 6:31 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:09 PM Twi A: 6:35 PM Moonrise: 8:47 AM Moonset: 7:16 PM Day length: 10h 38m

11

Twi A: 5:11 AM Sunrise: 6:38 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:03 PM Twi A: 6:30 PM Moonrise: 2:09 PM Moonset: 1:43 AM Day length: 10h 25m

18

Twi A: 5:17 AM Sunrise: 6:45 AM Solar noon: 11:52 AM Sunset: 4:59 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 6:53 PM Moonset: 8:27 AM Day length: 10h 14m

25

Twi A: 5:23 AM Sunrise: 6:52 AM Solar noon: 11:54 AM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 12:13 AM Moonset: 12:51 PM Day length: 10h 4m

8

15

22

29

Twi A: 5:27 AM Sunrise: 6:57 AM Solar noon: 11:56 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 6:28 AM Moonset: 5:00 PM New Moon: 5:23 PM Day length: 9h 57m Twi A: 5:32 AM Sunrise: 7:03 AM Solar noon: 11:59 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 12:12 PM Moonset: none First Qtr: 8:13 AM Day length: 9h 52m Twi A: 5:37 AM Sunrise: 7:08 AM Solar noon: 12:02 PM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 4:48 PM Moonset: 6:22 AM Day length: 9h 48m Twi A: 5:41 AM Sunrise: 7:12 AM Solar noon: 12:05 PM Sunset: 4:59 PM Twi A: 6:30 PM Moonrise: 11:00 PM Moonset: 10:51 AM Day length: 9h 47m Twi A: 5:44 AM Sunrise: 7:14 AM Solar noon: 12:09 PM Sunset: 5:03 PM Twi A: 6:34 PM Moonrise: 5:10 AM Moonset: 3:39 PM Day length: 9h 49m

5

Twi A: 5:06 AM Sunrise: 6:32 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:08 PM Twi A: 6:34 PM Moonrise: 9:48 AM Moonset: 8:18 PM Day length: 10h 36m

12

Twi A: 5:12 AM Sunrise: 6:39 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:02 PM Twi A: 6:30 PM Moonrise: 2:44 PM Moonset: 2:44 AM Day length: 10h 23m

19

Twi A: 5:18 AM Sunrise: 6:46 AM Solar noon: 11:52 AM Sunset: 4:58 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 7:44 PM Moonset: 9:14 AM Day length: 10h 12m

26

Twi A: 5:23 AM Sunrise: 6:53 AM Solar noon: 11:54 AM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 1:11 AM Moonset: 1:24 PM Day length: 10h 3m

Thursday

Tuesday

2

9

16

23

30

Twi A: 5:33 AM Sunrise: 7:04 AM Solar noon: 11:59 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 12:47 PM Moonset: 12:39 AM Day length: 9h 51m Twi A: 5:38 AM Sunrise: 7:09 AM Solar noon: 12:02 PM Sunset: 4:56 PM Twi A: 6:27 PM Moonrise: 5:37 PM Moonset: 7:10 AM Full Moon: 2:29 AM Twi A: 5:41 AM Sunrise: 7:12 AM Solar noon: 12:06 PM Sunset: 5:00 PM Twi A: 6:31 PM Moonrise: 11:56 PM Moonset: 11:23 AM Day length: 9h 47m Twi A: 5:44 AM Sunrise: 7:15 AM Solar noon: 12:09 PM Sunset: 5:04 PM Twi A: 6:35 PM Moonrise: 6:12 AM Moonset: 4:43 PM Day length: 9h 50m

3

10

17

24

31

Twi A: 5:29 AM Sunrise: 6:59 AM Solar noon: 11:57 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 8:32 AM Moonset: 7:07 PM Day length: 9h 56m

Twi A: 6:03 AM Sunrise: 7:28 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:12 PM Twi A: 7:38 PM Moonrise: 6:31 AM Moonset: 5:44 PM Day length: 10h 43m

2

7

Twi A: 5:08 AM Sunrise: 6:34 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:06 PM Twi A: 6:33 PM Moonrise: 11:33 AM Moonset: 10:29 PM Day length: 10h 32m

8

Twi A: 5:08 AM Sunrise: 6:35 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:06 PM Twi A: 6:32 PM Moonrise: 12:17 PM Moonset: 11:35 PM First Qtr: 10:58 PM Day length: 10h 30m

9

14

Twi A: 5:13 AM Sunrise: 6:41 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:01 PM Twi A: 6:29 PM Moonrise: 3:57 PM Moonset: 4:45 AM Day length: 10h 20m

15

Twi A: 5:14 AM Sunrise: 6:42 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:01 PM Twi A: 6:28 PM Moonrise: 4:36 PM Moonset: 5:44 AM Day length: 10h 19m

21

Twi A: 5:19 AM Sunrise: 6:48 AM Solar noon: 11:53 AM Sunset: 4:57 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 9:29 PM Moonset: 10:36 AM Day length: 10h 10m

22

Twi A: 5:20 AM Sunrise: 6:49 AM Solar noon: 11:53 AM Sunset: 4:57 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 10:23 PM Moonset: 11:12 AM Day length: 10h 8m

28

Twi A: 5:25 AM Sunrise: 6:54 AM Solar noon: 11:55 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 3:11 AM Moonset: 2:35 PM Day length: 10h 1m

29

Twi A: 5:26 AM Sunrise: 6:55 AM Solar noon: 11:55 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 4:15 AM Moonset: 3:17 PM Day length: 10h 0m

Twi A: 5:07 AM Sunrise: 6:33 AM Solar noon: 11:50 AM Sunset: 5:07 PM Twi A: 6:34 PM Moonrise: 10:43 AM Moonset: 9:23 PM Day length: 10h 34m

13

Twi A: 5:13 AM Sunrise: 6:40 AM Solar noon: 11:51 AM Sunset: 5:02 PM Twi A: 6:29 PM Moonrise: 3:19 PM Moonset: 3:45 AM Day length: 10h 22m

20

Twi A: 5:18 AM Sunrise: 6:47 AM Solar noon: 11:52 AM Sunset: 4:58 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 8:36 PM Moonset: 9:57 AM Day length: 10h 11m

27

Twi A: 5:24 AM Sunrise: 6:53 AM Solar noon: 11:54 AM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 2:10 AM Moonset: 1:58 PM Day length: 10h 2m

Twi A: 5:34 AM Sunrise: 7:04 AM Solar noon: 12:00 PM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 1:22 PM Moonset: 1:40 AM Day length: 9h 50m Twi A: 5:38 AM Sunrise: 7:09 AM Solar noon: 12:03 PM Sunset: 4:57 PM Twi A: 6:28 PM Moonrise: 6:29 PM Moonset: 7:55 AM Day length: 9h 48m Twi A: 5:42 AM Sunrise: 7:13 AM Solar noon: 12:06 PM Sunset: 5:00 PM Twi A: 6:31 PM Moonrise: none Moonset: 11:55 AM Last Qtr: 6:49 AM

Thursday

4

11

18

25

Twi A: 5:30 AM Sunrise: 7:00 AM Solar noon: 11:57 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 9:26 AM Moonset: 8:15 PM Day length: 9h 55m Twi A: 5:35 AM Sunrise: 7:05 AM Solar noon: 12:00 PM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 1:58 PM Moonset: 2:39 AM Day length: 9h 50m

Twi A: 5:39 AM Sunrise: 7:10 AM Solar noon: 12:03 PM Sunset: 4:57 PM Twi A: 6:28 PM Moonrise: 7:22 PM Moonset: 8:35 AM Day length: 9h 48m

Twi A: 5:42 AM Sunrise: 7:13 AM Solar noon: 12:07 PM Sunset: 5:01 PM Twi A: 6:32 PM Moonrise: 12:55 AM Moonset: 12:30 PM Day length: 9h 48m

Saturday 1

6

Wednesday

Twi A: 5:28 AM Sunrise: 6:58 AM Solar noon: 11:56 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 7:32 AM Moonset: 6:01 PM Day length: 9h 57m

Friday Twi A: 6:02 AM Sunrise: 7:27 AM Solar noon: 12:50 PM Sunset: 6:13 PM Twi A: 7:38 PM Moonrise: 5:28 AM Moonset: 5:04 PM Day length: 10h 45m

December 2013

Monday 1

Wednesday

Friday 5

12

19

26

Twi A: 5:30 AM Sunrise: 7:00 AM Solar noon: 11:57 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:24 PM Moonrise: 10:14 AM Moonset: 9:24 PM Day length: 9h 54m Twi A: 5:35 AM Sunrise: 7:06 AM Solar noon: 12:01 PM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 2:36 PM Moonset: 3:38 AM Day length: 9h 49m Twi A: 5:39 AM Sunrise: 7:10 AM Solar noon: 12:04 PM Sunset: 4:58 PM Twi A: 6:29 PM Moonrise: 8:15 PM Moonset: 9:12 AM Day length: 9h 47m Twi A: 5:43 AM Sunrise: 7:13 AM Solar noon: 12:07 PM Sunset: 5:01 PM Twi A: 6:32 PM Moonrise: 1:56 AM Moonset: 1:09 PM Day length: 9h 48m

16

23

30

Saturday 6

13

20

27

Twi A: 5:31 AM Sunrise: 7:01 AM Solar noon: 11:58 AM Sunset: 4:54 PM Twi A: 6:25 PM Moonrise: 10:57 AM Moonset: 10:31 PM Day length: 9h 53m Twi A: 5:36 AM Sunrise: 7:07 AM Solar noon: 12:01 PM Sunset: 4:55 PM Twi A: 6:26 PM Moonrise: 3:17 PM Moonset: 4:35 AM Day length: 9h 49m Twi A: 5:40 AM Sunrise: 7:11 AM Solar noon: 12:04 PM Sunset: 4:58 PM Twi A: 6:29 PM Moonrise: 9:09 PM Moonset: 9:47 AM Day length: 9h 47m Twi A: 5:43 AM Sunrise: 7:14 AM Solar noon: 12:08 PM Sunset: 5:02 PM Twi A: 6:33 PM Moonrise: 2:59 AM Moonset: 1:52 PM Day length: 9h 48m

7

14

21

28


FIRST CAST

Rainbow trout are known for their acrobatic displays when hooked.

Here’s a shot showing the dramatic reentry as the fish crashes through the surface of the water. Taken with a Nikon D80 and 400mm lens at

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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013

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Photo By: Matt Pelletier OFF

Vermejo Park Ranch.

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FIRST CAST This amazing shot was taken with a Nikon D80 and 400mm lens at

Vermejo Park Ranch. It’s a tight zoom on a waterfall that had wind coming from downstream and was lifting the water before it could fall.

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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013

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Photo By: Doug Manley

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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013

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Doug Manley showing us how “mountain boys� work when called in to do some Alpine Logging in Colorado! This is how we cleared deadfall

from a dam before the horses came to provide reinforcement during a Trout Unlimited volunteer project organized by Kevin Terry.

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. Congratulations to the SuMMER issues Hooked Caption Contest winner, Leah pelletier

Clyde" ck kitty i s e n o "You’re r Pelletie By Leah

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 at www.hopperjuan.blogspot.com Some years, there is not much of a change, only a hint that we are inching forward towards autumn. This year, it couldn’t have been clearer. With a shift in weather almost overnight, there was no doubt that fall was here; with fall comes the BWOs. After a summer of seeing almost every fly pattern out there and enjoying some great treats, it’s time for one last big hatch. Matching the smaller bugs is key. After throwing attractors and hoppers all summer, its time to bring your A game. Think of it as the playoffs. Size and presentation is the name of the game. Pattern selection can be difficult, but these 4 patterns are some of my favorites to throw at those summer school educated trout. Tie some up and give them a try. I guarantee you will have fun.

-Juan Ramirez 18

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


BWO’s LIFECYCLE Foam Back Emerger http://vimeo.com/74434304

CDC RS2 http://vimeo.com/74434303

CDC Sparkle Dun http://vimeo.com/74434302

CDC Spun Dun http://vimeo.com/74434301


OUTDOOR EVENTS Sunday October 20, 2013 Bluewater Lake State Park New Mexico Muskies Inc Trash Pick up and BBQ (NMMI) New Mexico Muskies Inc Members will be volunteering their day picking up trash at Bluewater Lake State Park. If anyone is interested in joining us or just coming by to meet some of the Members; we’d love to see you! We’ll be walking the banks in the morning, come and join us! www.newmexicomuskiesinc.org

Saturday, November 2 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM Oasis 23rd Annual Kids Fishin’ Clinic Oasis State Park with support from the Friends of Oasis will hold their 23rd Annual Kids Fishin’ Clinic on November 2, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kids 6-17 years of age and their parent/adult are invited to attend. Each participant MUST pre-register with Oasis by calling 575-356-5331. Information needed will be the child’s name, age, adult’s name and telephone number. Register early as there are a limited number of slots available. The event is free with the appropriate entrance or camping fees. Starting at 9 a.m. the clinic will run through approximately 10 stations of learning and at noon lunch will be served by the Community Services Center, Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Portales. Following lunch, every registered child will be eligible for a door prize!! Please dress appropriately for the weather that day. Please be reminded that those 12 years of age and older must have a valid NM fishing license. Fees: Regular Entrance Fee Contact: Oasis State Park 575-356-5331

Saturday, November 9-Sunday, November 10 Elephant Butte Lake Duke City Bass Bums Fishing tournament 06:00 AM - 03:00 PM

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Saturday, November 9-Sunday, November 10 Elephant Butte Lake Bass fishing tournament 06:00 AM - 03:00 PM Catch and release fishing tournament Contact: Gary Thomas 505-353-1610

January 3 - 5, 2014 Albuquerque Convention Center 401 2nd St NW Albuquerque, NM 87102 Show Hours Friday: 3pm - 9pm | Saturday: 10am - 6pm Sunday: 10am - 5pm Ticket Prices Adults: $8.00 | Children 12 & Under: Free If you love the outdoors, you will love this show! Whether you enjoy the freedom of traveling in an RV, boating, or camping, you will find it all at the New Mexico RV, Boat & Travel Show in beautiful Albuquerque.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE Trout: On The Fly by James Africano The new cook book, Trout on the Fly, by Chef James Africano James Africano is the executive chef at Ted Turner’s famous Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico. Learn the many ways to cook fresh trout from the resort’s accomplished chef. Colorado native Africano joined Vermejo Park Ranch as executive chef in 2007. Chef Africano’s commitment to fresh, local produce and the addition of an on-site garden lends a unique approach to traditional ranch fare. Get yours for $24.99 at www.troutonthefly.net.

Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog This lifelike frog has great kicking action and has enticed some vicious strikes from Largemouth Bass at Shady Lakes. Go to the Fish Enchantment Forum to read a product review from some of our Members. MSRP $7.99. See these baits in action and learn more about this ICAST 2013 “Best Soft Lure” at www.lunkerhunt.com

Dynamic Lures NEW J-SPEC The new J-SPEC from Dynamic Lures has already been a huge hit. The 3” jerkbait has been a magnet for trout, walleye, bass, and even catfish have been fooled by it’s lifelike action. Cast it, troll it, whatever you want but hold on tight cause you’re sure to be ripping lips with this deadly new lure. MSRP $6.95 www.dynamiclures.com

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Tails of Enchantment Contributor Vince Deadmond is Co-Owner of Best Hardware!


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A Lasting HOLd... The Stingy River By: Rita Adams

Photograph by: Johnny Pares


A LASTING HOLD... THE STINGY RIVER

Recently made into a National Monument encompassing over 242,000 acres, the Rio Grande Gorge is a place well worthy of recognition and protective legislation. From the New Mexico-Colorado state line to the area south of Taos known as Pilar, the river carves its way through a dramatic canyon of dark basalt that averages eight hundred feet deep and is home to feisty brown and rainbow trout, northern pike, and carp, all great fun to take on the fly. I was fortunate to be raised just minutes from the gorge, in the small town of Questa, New Mexico. As with many rural children, nature was our playground, and the gorge an obstacle course of endless amazements. My brothers and I learned to swim in the Rio. We splashed the days away, built sand castles, climbed rocks and chased lizards, while my mother sunned herself nearby. My father was always out of sight, pulling acrobatic browns and cuttbows from the rapids.


Petroglyphs tell the stories of our ancestors past and can be found along the banks of the Rio Grande River.

Photograph by: Rita Adams

Daddy’s little girl, it wasn’t long before I abandoned sand castles and lizards to follow in his footsteps with a fly rod. I didn’t know it at the time, but those days with my father spawned a passion that would lead me to great adventures and never let me go. The Rio Grande in the gorge section is a challenging river both to fish and to reach. Anyone planning a trip here should allow for a full day’s excursion and be certain to be in good physical shape. The crumbling volcanic cliffs are steep and treacherous, and anglers must pick their way carefully down switchback trails while keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes. Once down, fishermen will find no easy purchase. A complicated jumble of slick water scalloped boulders lines the river, but there is the promise of a trout in every pool.


A LASTING HOLD... THE STINGY RIVER Local author and Rio Grande fly-fisherman John Nichols likens fishing here to “Dancing on the Stones’, and he is not far off. The more sure-footed and daring gorge fishermen do just that in order to access the tougher spots on the other side. I have watched my father cross the river countless times with calculated leaps where a misstep could spell disaster. Wearing waders is a mistake in the Rio Grande Gorge. The rock-lined pools are deep right to the water’s edge, and felt bottomed or studded wading boots will turn the slick rocks into ice. Rubber bottomed hiking boots with good ankle support are the best choice, while long pants and sleeves will help keep the ubiquitous poison ivy at bay. As if this is not enough incentive to try your hand at fishing the Rio, the fish themselves are not easy to deceive, and the river itself can be very moody. I was lucky to learn from my father the various tricks and successful methods, but even so I have been utterly rejected by this river’s fish more than once. My father often recounts a story from his days learning the river in the early seventies. After spending another exhausting day hopping rocks with little attention from the fish, he happened upon an old Spanish gentleman sitting on the rocks in a very remote area. He had never seen this man before, but it was clear that he was no stranger to this place. When my father approached and asked how the fishing was, the response was cryptic: ‘Son, the Rio Grande can be a very stingy river’. We repeat this amongst ourselves every difficult day on the Rio, and often on the good days too, always with a chuckle. The Rio Grande can be a stingy river, but when it decides to share its bounty, generous would be an understatement. The experience of fishing this river is completely unique, and even a challenging day of fishing here is worth the effort.

Photograph by: Rita Adams


The mighty Rio Grande River is a seasonal fishery with a bounty as great Photograph by: Rita Adams as the danger and mystery that surrounds it.


A LASTING HOLD... THE STINGY RIVER

When clear, the water is a deep emerald color. As it foams and boils around the rocks, tantalizing pockets appear, each one holding trout. The river also features long runs with deep seams ideal for nymphing, and big slow pools, perfect for swinging streamers to lurking northern pike. These were once my swimming holes, but having seen what calls them home gives me pause to dip my toes these days; we have caught pike up to twenty pounds in these waters. Another overlooked game fish prevalent throughout the river are the common carp. Carp are quite challenging to catch, fight as hard as any trout, and routinely top the ten-pound mark. One of the factors that make fishing this section of the Rio Grande so special is the large number of springs that come into the river here. Over 200 cubic feet per second of pure cold spring water enters the river in this 60-mile stretch, helping to stabilize the water temps year round and sustain the river’s


Photograph by: Rita Adams

fish during both the winter and summer seasons. As New Mexico continues to suffer from drought conditions, it is this influx of spring water that helps to support the river’s fish and other creatures. The Rio holds hard fighting trout that can reach impressive sizes, browns and rainbows as well as cuttbows, a rainbow-cutthroat hybrid. My first fish over twenty inches was a Rio Grande Cuttbow, a football with gorgeous rosy flanks and gill plates that launched itself from the water in frenzied aerobatics again and again. It is no easy feat to land a large fish in swift water while perched on a room-sized stone, and when I got the cuttbow to me, it was exhausted. I had no experience with fish this big. I only knew that I had to get it landed and released back into the water immediately.


A LASTING HOLD... THE STINGY RIVER As my father watched proudly from the next rock, I guided the fish gently to the waters edge, eased out the barbless fly, and slipped it back into the water…where it promptly began to float away, upside down. My father’s warning cry of ‘Wait!” came too late, and I watched helplessly as the fish headed downriver out of my reach. Suddenly I heard a great splash, and was shocked to see my father swimming fully clothed in the deep run with net in hand. He got to the cuttbow in seconds, swam it back to me, and taught me how to revive an exhausted fish: working it gently forward into the current until the gills started to work and the fish swam away on his own. I learned a valuable lesson that day, and for years afterward I caught and released that same fish, or one just like it, in that exact spot. The Rio Grande is a seasonal fishery. Trout fishing is at it’s best pre-runoff in the spring or in the late summer and fall as temps cool down. The river’s northern pike are best fished for during the colder months, late fall through winter and into early spring, while grass carp can be targeted any time from spring to fall, and during mild winters. Fishing techniques vary with the seasons and conditions. The Rio Grande is known for a caddis hatch in the spring that rivals the famous ‘Mothers’ Day Caddis Hatch’, on the Arkansas River, without the crowds. If runoff hasn’t begun to muddy the waters, this can be some of the best trout fishing of the year. The Rio Grande also has good spring and fall hatches of blue winged olives. Fishing these hatches takes a delicate hand and precision drifts; seek shade wherever possible for the best dry fly action. Chunky crane-fly larvae are another major food source on the Rio Grande; Taylor Streit’s ‘Poundmeister’ is an excellent crane-fly pattern sold at Taos Fly Shop. Moving up the food chain, crawfish are not to be forgotten. The staple diet for every large Rio fish, these flies can be fished as weighted nymphs or streamers and will take all species. Streamers and baitfish patterns can also be a productive way to take fish on the Rio Grande. Those anglers seeking a successful fishing mission to the Rio Grande Gorge, whether expert or novice, would be wise to invest in a knowledgeable guide. My father at Ed Adams Fly Fishing is one of the best gorge guides in the area. Nick Streit’s Taos Fly Shop and Van Beacham’s Solitary Angler both come highly recommended as well. The Rio Grande was my first river, but it has left a lasting hold. In my life as a fishing fanatic I’ve been introduced to thousands of rivers across the globe, many of them bigger and purer than the Rio, with easier and larger fish. But none of them has ever come close to matching the Rio Grande’s green waters. I invite you all to discover and care for this precious northern New Mexico resource.

-Rita Adams

Photograph by: Rita Adams


Common Carp are prevalent and

willing to take a fly here so hold on and enjoy the ride!

Photograph by: Johnny Pares


“Trout on the Fly” was inspired by the recipes I created to prepare your day’s catch as evening appetizers. The incredible quality of the trout from the Rocky Mountain’s lakes and streams is inspiring to chefs and anglers alike.

www.troutonthefly.neT


RIOPRODUCTS.COM


CHRONICLES OF A FISH

at Elephant Butte Lake State P "My Corazone is here close to the water and mountains. There is nothing better than making a living in the outdoors close to Mother Nature.� 38

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


HING GUIDE

Park By: Frank Vilorio


CHRONICLES OF A FISHING GUIDE 1- WHAT KIND OF FISH? The species in the lake (Elephant Butte) include Stripers, Walleyes, Smallmouth Bass, Large Mouth Bass, Black and White Crappies, Perch, Bream (Bluegills, Sunfish), Catfish (flatheads, blue catfish, channel catfish and bullheads) common Yellow Carp, Buffalo Carp, White Drum and some Rainbow Trout that make it down river. Bait fish (forage fish) include gizzard and threadfin shad, the latter getting larger in size. State record fish from our lake are striped bass at 54 lbs. 8 oz., blue catfish 52 lbs. ¼ oz., flathead catfish 78 lbs. 0 oz., green sunfish 1 lb. 6 oz., long eared sunfish 1 lb. 12 oz. Recently Mike Torres from Arlington, TX was able to land a 6 lb. 7 oz. smallmouth bass on light tackle. This fish is a new lake record. The State record is 7 lbs. 3 oz. from Ute Lake caught March 31, 2006. Field and Stream Outdoor Magazine rated Elephant Butte Lake #3 in the Nation for trophy stripers. Before the dam was built in 1912 the only fish in the river were buffalo carp, sucker fish, silvery minnows and trout that would swim down the river. Every thing else was stocked after the dam was fabricated by the Bureau of Reclamation. 2- DO THEY STOCK THE LAKE? New Mexico Game and Fish Department periodically stock Elephant Butte with stripers, walleyes and large mouth bass. The lake was stocked with 750,000 striper fry’s (about 1 inch long) last year. Fish Biologist’s claim that out of the 750,000 fry’s, 36,000 will make it to 5-8 lbs. in 5-6 years. The average size striper caught in elephant butte is 8-12 lbs. Trophies are caught every year ranging from 30-40 lbs. and larger. Smallmouth bass, white bass, crappie, catfish and bait fish seem to reproduce by themselves. Stripers at times depending on lake water levels will go through the motions of spawning but the eggs to survive need fast moving river water to get enough oxygenation for them to survive and hatch. Stripers are pelagic fish, they spawn in open water and then the eggs attach to branches and rocks. They do not make nest, white bass area the same. The white bass spawn is very good on elephant butte, at times they can spawn up to twice a year. White bass are the most prolific fish in the lake and get up to 4 lbs. In 1998 I had the opportunity in seeing a huge school of stripers spawning in early May in a cove on the northern part of the lake. They would come up to the top of the water, the big female in the middle then a few males on each side of her. They would make a huge splash on top of the water then do an intertwining dance as they swam down. She would let lose of her eggs and the males would dispense their semen to fertilize the eggs in mid-water. They were doing this in small groups all over the cove. We tried top water lures to catch them up and had no success; they had no interest in our lures. This went on for 3 days in that cove, then they moves out to deeper water. The other game fish in elephant butte, i.e. large mouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye and bream will nest by the bank and guard the nest and fry’s.


Mike Torres from Arlington Texas with a smallmouth over 6 pounds from Elephant Butte Lake State Park.

Photograph by: Frank Vilorio


CHRONICLES OF A FISHING GUIDE 3- WHEN DO THE FISH BITE BEST? Determining factors that affect the bite is water temperature, moon cycle, barometric pressure (affected by frontal weather systems), wind and the direction it’s coming from, lake boat traffic, angle of the sun, water clarity and of course Luck. Fish seem to bite the best when water temperatures are on the rising upward trend; winter to spring and spring to summer. The bite slows down mid-summer, so we fish at night with lights and at times it gets really good. When the water temperature go on the downward trend, late summer to fall the day time bite picks up again. Weather frontal systems that come in with wind blowing from the north affects the fishing the most. Fish seem to get lock jaw and go deeper in the water column and fishing seems to be less productive. At times before the front comes in, fishing can be good. Fishing in high winds (more than 20 miles per hour) is not recommended for safety reasons. When the wind blows in the spring it brings down the water temperatures. As the days get longer the sun starts warming up the lake water and the fish get more active. In the summer, lake boat traffic seems to be a factor on the weekends at this water level, also boaters playing loud music will affect fishing if they are doing it too close to you. Best moon cycle is new moon period (no moon), a few days before, on the new moon or a few days after. Seems that on full moon periods fish tend to bite less often during the day time; but not always. I plan my fishing days around the weather, at times I have to cancel fishing trips due to frontal weather systems and wind conditions. I don’t like to take inexperienced clients when the winds get above 20-25 miles per hour; although a few years ago I had a very good anger wanting to come out with high winds and he was lucky enough to hook and land a 34 lb. trophy striper on a top water lure.


4- HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A FISHING GUIDE This is now my 19th season as a Professional Fishing Guide at Elephant Butte Lake. I started at the bottom of the pack in 1994, with time I acquired more skills being able to target and catch different species of fish on elephant butte. I now spend over 280 days a year on the water taking clients fishing, catching bait and at times going out experimenting on what works better to catch fish. I have seen the lake at it’s fullest in 1996 and it’s lowest in 2004. Being a professional fishing guide has always been my life long passion, “I still love guiding, it gets in your blood”. I especially like showing young anglers how to fish productively. Every time I leave the dock on a guide trip, I leave with a positive attitude, optimistic, always looking for those record breaking fish. Love to see little kids smile when they catch their first fish! Time permitting, I attend local outdoor shows, donate fishing trips to Safari Club International, Ducks Unlimited, National Riffle Association and such organizations. I donate and partner with the Ascarate Fishing Club for kids in the El Paso area. I’m also a partner with Catch-A-Dream Foundation, a national organization that work with special need kids to fulfill their dreams on a special fishing outing with their family members.

Petroglyphs tell the stories of our ancestors past and can be found along the banks of the Rio Grande River.

Photograph by: Frank Vilorio


CHRONICLES OF A FISHING GUIDE


5- WHAT IS THE BEST BAIT TO USE? When available the best bait is live bait. The best live bait is fresh caught shad from the lake, either threadfin or gizzard shad. This is what they forage on. Shad can be caught in shallow waters or by structure with a cast net. Size of shad that you use depends on size of fish you want to catch. In the spring smaller shad seem to work better on catching any type of fish. Shiners and fat head minnows that you can buy at local bait stores when in season are also productive in hooking onto fish. You can also catch bream in the lake and use it as bait. When you can’t get live bait, any similar type of artificial shad like bait will work. In late summer to fall artificial spoons and slabs are very productive when fishing on top of feeding schools of white bass and stripers. Trolling crank baits will also help you locate schools of fish that are scattered out in open water. Soft plastic baits (swim baits) are good for finding walleyes, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass when they are close to the bank or off shallow points. 6- WHAT DOES IT COST TO FISH? All depends on your budget. You can go buy a snoopy rod at Wal-Mart and go for catfish on a dirt ditch or the river (when running) and fish with earth worms, cost is about $35-$45 bucks depending on the price of gas or you can go on a fishing trip of a life time to the Amazon or Alaska for a week that will run about $5,000 to $6,000. Elephant Butte Lake is a great and close destination that offers a large variety of fish which you can catch and is very affordable. You can hire a professional fishing guide or fish off the bank. The camping is great on the sandy beaches but bring your own shade. The water levels have been coming up. There are also hotels in the area, hot mineral pools near by. Fishing license fees: resident annual $25, temp 1 day $12, temp 5 days $24. 70 yrs. and older annual fishing is free. Junior annual fishing ages 12-17 $5; under the age of 12 is free. Non-resident fees: annual fishing $56, temp 1 day $12, temp 5 days fishing $24. Junior annual fishing ages12 to17 are $15.

White bass fishing is fantastic at certain times of the year you can expect to catch 25 fish a day no problem.

Photograph by: Frank Vilorio


CHRONICLES OF A FISHING GUIDE 7- HOW ARE THE LAKE LEVELS? We have been in a severe drought period in the region for over 12 years. Right now the lake level is 10-15% of 100% capacity. In miles it’s 12 miles long from the dam to the black bluffs area. There is plenty of lake left for people to come and enjoy it, and have a terrific time fishing, boating, sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing, kayaking, swimming and inner tubing. We have a very unique lake where we have plenty of sandy beaches that vacationers can come and camp right next to the waters edge. Fishing has been better with low water levels because of concentrating schools of fish and less water surface area. It’s easier to find the fish schools with low water levels; but that doesn’t mean that the fish will bite more all the time. The habitat has also changed with low lake levels. I remember having to learn the lake every year due to dropping water levels that changed structures that use to hold fish. The Bureau of Reclamation said they won’t open the dam until June so we can get increased water storage levels. 8- LOWEST YOU’VE SEEN THE LAKE? This is not the lowest I’ve seen the lake, the lowest I’ve seen this body of water was in 2004 when it dropped to 4% of 100% capacity. Very few people had seen it drop down that low. The lake has never dried up completely since they made the dam. At 1% it turns into a river. In 2004 you had to be very careful while boating to avoid submerged rocks and structures due to decreasing water levels. Now since it’s gone down and come back up in recent years the State Park Rangers know where hazard areas are located when the water drops and mark them with hazard buoys so that boaters can avoid those areas. There are main channel maker buoys placed out on the lake (red and green), if you are in between them you are in the main body of water and are safe to navigate up and down the lake. I suggest if you own a water craft to take a boat handling course at the State Park which is free of charge during the weekends in the summer. Real estate has not dropped in price because of low lake water levels, locals have always known that it always comes back up with time. There is also a lot of beach area where visitors and locals can camp out, sun tan, swim, play beach volleyball, picnic, rent shaded areas, walk the dog, build sand castles with the kids and enjoy the views of still the largest lake in New Mexico. The entrance fee to the State Park is $5.00 per car load. Free if you ride you bicycle or hike in. 9- WHAT IS THE FEE WITH A FISHING GUIDE? Fees for a guided fishing adventure range in price depending on how many anglers. I provide a 24 ft. Center Console Fishing Boat with T-Top for shade, life preserves, all rods and reels, lures, fresh live bait (when available), instructions on fishing, (knot tying, casting, retrieving) clean and package your catch if you want to keep them. When you hire me as your guide, you also get 19 years of professional fishing experience on this lake. I do not mix parties on my boat. I am up to date on my guiding license, insured and bonded, have a CPR certificate and boat handler’s course. Fee based on a 5 hour trip 1-2 anglers $350.00, 3 anglers $400.00, 4 anglers $500.00, 5 anglers $575.00. Kids 12 and under $75.00. 8 hours add $200.00


You never know what unexpected sights you’ll see at Elephant Butte Lake State Park!

Photograph by: Frank Vilorio


CHRONICLES OF A FISHING GUIDE 10- ADD ON’S Elephant Butte is the “Diamond in the Desert”. There are beautiful views of the largest body of water in New Mexico with a desert atmosphere. Hot mineral pools have brought countless visitors through the years to soak whatever ails them. These pools are rich in minerals and range from 105 to 107 degree in Fahrenheit. Around these surrounding areas you will find remnants of old buildings and history of the Wild West with Spanish, Indian, mining and ranching heritage. Close by you will find the Black Range and Gila National Forrest which offers camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting and fishing on high country lakes. The entire state of New Mexico barely reaches 2,000,000 habitats, most in the northern part of the state. My “Corazon” is here close to the water and mountains. There is nothing better than making a living in the outdoors close to Mother Nature.

-Frank Vilorio

Walleye can also be caught on trips with Fishing Guide Frank Vilorio. Photograph by: Frank Vilorio


Book your Trip Today! http://www.stripersnewmexico.com/ Call Us:

Email:

Frank Vilorio Fishing Guide

Frank Vilorio Fishing Guide

(575) 740-4710

frankvilorio@sbcglobal.net


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Arizona’s Lowe 50

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


AGAIN

er Salt River

By: Vince Deadmond


HOME AGAIN Many folks have a second home in Phoenix, Tucson, or Mesa, Arizona. Early fall, the local Turkey Vulture population leaves Mesa, Arizona for warmer weather in Mexico. That is about the same time that the Snow Bird migration begins. Many folks from Canada, the Midwest, and Northern states will begin trips that end in Mesa, Arizona. While the Vulture leaves with nothing but the feathers on his back, the Snow Birds arrive in a well appointed motor home with a nice car attached. These folks are usually looking for an RV park in East Mesa, or Apache Junction that have amenities like golf, tennis, and lots of social activities. Those same folks may have done some fly fishing along the way, and I would like to encourage them to bring the fly rods to Arizona for the fall and winter. I would invite the winter visitors to make use of the Lower Salt River area. It is a wonderful multi-use area where one can bike, kayak, hike, camp, target shoot, observe abundant animal and bird life. Fly fishing for trout, on a desert river with Saguaro on the bank, while your neighbor at home is shoveling snow, is a sweet treat.

Enjoy the little things about your trips. Photographs by: Vince Deadmond


Fishes of the Salt River Arizona. Photographs by: Vince Deadmond


HOME AGAIN The Lower Salt River is off the US 60 and off the 202 North Power Road exits, which becomes The Bush Highway. Take the Bush Highway north to the first access point Granite Reef, followed by Phon D Sutton, Coon Bluff, Blue Point Bridge, and Water users. These access points are well signed and easy to find. The Lower Salt River close to civilization (15 minutes from Starbucks, and some of my favorite restaurants), but a trip to the Lower Salt will make you feel like you have had a grand wild outdoor experience. There is enough vegetation, scenery, and animal life to feel like you have escaped from civilization. The Lower Salt River has 11 miles of fishable water from Stewart Mountain Dam (Saguaro Lake) to the Granite Reef Dam. The upper portion is faster and has several long riffles. Phon D Sutton, Blue Point, and Water Users get stocked with trout and usually for a few days the Rainbow fishing can be quite good. If it’s been a while since the last stocking (2 weeks), you will need to get away from the parking lot access points and move up or down the river to find some hungry fish. In addition to the Trout, one can catch Large Mouth Bass, White Bass, Blue Gill, Crappie, Catfish, Carp, Chub, and Sucker. With all of these fish options I rarely fish just for trout. Catching Bass, Sucker or Carp will put more of a bend in your 5 or 6 weight fly rod. The Desert Sucker is sometimes confused with the Common Carp. The Desert Sucker has an olive-brown top and a deep yellow under belly. The Desert Sucker’s lower lip looks like it had an overdose of Botox. The Lower Salt River is a special place to fish with Saguaro in the background, wild horses in the water, heron, egret, Bald Eagles and many other birds overhead, and you could see a coyote, javelina, skunk, beaver or a raccoon. Almost every trip to the river you will see something special. A nice variety of fish in the water keeps me interested. Depending on the water level, I like to wade, or do a pontoon boat trip. You can have an enjoyable trip from Phon D Sutton, where the Lower Verde joins the Salt, to Granite Reef in you pontoon boat at 600-700 CFS, and the fishing should be good. If you had 900-1200 CFS you could still pontoon boat but you would want an anchor to slow down. Water above 1200 CFS is just going to be a fast boat ride unless you can stop and fish. It’s good to check the SRP Water Monitor on line so you will know what to expect for your day of fishing. It can vary from 7 CFS to over 2000 CFS and that is a huge difference in the way you will fish.


Photograph by: Vince Deadmond

Techniques that work on the Lower Salt River: I usually set up two rods if I am doing a pontoon trip. One for dead drift technique, same technique one would use at Lee’s Ferry or the San Juan. Use a strike indicator (I like the poly material), then some weight, usually a BB shot, then under that I will use two nymphs. Yes you will get some wind knots the first time you try this technique. Open the loop on your cast and don’t worry about making a long forward cast. Work on your mending while the rig is on the water, so the indicator is not leaving a wake. I look for riffles with some gravel, trout and Desert Suckers will be in this kind of water. The Desert Sucker will take a larger nymph, the size 1012 Hare’s Ear has caught lots of Desert Sucker. Another technique, for slower water, if you observe carp moving around use the intermediate sink line. Many times the Lower Salt is stained and seeing actual fish is difficult, but carp will leave a wake, they will breach, so you know they are close. Because they are spooky don’t cast on top of them. I’ll use an unweighted fly, make my cast, and slowly, ever so slowly strip the fly. I am trying to keep the fly visible until the carp finds it. Usually a Wooly Buggar with rubber legs.

-Vince Deadmond


HOME AGAIN

If you are headed for the desert this fall/winter don’t forget your fly fishing gear, opportunities to fish do exist. Vince Deadmond, “The Fly Fishing Hardware Guy”’ is coowner of Best Hardware in Apache Junction, AZ. He is an enthusiastic, caffeinated, fly fisher in search of a really good cookie. He has fly fishing stories published on the web, in local newspapers, and magazines. His stories tangle family, friends, and fly lines. Vince can be reached at Best Hardware 237 North Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ vince@ajbest. com and 480-982-7461. Photograph by: Vince Deadmond


Wild horse are not uncommon but you

may not always see them so stop for a moment to really enjoy it when you do.

Photograph by: Vince Deadmond

Lower Salt River Notebook When: Year-round.

Where: Lower Salt River - Access points - Granite Reef, Phon D Sutton, Coons Bluff, Goldfield, Blue

Point Bridge, Water Users.

Appropriate gear: 4 to 8 wt fly rod, floating, intermediate, sink tip lines, 2x-5x leaders and tippet, good wading shoes are important, extra slick rocks in the Lower Salt. Waders during winter months.

Useful fly patterns: Think basic, Wooly Buggars, Hairs Ear Nymph, Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail

Nymph, San Juan Worm, and Clousers.

Camping: Usery Mountain Regional Park 480 984 0032 http.//www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery/ hiking, and desert programs. The Wind Cave hike is a good one.

Do’s and Don’ts: Pick up a day use Tonto Pass $6 at any of the convenience stores close to the river. No glass containers, no motorized watercraft.

Other Attractions: Fort McDowell Casino www.fortmcdowellcasino.com Northwest corner of Fort McDowell Rd. and the Beeline highway. Restaurants, bars, coffee shops at the corner of McDowell Rd and Power Road.


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FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


Ready to get the kids out for some fun fishing but not sure where to start? Ti Piper shares tips that will help your family get the most out of a day fishing! So leave those electronic devices at home and go enjoy the great outdoors...

WITHOUT BATTERIES

Photograph by: Matt Pelletier


WITHOUT BATTERIES The age old rule for taking kids fishing is to leave your own gear at home. I say, take it with you, be a kid, go fishing. You might spend more time with kids tangles then on your own fish catching, but that’s the deal when you take the kids fishing. Pick a pleasant day for a trip to the fishing water. And go. Make the trip age and ability appropriate - not too long, not too short. Be ready to change - quit and go get a snack, do something else or go home, or take a nap. You want a fun trip that fits the child’s internal schedule. For the Albuquerque area, Tingley Beach offers decent to very good fishing for kids throughout all the cooler months. And for a quick change, the zoo train is right there to help break up the day. Another great spot to break up the day is the BioPark’s huge Aquarium just a five minute drive from the Kids Pond at Tingley. * Buy worms on the way to the lake, pond or where ever you are going. If the fishing is slow, the kids will play with the worms. Depending on the fish, you might want some salmon eggs, hotdogs, a strip of bacon and a can of corn. Buy corn with no added sugar, you do not want wasps/bees invading your space. For hooks, use barbless #6 hooks. These are small enough for stocked trout and catfish, or little sunfish / bluegill. I will say it again, use barbless hooks. They come out of pants, shirts, you, blouses, fish and little kids usually with no hassle. Barbed hooks are opportunities for big problems. Use barbless hooks.

Barbless hook removal from Polar Fleece is easy, a barbed hook would be a problem. Be safe with kids, go barbless.

*Zoo - Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 903 Tenth SW, 87102 Botanic Garden - Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 2601 Central NW, 87104 Aquarium - Open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 2601 Central NW, 87104 Tingley Beach - Open year-round from sunrise to sunset. 1800 Tingley Drive SW, 87102 Extended Summer Hours: June-August. Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden are open until 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and summer holidays (Memorial Day, July 4 & Labor Day).


Much of my work involves taking kids fishing. We start the little ones early, as soon as their parents give us permission to put a rod/reel in the young one’s small hands. To start with, most young ones do not need an actual fishing hook. Rod/reel combos for little tykes most often come with a plastic casting weight. These small combos are very cheap, usually in the $10-$25 dollar range. They are cheaply made, so young ones who show interest in fishing should soon be granted a better quality rod/reel combo. Start with basic push-button spin casting gear with a budget of $20-$30. You want a ten pound test system, and you want the kid to help choose the combo that fits within these guidelines. Zebco 33s and the Sheakespeare Synergy models are time proven products. I have used hundreds of both and either one is fine. If you can, skip the 202 and other cheaper reels, these outfits are actually just fine for older kids and adults who know how to work an inexpensive reel. But for the young ones, you want a better reel, a more trouble free reel. Look for a reel with the drag adjustment located on the body of the reel, not a star drag, which looks like a star attached to the back of the reel’s handle. Star drag setups are the way to go on bait casting reels, but that is not what we’re talking about here.

This Fun to Fish outfit from Shakespeare is a good choice for a little kid. Once the child learns to safely use fishing, a better outfit is needed. This midsized outfit, shown here with a half red reel and a 4’-6” rod, is in the $25 range. Maybe you already have an old Diawa or Shakespeare, Zebco or AbuMatic or Ryobi fishing reel. Get the kids together and take the reel apart, let them clean it with water and paper towels, pull off the line for recycle, and add new line. For less then $3 you can buy a spool of ten pound test and reline the spool. In fact, the number one way to put new life in an old reel is to install new line. Fishing reels are designed to use a certain pound test line. If it says 10 pound, then use ten pound line. Lighter systems that use four or six pound test are not robust enough for little kids. The drag is supposed to let line slip out, instead of breaking, when a big fish makes a run. On cheap reels just turn the drag all the way on so that there is no slippage on the drag at all. On a reel that actual has a drag that works, set the drag with a grocery bag holding four cans of soup tied to the end of the line. Those four soup cans weigh about four pounds so you can adjust the drag so that line just slips when lifting the soup cans. Once you have the rod/reel combo, it is time to put the child’s name on the rod. A permanent marker


WITHOUT BATTERIES works just fine, let the youth do the work. For fishing in water more then three feet deep, put a rod float, or a tie down on the rod so that if the rod gets away from the youngster’s hands, you can do an easy retrieve. The tackle box is next, you can buy one, make one or redo an old one. Again, let the child decorate the box, make it their own, write their name, put on stickers or glue on sprinkled sparkles. Always check for old rusty hooks, or other sharp stuff that does not belong in a little kids tackle box. Put some fun stuff in that tackle box. A snackbox of Goldfish crackers. Some licorice. Hand sanitizer. Cheap plastic red/white bobbers (the well built solid foam bobbers have springs too strong for little hands to operate). Barbless hooks (or no hooks if your team’s not yet ready for actual hooks in their tackle box). Add some non-lead sinkers. Don’t forget a set of pliers, needlenose is best, but most any pair will do the job. Notice that while this hook is barbless at the point, it retains the barbs on the shank. Those two remaining barbs on the shank help hold the bait to the hook, which is why this hook is called a baitholder. This is something you want as the kids will often cast way too hard - with the bait flying off the hook. If you can not find barbless hooks, a pair of needlenose pliers can be used to squeeze down the barb at the point. Put nail clippers in that tackle box, big nail clippers. I buy mine by the dozen at WalMart KMart Target dollarstores, in 99cent kits that have a pair of nail clippers, one big and one small, along with a line untangler stick and a double sided cardboard nail file. Put a hook sharpener in this youngster’s tackle box. My own hook sharpeners run $10-$30, but the ones I use for our kids fishing clinics cost a dollar, from a dollar store, they are metal nail files. Using the nail file, the nail clippers and the pliers, have some fun by making your own snelled hooks. Snelled hooks are those single hooks that have fishing line already attached, with the hook at one end and a loop at the other end. First, make the hook barbless. Making your hooks barbless, before the fishing trip, can be a fun, tabletop activity, even for the little ones. Pick a spot on the pliers that does not have serrations, often right at the tip, and use those flats to squeeze shut the barb. Then tie the hook to a two foot piece of six to eight pound test. Tie a loop to the other end of the line and you and your youngster have just made your own, 12 inch, barbless, snelled hook.


Squeeze the barb shut to make a barbless hook. Using the flat portion of the pliers is easier then in this photo, which shows using the serrated part of the jaws.

Remember to start with two feet of line to make your snelled hook, and with holder help from your youngster, you will end up with a snelled barbless hook that is about 12 inches long. Use an improved clinch knot to tie on the hook, and a loop knot to finish out the 12 inch long snelled hook.


WITHOUT BATTERIES This snelled hook is commercially tied, with a special snell knot called the egg loop knot. Instead of the egg loop knot, you can use an improved clinch knot and catch just as many fish. Here is a good video from takemefishing.org that shows how to tie an improved clinch knot. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_ embedded&v=fXWRZe784QU

Surgeon Loop Diagram

Improved Clinch Knot diagram

Certainly you can buy snelled hooks, but making your own gear is fun, and double the fun when you do the activity with the kids you are taking fishing. What about that loop on the end of the snell? It is easy to tie. Double the line back on itself to make the loop, then tie that loop in a simple overhand knot, and then stick the endloop again through the overhand loop before you tighten. Here is a quick video: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=gfQ4DbIUJWo While you are making your own snelled hooks, why not assemble the whole deal, hook line splitshot and bobber, and the rod and reel? Doing all these fun activities at home, before the trip, means less confusion once your crew gets to the fishing water. Not only have the kids assemble everything, but have them take everything apart also. Putting everything away is part of fishing. What about casting? Teach this at home, or in a local park, before the fishing trip. For casting practice use a plastic weight tied to the end of the line. I use a 3� piece of old garden hose. For really young ones, start by teaching how to press the button with their thumb, and then release their thumb off the button. The plastic weight should fall to the ground. The child can then change hands, and turn the handle on the reel, and up comes the weight back to the tiptop. Repeat this activity at least 20 times. Push the button, wait, then release the button, the plastic weight drops to the ground, then (switch hands if needed) reel the weight back to the tiptop. And repeat, over and over till you can see in their eyes that they get it, they understand the action of thumb on the button controlling the line and the plastic weight.


When actually casting, most will try for distance, which is fine at first, but move quickly to accuracy casting, and sidearm, and casting to targets under tree branches or under a picnic table. Put a heavier weight on the end of the line and have them learn the feel of reeling in a fish. When finished, have the kids take everything apart and properly put away. Square away their tackle box means getting ready for the fishing trip.

Teach the kids to put thumb on button only when casting. The reel will not work properly if the button is kept pushed down.

Anglers age 11 and under do not need a fishing license to fish in public fishing waters of New Mexico.

Those age 12-17 who are a New Mexico resident need a $6 license on most waters. Fishing on BLM or USFS waters requires an additional $4 Habitat Stamp. There is another Habitat Validation, but that only required for those age 18-69. You can get a free, New Mexico New Mexico Fishing Rules and Information booklet at any location that sells fishing licenses. If you are taking kids fishing, get a license. You can not legally hold a fishing rod, with the hook in the water, without a fishing license. That means helping a little kid is bordering on fishing, so get a license. Reeling in a fish for a little kid is fishing, so get a license. Licenses are available online, in most tackle stores and at NMDGF offices. Online here: https://onlinesales.wildlife.state.nm.us/ Fishing rules for New Mexico public waters here: http://wildlife.state.nm.us/publications/documents/ rib/2013/2013_fishing_rib.pdf


WITHOUT BATTERIES Read the weekly fishing report, look at the fishing report posted at most tackle stores. Take kids fishing when the stocked trout or catfish are biting, when the bluegills are in the shallows, when the white bass are smashing shad. In boats, or in water over their knees, have everyone put on PFDs. PFDs are personal floatation devices, life jackets. Life jackets save lives.

Bluegill/sunfish ponds are great for first-time fish catchers.

Top places to go?

The kids pond at Seven Springs Hatchery in the Jemez. The ponds way up state road 63 in the Pecos, where Windser Creek comes into the main little Pecos River. Bosque Redondo ponds (or slough) in Ft Sumner. All five of our big reservoirs, Elephant Butte, Caballo, Ute, Conchas and Navajo. Eagle Nest. The stocked ponds on the Cimarron and on the Red River. Lake Roberts. Harry McAdams State Park in Hobbs. Tiger Park Pond in Aztec. Cottonwood Day Use Area on the San Juan River. Youngs Park Pond in Las Cruces when stocked with winter trout and summer catfish. Any pay to fish pond. Do not forget to bring your personal fishing gear but remember, your number one goal is making this day a fun, full, safe and enjoyable activity. Go Fish!

-Ti Piper

Short on funds for the kids fishing gear? You could likely put this fish catcher together with stuff found on the ground at the lake:


Written by Ti Piper, I believe all photos and graphics are public use. My use of brand names and or companies does not imply endorsements by myself or the agency I contract with. I teach fishing, as a contractor, not an employee, for the New Mexico Dept of Game & Fish and have done so for over 20 years. I got into this business by writing the book, “Fishing in New Mexico�. I live about a dozen miles from where the Golden Inn was located, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. I met my wife at the Golden Inn when the Watermelon Mountain Jug Band became the house band. She still plays in the Jug Band, I still teach fishing.

Be safe when taking kids on outdoor treks. Bring plenty of water and take water breaks every 30 minutes. Wear caps/hats, sunblock, long pants and long sleeves, shoes not sandals, bring insect repellant in mosquito country. Put a whistle in their pocket. Bring buttwipes and hand sanitizer. Keep a firstaid kit handy and your cellphone charged.


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CARPe BY; Eddie Flores

70

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


diem Carpe Diem is loosely translated into seize the day, another more accurate translation is seize the moment. I prefer the later translation for this is how I started fishing for carp. I was fishing for catfish on Navajo Dam in North Western New Mexico. One night things were slow so I found a grasshopper and put it on the hook and needless to say I to was hooked as well. This was the first time that I actually was deliberately targeting these Golden Ghosts.


CARPE DIEM Here in the great US of A, carp are seen as mere trash fish, but lately there has been an interest in carp fishing much so that even fly fishermen are making fly’s specifically to target carp. Now this is progress, there are two styles of fishing for carp. One is using your standard fishing rods and reels then there is the EURO STYLE which we will be exploring deeper in this article. The Euro Style or method of fishing utilizes 10 to 14 foot rods, one single hook bait, leads ranging from 1 to 6 ounces, method feeders, and the list goes on. We will focus on a select few so as to not overwhelm anyone we will follow the KISS methodology. KISS stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. In England and the rest of Europe carp are so prized that they often have funerals should one of these treasures die. People spend up to two weeks or longer seeking this ghosts out only in the hopes of just catching one and if they catch more than one well then they have died and gone to heaven. So with pressure like this, anglers have to developed new ways of tricking the weary carp, and believe it or not the carp have adapted as well being able to tell which bait has the hook and which ones don’t. I have even seen video of carp taking in the hook bait and just staying perfectly still until they can work it out of there mouths. Here in the States, these ghosts are of no real interest to the average fisherman, seeing as they are an invasive spices brought over as a food source in the early nineteenth century. Although pound for pound they are the hardest fighting freshwater fish you will ever encounter often referred to as fresh water Bone Fish. I as well as some of you have fallen victim to them while fishing for catfish or other spices having seen my rod and reel get yanked into the lake or river never to be seen again. OK, so let’s get started into your introduction of Euro Carping. BAIT Seeing that you can use just about anything to catch these beauties from hot dogs, french fries, sweet corn etc… we will focus on Euro baits such as Boilies, Pop Ups, Tiger Nuts and Plastics which are specifically made for carping. Boilies refer to a dough bait that has been boiled hence the name BOILIES. But unlike your standers dough bait boilies have very special ingredients that make them very attractive to carp. I myself have made some that have included up to fifteen different ingredients. You see in Europe they will bait up a swim from anywhere from a couple of days to weeks before fishing that swim. They want to build a trust that lets the carp know that this bait is OK to eat and in turn the carp will subsidize their diet with this bait. This bait needs to offer the carp a balanced diet of fats, carbohydrates and proteins and on occasion vitamins and minerals. This has allowed some of these beauties to reach gigantic proportions with the world record carp weighing in at more than 46 kilograms, or 101 lb 4oz, breaking the previous world record carp of 99lb. Can you imagine landing a fish of this size? This fish fell to a birdseed boilie early morning of June 2nd 2012, a commercially run lake, Euro Aqua in Hungary. I have seen large carp some even pushing forty pounds in Navajo Lake as well as Elephant Butte. There is even a herd of Small Mouth Buffalo staring to repopulate Elephant Butte the best thing is that Buffs will fall to the same baits and presentations just on a smaller scale due to the size of their mouth. Pop Ups are floating boilies that can be fished half an inch off of the bottom to several feet. You can also use both a pop up and a boilie together to create what is called a snowman rig and it actually will stand up like a snowman allowing the bait to be sucked into the carps mouth with ease.


Here is a Snowman Rig notices how half of a Pop Up is balancing the boilie and hook slightly off the bottom this will nail them in the bottom lip all the time and a boilie topped off with a piece of fake sweet corn notice how the hair attached to the hook.

HNV (High Nutritional Value) Boilies

Color also plays a key role in attracting carp, such as a florescent yellow and orange seems to be best. Most of my fish this year have come on an orange Monster Crab Pop Up that I made for myself. Tiger Nuts also known as Chufas is a tuber used here in the states to attract turkeys during hunting season. Also in Spain, it is made into a drink called Horchata, which actually tastes very good. When prepared correctly the Tiger Nut will ooze out a sickly sweet milk that is said to attract only the biggest of carp. Method Mix is a bread crumb/panko/cereal/ground up dry dog food mix that when mixed with water or creamed corn will pack tightly around a lead or method feeder. Adding soaked seeds will give it that extra edge. I am currently using this mix which consists of 2.5 pounds of Panko, 5 pounds of Medium Ground Cracker meal, and 2 pounds of Dark Brown sugar. When you are ready to fish just add in this mix slowly to one can of Creamed Corn, you want the mix to bind tightly allowing you to cast out without it breaking up. If you like you can also add cracked corn to the mix, just make sure as to not add in too much as this will inhibit it from packing tightly. You should have enough for 4 to 5 uses if using one can of creamed corn at a time. This method of fishing being so devastating that it allowed me to win several Carp Round Ups at Elephant Butte out fishing my competition 8 to 1. Maize is also a good option as long as it is prepared correctly; it will take color and flavoring very well. Also being a cost effective alternative to boilies, but not as nutritious. Plastics for carping will come in shapes that resemble sweet corn, maize, boilies, pellets and bread to name a few. Plastics will come in all shades of color and buoyancy from bottom baits to pop up baits. This is very effective if you are fishing a swim that has a lot of crayfish or turtles. These can also be combined with maize or boilies to give your hook bait more of a snowman effect.


CARPE DIEM Father and Son with a nice double! Photograph by: Eddie Flores


CARPE DIEM HOOKS You will need to use strong hooks in sizes ranging from a size 10 up to a size 1 with a wide gape. There are many different types and styles of hooks that will aid in refining your presentation and allowing you to use the most effective setup on any given day, many Euro anglers will tie up to 10 of the same setups. My favorite boilie hooks are the Wacker Classic in size 4 and 2 and the Wacker Anti Snag in size 8 and 6, for Po Up’s it’s the Wacker Chod in size 6. Paul at Wacker Baits will help you out with anything you will need to get you started, you can contact Paul at (708) 450-0305 or online at wackerbaits.com tell him Eddie sent you. LEADS Any type of lead can be used but an inline lead is best as the weight is felt instantly driving the hook into the fishes mouth. Ranging from 1 ounce up to 6 ounces depending on your chosen swim and distances of the fish you are after. Method feeders are specially designed weights that will allow you to mold method mix around it, these to come in different shapes and sizes. HOOK LINK Hook link is just that it is the line that connects the hook to the weight. Generally it is a soft sinking braid that will allow the bait to move freely on the hair. You see in Euro carping the bait is attached on to what is called the hair not directly impaled onto the hook; it is called a hair because an actual hair was used when this method was created. They also use what is called a knotless knot. It is recommended that you loop the hook link around the hook up until it is parallel to the hook point. Another option known as the KD Rig involves looping around the hook 2-3 times then pulling the hair out and looping the link another 4 times this set up will give you a more aggressive hook angle. I love the Wacker Anvil in 25# test it is super soft and supple along with the Snag Proof in 30# and 40# test and Touchdown in 30# test these are all great hook link options. RODS Euro rods are measured in pounds of test curve as in how many pounds it would take to curve the rod over into a 90 degree. This would allow the rod to be soft enough at the tip as to not allow the hook from ripping out of the carp’s mouth. Ranging from 8 feet and up to 14 feet long, the longer rods also allow you to cast baits out as far as 180 yards.


REELS In carp fishing spinning reels are the norm, the preferred type to use is a bait runner type which will allow the carp to take the bait with very little resistance until it is engaged and the fish feels the pull of the drag. Any conventional spinning reel can be used as long as they can accommodate from 150-500 yards of line just loosen the drag and then tighten when the fish is hooked. On some of the European lakes, some anglers will use a small dingy to place baits up to 300 yards away. BITE INDICATION Euro carpers all use an alarm of sorts to indicate a run whether the fish is going away from the rod or towards the rod. These alarms also allow the angler to be awoken from a deep slumber, after hours if not days or weeks on the bank waiting for the catch of a life time. Some of these alarms come with wireless receivers that allow the angler to be up to 100 yards away. The Wacker WS Alarm is a great starter alarm, I have had mine for about four years without any issues and at $24.99 it’s a steal. These are just a few items used in Euro Carp fishing there are far too many to list in just one article. So when it all comes together it looks a little like this.

-Eddie Flores


CARPE DIEM This is a 35lb. Small Mouth Buffalo that we hooked into during competing in the Austin Team Championship; it won biggest buff and a nice purse to boot. Photograph By: Eddie Flores


CARPE DIEM


My best so far this year a twenty eight pound eight ounce Common Carp. Thanks for reading!

Photograph By: Eddie Flores


Muskellu

My

By: Andrew Ragas

24

FishEnchantment.com | Tails of Enchantment | Fall 2013


unge

ystique


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE

Lake of the freshwater sea bordering the United Sta

fishery that is among North America’s be


Woods , a million acre ates and Canada, boasts a muskellunge

est.

“I think I should reconsider this first week of August trip!” exclaimed my expert musky friend and boat captain, Brian Malack after complaining about the unproductive fishing experienced at this time a year ago. After all, he had just experienced a career afternoon on August 4th, 2013 with a trio of 50, 48.5, and 47.5 inch muskies that fell into the bag of my Frabill Conservation series net. “Thanks for providing all of today’s entertainment. It’s been a blast being your net man and filming all of this. I couldn’t agree more!” I concluded.

As most anglers are aware, muskies are the fish of ten thousand casts. It takes up to a full day for some of the very best in our game to connect with the elusive, opportunistic feeding predator. However, it happened to us quicker than imagined in less than 3 hours. After a rough season, Lake of the Woods, along with many other waterbodies in the northern muskellunge range have treated many anglers whom I personally know with an unkind attitude and scrooge-like characteristics. A one-of-a-kind day as experienced by Malack can quickly change one’s angling perspective and mentality. Muskie fishing is 10 percent catching and 90 percent mental. The 21 fish trip we had can positively adjust the mindsets of a muskie fishing tandem. Thanks to this trip, which was undoubtedly the highlight to both of our fishing seasons, Malack and Ragas will be back again next year.


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE


THE TRIP For the second consecutive season, I was picked up by Malack’s F150 with Ranger boat in tow and departed from my home base in Northern Wisconsin for a week of fishing on Lake of the Woods. From August 2 through 10, 2013, our home for the week was Flag Island Resort, located at the Northwest Angle of the lake in the northernmost tip of the continental United States in Minnesota. Operated and managed by Dan Schmidt, Flag Island Resort is an affordable trip that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like most premier fishing getwaways do. They offer everything from cabin rentals, boat rentals, guides and outfitters, dock and boat services, meals, wifi and many more convenient accommodations. The remote location provides serious anglers and outdoorsmen with a convenient location, and a world of endless water, greenery, abundant wildlife and many sought-after gamefish species. To get there, you need to travel through Northcentral Minnesota to the south shores of Lake of the Woods. Pass through the towns of Baudette and Warroad on Rte. 11 where you will then be greeted by border patrol and agents at the Canadian Port of Entry. Have your U.S. passports handy with a smile on your face. When granted access into Canuck Country, take Rte. 12 through Southeast Manitoba into the town of Sprague, cut around the lake on 308, and follow the signs to Angle Inlet, Minnesota. Drop the boat into Youngs Bay, park the vehicle on the mainland for a week, and transport yourselves across water to the resort for your entire week’s trip. The Northwest Angle is the most fertile region of the lake, containing a combination of fast-warming shallower waters and weedy habitats along with deeper basins. The darker, shallower waters of the Angle allow for longer growing seasons, abundant forage and diverse sport fisheries. Fish species that can be enjoyed in the Northwest Angle are muskies, pike, walleyes, smallmouth bass, perch, crappies, whitefish and lake trout.


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE Sunset near the narrows

Photo by: Andrew Ragas

A typical day of muskie fishing on Lake of the Woods begins whenever you choose to set the bedside alarm and wake up. On most days, we’d have our morning coffee and group meal around 9am, and enjoy discussing and analyzing each boat’s strategies. Usually by 10am, we’d be out on the water and fishing our first of many spots for the day. Due to size and acreage (950,000 acres), it takes a while for the lake’s water temperatures to warm and peak for the day following cool nights. It also takes a bit of warmth to get muskies moving and on the feed as most productive hours tend to be anytime from 12 noon until dark. Therefore, and in our experience, it’s best to get a good night’s sleep and begin the day later in the morning as daily water temperatures usually don’t peak until the afternoon hours. Due to its convenient location, many of our favorite fishing regions are located within a 40 minute boat ride from Flag Island. Visiting anglers tend to fish the basins of the nearby Windigo Islands, Bishops Bay and Big Narrows which is about 15 to 30 minutes north. Meanwhile, die-hards, aggressive anglers, and gas burners like us may elect to take longer runs and go farther north or east into the lake’s more remote locations, or south into the big wide open waters of Whitefish Bay. On this trip, Malack and I filled up his Ranger 619vs to the maximum each morning with $5/gal as we’d effortlessly burn through 14-20 gallons on his 2 stroke 200 horse Yamaha Vmax. We ended up fishing almost everywhere and venturing off in every direction within a 30 to 40 mile radius around camp. The cumulative gas bill for the week was a staggering number, but the amount of muskies we encountered and caught along the way of each daily run made the painful aftermath to our bank accounts worthwhile.


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE THE FISHING As Malack and I are Cortland Line wielding anglers, 99% of this trip was dedicated to running and gunning for muskies while the remaining 1% went toward jigging for walleyes and the sustenance of shore lunch. Along the way, we were greeted by dozens of other vicious toothies which included aggressive and abundant 30 to 40+ inch northern pike that were strangely occupying the same spots we were locating our muskies. In 7 ½ days of casting we enjoyed one 6 fish day, and another 5 fish day. Along the way and in between our numbers, we endured two days of getting shut-out. That’s musky fishing for you. The mid-week futility that we experienced can be attributed to the coldfront. However, the two and a half days before and after the coldfront hit the fishing was fantastic, as six fish in the range of 46 to 50 inches were caught. Location is the most important component to muskie fishing. Lake of the Woods is full of muskie-holding areas and they all look good. But here’s the problem: only a few of these areas will consistently produce big fish or any at all. Because of this, it’s best to run and gun on Lake of the Woods, and cover as many spots as possible. Due to its acreage and thousands of islands, covering water on LOTW is a daunting task. There is only so much water and acreage that can be covered per day. However, by breaking down the lake into small sections and sticking with them, then revisiting productive spots you’ve found, and expanding your range from there makes it possible to fish as many as 30 to 40 spots per day which is what we had to do in order to contact fish.


Brian Malack with 50 incher. Photo by: Andrew Ragas


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE

Because LOTW is loaded with an infinite amount of spots that have the possibilities of all containing muskies, certain areas stand out to us more than others. Generally, we look for the following areas to help narrow down the choices for best time management:  Large complexes that contain several smaller spots within (think of the term “spot on a spot”). On our big fish areas for this trip, many of the spots were sizeable rock reefs and fingers extending from islands, containing a combination of weeds or transitions to different bottom substrates such as sand. If it contained saddles, fish were almost always present.  Weedy areas or shallow open pockets near large areas of open water. This is a trick we’ve learned from fishing with Doug Johnson and it’s something we usually keep in mind. Big fish like big water, and bays exposed to deep open water are big fish magnets. Sandy bays and pockets baking in sunlight that contain shallow vegetation deep inside of them were visited often and usually held muskies. These spots were our best producers as a pair of 48 inchers and a number of smaller fish were caught.


Chunky 42, about avg. size for this lake.

Photo by: Brian Malack

 Cabbage – sparse beds and not the thick walled ones: Rusty crayfish have decimated about 99% of Lake of the Woods weedgrowth and it has become a huge cause for concern. Any remaining cabbage beds and “sexual” weeds are high on the list and rare to find, as they attract prey fish followed by muskies. Junkweed is good too, especially in coldfront conditions. I caught a four footer sitting in shallow junkweed during the midst of one coldfront. 

Island complexes near deep open water, and steep drop-offs.

Windblown rock points and island fingers.

Reed beds that give way to depth and rock substrate.

 Random tip: Any stars or asterisk icons on your GPS units are always worth checking out for a quick cast, as these are rock hazards and large boulder fields


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE

Jerkbaits such as the Suick are touchy, and require precise retrieves in orde and jerk cadence is developed. I fish mine with slow to medium retrieves wi rise. Most of my strikes occurred on the pause, which is very typical for all th I learned that the Suick is deadly in a heavy weedbed or dense junkweed. A caught my 48 incher after Malack made his pass by with a fast moving Jr Cow lure into the opening. Two jerks into the retrieve and I got smashed by a fat


er for proper presentation. The more you fish with them, a specific retrieve ith long pumping jerks allowing the bait to dive down a few feet and rapidly he jerkbait fishing I do for other species such as pike and smallmouth bass. buoyant bait that runs straight like this and evades the weeds works well. I wgirl that garnered zero interest. I lined up my open pockets and plopped the and hungry four footer.


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE In Malack’s case, the biggest advantage of being granted the luxury of precious vacation time away from Chicago and fishing LOTW an average of 30 days per year gives him the opportunity to fish many spots like these over and over again. This allows him to pattern fish throughout the summer months, and practice the necessary time management skills for adequately fishing and working each spot. Unless fish are present, 10 to 15 minutes will usually be granted for a typical spot that is either new or has produced fish before. However, spots that have active fish, or multiples of them, will be camped on for up to 3040 minutes at a time. On days I managed the boat control, I elected to camp out on a few spots neither of us had ever fished before and this decision resulted in catching two of our largest fish of the week. In many Canadian waters such as Lake of the Woods, there are many presentations that muskies and other fish have not been yet subjected to. Like every body of water I’ve fished, there are a few techniques and presentations that stand out, and anglers use and continually produce with them. Additionally, with some experimentation, there are also many techniques just as effective that are haven’t been tried and aren’t yet mainstream. As we know, different weather conditions, fish locations, and habitats dictate lure selections. Experienced Lake of the Woods muskie anglers like Malack have an LOTW go-to lure. It is the standby black and nickel bucktail. Fished extensively throughout the week before getting destroyed by muskies and banging over rocks, the Jr. Double Cowgirl by Musky Mayhem Tackle was the #1 producer of big fish for the week. Additionally, downsized throwback lures such as black & nickel Musky Mayhem Showgirls and Shumway Flashers connected with fish too. The Jr. Double Cowgirl features two size 9 magnum blades and produces increased vibration at a slimmed down size for muskies to feel. Malack’s winning combination for the week was a 9 foot St. Croix Legend Tournament Big & Nasty rod, and the big blades were burned back to boatside with a Shimano Trankx reel spooled with 80lb Cortland Spectron. We both theorize that the bait was the perfect size and retrieved at the proper consistently fast speed that triggered both reactionary and figure 8 strikes. The length of rod also aided in boatside strikes with the figure-8 technique as all of Malack’s strikes occurred at least two feet below surface where he said “They couldn’t be seen.” We’ve observed that Lake of the Woods muskies tend to spook less and are more willing to bite the deeper the lure is presented from surface. Rather than visualize strikes, Malack altered his tactics to feel the strikes and blindly play figure-8 fish that wouldn’t be seen by him. In terms of figure 8 fishing, Malack is a closer. He is one of the best musky sticks I’ve fished with. His creativeness with the figure 8 resulted in catching an outstanding 13 muskies for the week.

LOTW has big pike too..... One of the best drive-to destinations for numbers of 30-40 inchers and the occasional giant. The one I pose with here is a fat 43”. Photo by: Brian Malack

My 48" that struck the suick. Photo by: Brian Malack


MUSKELLUNGE MYSTIQUE

FOLLOW FISHING-HEADQUARTERS!

FOR MORE MATERIAL FROM ANDREW RAGAS CHECK OUT HIS SITE

WWW.FISHING-HEADQUARTERS.COM

Unless a pattern has been established I’m not much of a lure changer, but I’m an experimentalist angler when the results aren’t happening. If the LOTW mainstream of black and nickel or walleye isn’t producing, I will experiment with everything I have and throw anything I feel good about. During my first LOTW trip in 2012, I experimented with my custom built walleye pattern flashabou bucktails and they put most of my fish into the boat. On this trip, absolutely none were boated. After experimentation, I recalled a few LOTW presentations I knew how to fish well, and had observed on television and from other anglers in person. I was able to narrow my selections down to a walleye patterned Crazy Crank Rumbler topwater (which was developed on LOTW) that raised and caught fish, and a 10 inch rare original wooden Suick I borrowed from Malack in the Lemonhead pattern. I learned about the Lemonhead during a 2012 summer outing with Doug Johnson as he raised a 52 incher with one on our first spot. Witnessing that paid off in a hurry as most of my 8 fish for the week and during miserable coldfront conditions were caught with it. A like-new bait at the beginning of the week was abused and severely beaten up by muskies and pike by the week’s end. As a professional staff member for Cortland Line Company, one of my favorite tackle trends to both follow and participate in right now is the proliferation and usage of superbraids for muskies. When it comes to smooth effortless casting for 12+ hours per day, and strong hook-ups and landing muskies, Cortland Masterbraid and Spectron are the best things I’ve ever seen and used for this sport. Malack and I had all of our casting rods and reels spooled with an assortment of 65 to 100lb Masterbraid and Spectron. Line is more important to me than rod and reel. Once you start using this stuff, forget it. Nothing else compares. THE FISHERY Lake of the Woods is one of North America’s top musky fishing destinations. As all of my muskie fishing is predominantly centered on the Upper Midwest, Lake of the Woods is by far the best muskie fishery I’ve ever been on. It’s not a painfully long trip to make for a entire week’s fishing: 5 hrs from Central MN, 6 hrs from Duluth, 8hrs from Northern WI, and 15hrs from Chicago.


Outside of specific regions of the Great Lakes system, there are more 50-inch plus muskies residing in this drive-to destination than anywhere else in the world. Most states and Canadian provinces have enhanced fish protection with higher size limits. These regulations have all encouraged voluntary catch and release, and ensure that the big fish will remain in the system (unless tribal netted) for future angling generations to come. The reasons for big fish abundance are largely due to progressive management practices by Minnesota and Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The musky fishing is on the upswing today thanks to a 54 inch size limit and numerous good year classes of fish. According to guides and other anglers, the good old days are presently occurring, for both the sport of musky fishing and LOTW’s self sustaining fishery. Little is known whether the invasive rusty crayfish has affected the spawning cycles, YOY recruitment, and baitfish movements thanks to their destruction in weedbeds, but to us it is a concern. Lake of the Woods is the most traveled fishing destination in North America and continues to become more popular with muskie anglers each year. Despite the number of anglers visiting LOTW on an annual basis, fishing pressure remains light within its 100% wilderness setting. For all of the reasons mentioned, I hope I’ve made this 2013 trip showcase compelling. Make the Northwest Angle of Lake of the Woods a destination for your musky fishing in 2013.

-Andrew Ragas - Special thanks to Flag Island Resort for the lodging+hospitality+friendliness+accommodations, and Cortland Line Company for their continued support.


Double your catch this season

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LET’S GO FISHING Fish Enchantment Guide Service Bluewater Lake| feguides.com |505-264-2999


CAPTURED

The NEW Los Pinos Fly & Tackle Shop is open! If you are looking for a large selection of quality fishing products, look no further! The new Los Pinos Fly & Tackle Shop is located on Washington and Cutler next to the new Caliburs. Stop in and say high, you wont be disappointed! Abu Garcia Volatile Rods are in!

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FALL BROWNIES!! It’s that time of year to get out and chase those Brown Trout but do your best to not disturb spawning fish and not to walk over redds! Taken with a Nikon D80 and 400mm lens at Vermejo Park Ranch. OFF

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TROUT LIVE IN BEAUTIFUL PLACES... It’s only fitting they themselves are colorful species with unique markings and patterns. Take a second to enjoy the markings of your next catch before releasing it. Taken with a Nikon D80 and 400mm lens at Vermejo Park Ranch.

Photograph By: Matt Pelletier


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ALPINE LAKE LOGGERS! Go check out the Blog titled “Journey with a Cause- My First Back Country Trip” at Fish Enchantment to read more about this awesome project we were fortunate to be a part of. Contact your local TU Chapter to see how you can be an asset to the fisheries you love so much. -Photograph By: Matt Pelletier


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GREGG FLORES OF WHERE THE RIVER RUNS LIFTS A PLUMP SAN JUAN RIVER BROWNY If you haven’t fished the San Juan river in a while you should go catch up with this amazing fishery. There’s plenty of hard fighting fish to be caught and they’re sure to put your tackle and patience to the test. -Photograph By: Leonard Calvillo


CAPTURED FILMING IN VERMEJO PARK RANCH

Recently we visited Vermejo for the Elk Rut and Aspen Tour for some amazing filming opportunities. After a session on the water we found these Bison and I asked Doug to get a shot of my monitor screen so you could see what I’m seeing in a picture. This is what he got...

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THE FINAL PUSH! This trout makes a final push hoping to get away from my net and throw a Dynamic Lures HD Trout from it’s mouth. Photo taken with a Nikon D80 and 400mm lens at Vermejo Park Ranch. Photograph By: Doug Manley


YAK HACK

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YAK SAFETY BASICS By SEAN GIFFORD

Welcome to the second installment of Tails of Enchantment’s Yak Hack. Kayak angling is a fun and exciting way to get on the water, and off the bank while avoiding the expenses of a traditional boat (i.e. fuel, registration, maintenance, etc.). However, whether you’re in a john boat, canoe, bass boat or a kayak there is one thing we all need to keep in mind and that’s safety. The safety requirements for a kayak is less than that of a motorized boat, but no less important. I am going to outline some of the requirements for safe kayaking, and some additional things I carry on my kayak for a worse case scenario.

Photographs by: Sean Gifford and Russ Trager


YAK HACK PFD’s First and foremost you need to have a quality personal flotation device (PFD), or life jacket. In a kayak you MUST wear a PFD at all times, so it’s important not to skimp when buying and selecting a PFD. Kayak PFD’s are specifically designed to allow more movement and comfort than a traditional life jacket worn by most motorized boaters. That’s why it’s important to seek out a quality retailer who carries several lines of PFD’s and has the expertise to assist you in finding the one that fits you best. Some of the top kayak PFD makers are Stohlquist, Kokatat, Onyx, and Mustang. Let’s start with the type of PFD I wear on my Hobie Pro Angler 14, which is a Stohlquist manual inflatable PFD. This PFD fits both men and women equally well and allows for excellent movement and keeps you cool due to it’s small sized. The manual inflatable models offer a compact design consisting of two inflatable cambers, which extend down both sides of your torso and behind you neck to ensure face up surfacing in an emergency. The chambers are inflated and deployed by pulling a handle connected to a CO-2 cartridge, which inflates the flotation chambers in about 1 second. This type of PFD can also be deployed manually by blowing into a one-way valve system called a “Mae West” like on an airline. Just an FYI, you should never select an automatic inflation PFD for kayaking. The automatic inflation PFD is activated when it gets wet, and even in a sit-on-top kayak you are likely to get wet from time to time causing the CO-2 to deploy unexpectedly. Next are the high back or low back design that often have specific applications such as fishing or storage. These PFD’s are similar to a traditional PFD used by motorized boaters where the flotation material is made from buoyant foam contained inside a quick drying fabric. As I indicated earlier kayak PFD’s are cut bigger around your arms and shoulders. This design feature keeps you cooler and allows for more movement. The high back and low back PFD design places the rear flotation foam either higher or lower on your back to address your desired comfort. These designs also often have mesh backs to keep you from fighting with the kayak seat. In addition, kayaks PFD’s are specifically designed to ride higher against the front of your mid-section to accommodate being in a seated position. The fishing and storage PFD’s also have large storage pockets for gear like cameras, small binoculars, scissors, snips, fishing pliers, cell phones or other emergency equipment. There are also kayak PFD’s designed specifically to fit women, children and even dogs.

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YAK HACK

Signaling Devices When operating a kayak on the water in New Mexico you must have a signaling device on the kayak at all times. The simplest and least expensive device is a whistle. The whistle I use is from Hobie and is a very visible safety orange color. The whistle clips right on my vest where I can reach it easily in case I need it to get someone’s attention. Another option is small compressed air or aerosol airhorn. There are numerous brands out there, but look for the ones designed specifically to be used on the water. I carry the Falcon Signal model Aqua Blast. This model is 100 % ozone free and is water and rust proof. These horns can be attached to your vest and are an excellent attention getter in case you need assistance, or need to awaken an inattentive jet-skier or boater. Safety Flags, Lights and Rope When operating any vessel in New Mexico in either low light or darkness conditions you must have a white light visible to other boaters. In New Mexico kayaks are not required to have a navigation light (i.e. red and green lights). I use a Visicarbon signal flag and light combination on my Hobie Pro Angler 14. This safety flag and light system offers great visibility in all lighting conditions. The advantages of the Visicarbon is that it has a bright battery powered LED white light at the top of the pole which is switched on by simply twisting the light until it comes on or turns off. It also has a highly visible orange safety flag that can be seen during the day. The Visicarbon flag also attaches to my Pro Angler via a simple mount that sits on the deck at the rear of my kayak. The flag can also be placed in a rear rod holder as the Visicarbon is manufactured with foam at the bottom to help keep it in the rod holder. The other advantage of the Visicarbon is that when not in use it folds up like tent stakes, and the flag becomes a bag to hold everything in a tight little package. You can also use a simple headlamp system or a suction type light like the HydroStar SOS Deluxe that attaches to your kayak’s hull. In addition, in New Mexico you must have a rope or bowline on your kayak in case you need assistance, or need to offer assistance to another boater. I use a Top-Knot line, which is the same length as my kayak. The advantage of Top-Knot is that the line floats unlike regular rope or other bowlines. Plus the Top-Knot comes in lots of colors to match the color of your boat. Other Emergency Essentials I take safety on the water very seriously, so I also carry these other emergency essentials whenever I’m on the water. First is a Hobie Safety Kit, which fits in the Pro Angler’s twist hatch. The kit contains: a first aid kit, signal mirror, water proof flash light, space blanket, waterproof matches, duct tape, utility tool, whistle, gauze, cloth tape and hook removal kit. I also carry a map of the area and body of water I’m going to be fishing. In addition, I always check the weather forecast and let someone know when I’m expected to return. Plus I carry my cell phone, a waterproof/floating VHF radio and a GPS to

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Hobie Safety Kit

VHF Radio

GPS

Air Horn

All products seen here can be found at Zia Kayak Outfitters next time you visit Elephant Butte Lake State Park.

Frogg Toggs

Top-Knot Ropes


YAK HACK

track my current location and the distance I’ve covered. I also wear my Hobie Polarized Sunglasses, which provide excellent protection for my eyes. Plus I always use Bull Frog Mosquito Coast SPF 30 Sunscreen, which is the best water/sweat resistant and bug repellent sunblock on the market in my opinion. Finally, I take plenty of water, extra food, wear a hat or visor, have a change of clothes, and carry my Frogg Toggs rain gear and Chilly Pad to keep me dry and cool. Final Thoughts My last suggestion is to find a quality kayak retailer like Zia Kayak Outfitters in Elephant Butte who can offer the kayak specific equipment you need and has the expertise to ensure you’re outfitted correctly. Kayak safety is pretty simple and relatively inexpensive. Just remember: wear your life jacket at all times, meet all the legal requirements for being on the water, let someone know where you going and when you’ll be back, protect yourself from the elements, be aware of your surroundings and changing conditions, and plan for the worst case scenario and hope you never experience that scenario. Tight lines! -Sean Gifford

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FE JERSEYS COMING SOON!


TIPPING THE SCALES

KEEP MOVING The mother load is out there somewhere If soaking plastics is not your fort aye then your in luck. Fall is prime time for moving baits. This time of year it is all abut covering water. The fish should be starting their fall transition were they begin to abandon their summer haunts in search of shallower waters to feed up for the winter. As temps begin to dip at night, surface temps will start to drop as well. This change will draw bait fish shallow and to the surface with the game fish in hot pursuit. Chucking and winding is a great way to get into some fish. Weather your throwing Jerkbaits, Rattlebaits, or Crankbaits. Spinnerbaits, Swimbaits, or Topwaters. Keep moving. The mother load is out there somewhere and if you can find it, the action will be fast and furious because the feed is on!

One of the main things to keep in mind when you are trying to cover a lot of water in a day of fishing, is to keep yourself in high percentage areas. For this pattern most of your focus should be on major creeks and cuts off the main lake, paying close attention to the points and pockets they contain. Bait fish will make their way to the backs of these pockets and cuts. Your job then becomes being able to locate the actively feeding fish that will no doubt accompany them. Try your best to fish these areas thoroughly, but don't spend too much time in any one spot if you are not getting bites. If the fish are active it shouldn't take to long to find out. If your not getting bites simply move on to the next spot. The idea is that the more places you hit during the course of a day, the more chances you have to connect with active fish. You may fish 10-20 spots with a fish here and there until you come across 1 that has it going on, you just have to keep at it for it to pay off. Flats that are some what close to deeper water, channel swings, or other deeper structure can also be very good this time of year, especially for smallmouth. Look for ones that have isolated pieces of cover, depressions, humps, or rocks ( either scattered or in piles). These features will make them that much better. Now that you know where to concentrate your efforts, you need to be on the look out for surface activity in these areas. Both while your fishing and when you are driving from spot

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to spot. Bait fish flipping on the surface or fish busting are both dead giveaways of active fish that can be caught. One of the best ways to catch these fish is with a topwater bait. A popper or walking style bait is hands down my #1 choice. Jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits can also be very good at catching these fish, but I will usually wait to use them until after the surface activity slows down. They are good at picking off a few extra fish as the school starts to disperse. Mornings are most likely when you will see this scenario, but it is not uncommon to see it happening all day long as the water cools more and more. In between your flurries with feisty topwater fish you will want to be throwing a bait that you can fish effectively at a descent clip. Remember, you are looking for reaction bites from active fish. It is hard to beat crankbait for this type of fishing, but some other good choices are spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, lipless crankbaits, and swimbaits. When fishing these baits, an erratic retrieve with quick jerks and pauses or a lot of stops and starts will usually trigger bites. Once you make your selection, you want to focus your casts on irregularity's or cover on the bank. Also any kind of "edge" you can find. Fish will use these as ambush spots to lie in wait for a meal. Edges are important because the fish will use them to "corral" bait fish to feed more effectively. Edges can be anything from the bank its self, to a sharp break line. The end of a weed patch or the side of a point. Just something the fish can use to push the bait up against. This behavior is part of the reason that paralleling the bank with your casts can be so effective. When it comes to fishing flats the baits I have mentioned are perfect for the job. Fish on the flats are usually active this time of year. When they are up there, they are usually looking for food. Flats are not always super shallow either. They can occur at a variety of depths. Keep this in mind as you work to establish a depth at which the fish are located. Any kind of isolated cover, depressions, humps, channels, scattered rocks or rock piles should hold fish. One of the best ways to find these underwater hot spots, if you don't have side scan sonar, is with a crankbait. A crankbait will let you feel what’s on the bottom. It will tell you where the hard bottom is and where any depth changes occur. Crankbaits are great tools to help you visualize what’s under the water. Not to mention they catch plenty of fish and allow you to cover more water. Lipless crankbaits are another great option ( especially if there is some submerged vegetation ) as they can be worked quickly and are great for triggering the reaction bites you are looking for. Jerkbaits and spinnerbaits are also good choices. A little cloud cover and or wind will really help them excel. A spinnerbait worked quickly with a jerking stop and go retrieve or a jerkbait worked very erratically should put some fish in the boat for you.

Abiquiu Lake 2008

Photograph By: Leah Pelletier


TIPPING THE SCALES I wont get into colors very much as everyone has their own favorites, but I will say that following the normal rule of thumb is a good starting point. The Clearer The Water- The more natural or translucent in color you want your baits to be. ( White, Silver, Ghost, Bait fish patterns ) The Dirtier The Water- The brighter or darker you want your baits to be. ( Gold, Chartreuse, Black, Orange ) Knowing the main forage in the lake your fishing is a huge key to success. This will help you narrow down your choices right off the bat. If it's shad, start with a shad colored bait. If it's perch, start with a perch colored bait. Then try to fine tune it from there with different variations. Also, start with a color you have confidence in, but if its not working don't be afraid to experiment with something new to you. You might just end up adding a new favorite color to your list. As every fisherman knows, there are a ton of different ways to catch fish on a lake at any given point in time. What I have shared with you is just one solid pattern that I have used this time of year to have some great days on the water. This pattern isn't just for bass either. I have caught plenty of pike, white bass, and walleye doing this too and with some of our lakes here in New Mexico coming up a bit recently due to some much needed rain. This pattern has the potential to be really good this fall. So, no matter what your after or how you want to fish for them, more hunters afield means more fish for you. The weather is great and the feed is on! There is no better time to get on the water than right now.

-Shawn Jones

Sebile Bull Crank

Sebile SB Sunfish

Sebile Bull Minnow


Shawn Jones with one of many fish he caught on this fall trip while we were targeting aggressive fish that were willing to eat large jerkbaits at Abiquiu Lake in 2009. Photograph By: Matt Pelletier


GIVING BACK

Cebolla Volunteer Project and BBQ Lunch By Ron Loehman-Conservation Chairman Photo Credits: New Mexico Trout

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June 1st was the date for New Mexico Trout’s annual volunteer project day and BBQ. This year the project location was a spot near where FR 376 passes over the Rio Cebolla in the Jemez District of the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF). Our task was to build vehicle barriers to help close off an old, informal road that has been eroding and contributing to the degradation of the creek and its surrounding meadow. Earlier, SFNF personnel had built a gate across the old road to allow access only by emergency vehicles. We were there to build barriers on either side of the gate to protect a wet meadow that already showed tire tracks from vehicles driving around the gate. About 30 NM Trout members and guests came up for the workday, providing enough volunteers to form three teams. One group used a power auger to dig holes for vertical posts (bollards). Another team repurposed a now redundant buck and pole fence to close off a significant part of the meadow. A third group cleaned up a large number of old campsites and fire rings, as a first step in a SFNF plan to start re-

storing the area to a more natural condition. The group worked hard and by noon everyone was ready to stop for a well deserved lunch from Rudy’s Barbeque. After lunch Chantel Cook, SFNF Fisheries Biologist, thanked the NM Trout volunteers for our conservation work over the years. She remarked that the hours we spent working counted as a significant, in-kind contribution that is a condition for their riparian restoration funding. New Mexico Trout conservation projects have made a significant, cumulative impact on the streams in the Jemez Mountains. As you drive the back roads and fish the Guadalupe, Cebolla, San Antonio, Vacas, and other Jemez streams, you will see evidence of our work over the years. The streams are in better condition because of our efforts. However, drought, higher temperatures, and wildfires are major threats that will require more work from us in the future. The Club sincerely thanks all of you volunteers for your past contributions to our conservation program and asks you to keep up the good work.

JOIN TODAY! www.newmexicotrout.org


FISH SCIENCE

Photograph by: Eric Peterson

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A few months ago Matt asked me to look into the effects of holding fish vertically by the jaw and research scientific evidence that determines this harms the fish. Right away I felt like this is a topic that I should know more about. However, I can’t recall any professor or colleague in the field going into any depth on the subject. I guess it just kind of slipped by me. The countless fishing shows where a big fat bass is hoisted by the jaw for a camera shot and product plug make it seem like the practice is legitimate and safe. When I have fished for and worked with Bass I assumed that this was standard practice and relatively harmless. We have all seen lots of Musky and Pike pics with a hand up underneath the operculum on the lower jaw and near the gills. There are tons of pics out there of Trout held vertically by the jaw, although the garage in the background usually means the fish was not released. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know. In the research, It became clear that fish handling in general is a subject that absolutely needs to be talked about. The research also pointed out Matt’s bias towards his favorite group of fish. So, for this article, we will look into the vertical hold issues and then we will identify some of the other catch and release techniques and species specific evidence that supports them.


FISH SCIENCE To Start with, let’s look at consensus info for the folks fishing for Esox species like Pike and Musky. Yes, this is what Matt’s main question related to. Common practice, although times are changing, has been to grasp the fish by the lower jaw, underneath the operculum (gill cover) and near the gill filaments. The fish is hoisted by one hand and held towards the camera for the glory shot. This is NOT a good way to hold a Musky or Pike if you intend to release the fish. There are several reasons why this is bad form. First, the fish is simply not designed to be in the air hanging by its jaw. Gravity really kicks in when the fish is out of water, and the strain on the tiny connection between the two lower jaws increases with the fish’s size. This is a big concern for fish over 20 lbs. Another factor relates to the muscles around the operculum that facilitate respiration and feeding. If these muscles are stretched or torn, it could render the fish a poor hunter or have an effect on its ability to breathe right. This is also a vulnerable area for soft tissue damage to the gill filaments. If these highly vascularized structures are damaged to the point of bleeding, then post release survival is significantly reduced. Other issues involve stretching or separating vertebrae and causing internal organ damage. I found that Michael Butler did a very good job of interviewing fisheries professionals that work with Esox in his article on the website www.thenextbite.tv . He surveyed folks that specifically work with esox species as well as other biologists working with large fish. At the end of his article, he quotes numerous biologists in their responses to the vertical hold question. The overarching consensus from those guys was to leave the fish in the water the entire time using a stretcher or sling to hold the fish horizontally. If a picture is necessary, then the fish should be held by two hands horizontally and exposed to air for no more than 30 seconds. While there is a lack of specific studies, the piece by Michael butler will offer you more detail and word of mouth experience from esox professionals.

Join NMMI Chapter 59 of Muskies Inc and help us spread the word about proper angling and handeling practices. Be a part of this fishery and give back by joining the club/ non-profit organization today! www.newmexicomuskiesinc.org


NMMI Member Greg Cotton reviving a big tiger muskie before releasing her.

Photograph by: Matt Pelletier


FISH SCIENCE As for Bass, the vertical lip hold is certainly common place. In fact, it’s hard for me to picture them being held any other way. I found a few resources that help with the question, but there isn’t any really hard evidence that I came across. That being said, here are recommendations from a couple of pros that have experience with the problems that may occur when holding a Bass by the jaw incorrectly. First, except for large fish over 5-6 lbs. holding a Bass by the lower jaw vertically is acceptable. However, using one hand to lift the fish by the jaw and turn it horizontal is NOT a good technique. This will open the fish’s mouth beyond normal size and can stretch and tear muscles and connective tissue to the point where the fish can no longer close its mouth correctly. This can have implications for future prey capture and retention. Big Bass may also have internal organ damage and they should always be held by two hands. I found a piece on the website www.mikelongoutdoors. com to be informative. He shows pictures of himself holding big Bass incorrectly in the so called hero shot. This is cool to see as the need to protect fish can outweigh ego and facilitate change. He also gets into his experience with large trophy Bass that can no longer close their mouths fully and has captured under water footage of them missing and losing prey fish as a result. Now that we have addressed some of the vertical hold problems, let’s focus on some of the general information that has been gathered by studies specific to catch and release mortality. The most useful and concise article that I found on this subject was on the website www.wildtroutstreams .org. The piece was written by S.J. Casselman, who works in the fisheries section of the Ontario ministry of natural resources. It is called “Catch and Release Angling: A Review with Guidelines for Proper Fish Handling practices”, and I highly recommend a full read for any interested in this subject. For our purpose, I will skim through the highlights. Please see the article if you are interested in full study citations and details. This review looked at 118 catch and release studies from species of fish worldwide. In total, the studies involved over 120,000 fish and the average mortality for all of the studies combined was 16.2%. If you are like me (which of course you are or you wouldn’t be reading this), this number is scary. Some of the major points are things we know like being very careful to wet our hands when touching fish to reduce our effect on the slime coat or mucous membrane that protects them from pathogens and parasites. Further on this subject, we need to make sure our hands are free of sunscreen and bug repellant or other chemicals that may be on our hands. Catch and release fishing with live bait or even scented bait is not good practice as studies show that fish take these items deeper increasing handling time and bleeding and post release mortality. Bleeding fish have the odds stacked against them and

Photograph by: Doug Manley


should be handled with the utmost care or kept for dinner if heavy bleeding is occurring. The blood in fish will coagulate faster in water, so keep them in the water while you determine if it should be kept. One study found that Cutthroat trout with heavy bleeding had up to 52% mortality. Another study for Rainbow Trout showed a 16% to 40% mortality depending on the intensity of bleeding. Barbless Circle hooks are the best for quickly releasing fish. Another interesting study showed that the effects of depressurization from pulling fish quickly from depth led to increased mortality. This study mentioned 5-6 m or 20 feet as the limit before depressurization can be harmful. It also mentioned that certain fish like trout, carp, and esox can handle it better because they have a duct that connects the swim bladder to the alimentary canal allowing for quicker buoyancy adjustments. Bass, Walleye, and Perch do not have the duct and are more vulnerable. Water temperature certainly plays a role in survival of released fish as most of us know. Cutthroat mortality increased from 0 to 8.6% from 8째C to 16째C (46.4째F-60.8째F). Another study found air temp increased mortality in Striped Bass. Air exposure times are a biggie. A Rainbow Trout study chased fish around for ten minutes. Survival was 88% for this stress alone. The survival rate dropped to 62% if they were held out of water for 30 seconds and 28% for a minute. These studies and other information gathered and compiled by conscientious anglers show that threats to survival from catch and release fishing are a concern amongst fisherman across all kinds of species and techniques. Sharing this information is crucial to changing bad habits and creating awareness amongst our fellow fish heads. Thanks for reading.

-Kevin Terry Photograph by: Eric Peterson

Hold fish in the water until the camera is ready!


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A fat rainbow trout that choked a Dynamic Lures HD Trout while fishing Vermejo Park Ranch!

Thank you for Reading the Fall SUPER Issue of Tails of Enchantment! Upcoming Winter Issue Available: December 24th 2013


Tails of Enchantment SUPER ISSUE Fall 2013: Fishing New Mexico