Local Author Pens Fly Fishing Novel 

Santa Fe novelist, John Nichols, has published his latest book, The Annual Big Arsenic Fishing Contest!, which is set in the Big Arsenic Springs of the Wild River segment of the Rio Grande above Questa. Nichols has fished up and down the river for about 40 years, from Pilar to the Wild River section, and his story has rich and poetic descriptions of this section of the river. This novella is about middle-age male bonding, about the love of fly fishing and about the love of New Mexico. The contest in the title is an at times friendly, at times cutthroat, trout fishing competition among three buddies, which begins as a boisterous story and evolves into an allegory with tragic overtones.

Nichols is best-known as the author of the 1974 classic novel The Milagro Beanfield War.

Link to book on Amazon.

Cimarron River Spill

A diesel tanker truck overturned on 27 December, spilling hundreds of gallons of fuel into the Cimarron river near Eagle Nest. New Mexico Environment Department and Game and Fish Department assisted in the cleanup, using absorbent booms to stem the downstream flow of the contaminant, and allowing the fuel to be pumped from the river. Four days later, authorities reported that the spill had been cleaned up, but that monitoring of the river would continue for several months.

Link to ABQ Journal article.

New Signs for Rio Jemez

After the stream improvements accomplished by NMT on Rio Jemez were vandalized this summer, NMT worked with the Santa Fe National Forest and NM Game and Fish Department to have eight signs installed along the river that help educate the public on the importance of the streamside vegetation and unrestricted river flow in creating and maintaining suitable habitat for trout.

Link to last year’s project.

Rio Chama Catch and Release Regulations Approved

Ron Loehman, Conservation Chairman

The New Mexico Game and Fish Commission (NMG&F) approved catch and release regulations on a portion of the Rio Chama at its November 17, 2016 meeting in Grants. The new regulation, as written by NM Game and Fish Department staff, applies to a three-mile stretch of the Chama that starts 1.3 miles below the El Vado dam. That 1.3-mile part was left out of the proposal because it includes the Coopers El Vado Ranch and areas upstream that are extremely popular with some locals and who were vocal in their desire to continue catch-and-keep fishing on the Chama.

The approval of any catch and release water on the Chama was due in large part to the dedicated, tireless efforts of Noah Parker over several years. Noah owns Land of Enchantment Guides and is a long time supporter of New Mexico Trout. At the Grants meeting the Game and Fish Department staff initially proposed that the Commission delay approval of the Department’s own proposal pending holding more public hearings on the issue. After a number of statements by supporters and lots of discussion among the Commissioners the catch and release proposal seemed to be stalled, with the possibility that the NMG&F Department request for a delay might be approved. Noah asked to address the Commission and delivered an impassioned defense of the catch and release regulations while calling attention to the many hundreds of petitions, letters, and other expressions of support that he had solicited and delivered to the Commission. That seemed to sway the Commissioners and shortly afterwards they voted to approve the new regulation.

Catch and keep regulations will still apply to the area below the El Vado dam that is easily accessible by vehicle. However, anglers willing to walk a moderate distance downstream should have the opportunity for larger, stream-bred trout, similar to the case with the San Juan tailwater below Navajo Dam.

New Mexico Trout has written the NMG&F Department offering to support them in any of their efforts to educate the public about the new regulations or to otherwise implement them.

Link to minutes of NMG&F November meeting.

Photograph of the Rio Chama overlook, clipped from Pinterest.

New! We have a Meetup Group!

Members have long-requested a means of setting up informal discussions and small fishing trips. We’ve tried a couple of discussion boards on the website, and it it hasn’t worked for most of you.

Our newest venture is Meetup – a social media service that we think you’ll be likely to use. Check it out here.

Although it looks just like a public calendar of meetings, it is much more.  To utilize its full capabilities, do the following:

  1. Click join us. If you do not have a Meetup login name and password, you will be guided through the process.
  2. Check you email inbox for messages about meeting and discussions. You can turn this feature off if it get annoying.
  3. Download the app for your smartphone.
  4. Browse through the hundreds of meet ups, by location or topic.

If you are logged in, you can leave a comment below. Otherwise, join the Meetup group and start a discussion there.

December General Meeting – December 13

At the September general meeting a new projector and an old laptop computer found out they were not compatible. Therefore the presentation that Jerry gave on winter time flat water fly fishing places was given without the benefit of slides. The December meeting will feature the presentation with slides. We have resolved the problem between the two devices.

Also at the December meeting we will have the drawing for the bamboo rod. There still are some blank spaces on the on the raffle board and we will be selling those at both the November and December general meetings. If you have not gotten in on the raffle, you will have two more opportunities to do so. The rod is going to be a great Christmas present for some lucky winner.