What a difference a year makes!
At this time last year, the Carson National Forest (in which Taos Ski Valley
is nestled) was days away from closing due to a lack of precipitation that created extreme fire danger and reduced local rivers to a mere trickle.
This year, a series of non-stop storms that ran into late May have dropped snowflakes up high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
and provided welcome rain down low. This life-sustaining moisture has created snowpack that even now covers the popular Williams Lake Hiking Trail
and feeds racing, trout-filled streams and rivers as well as miles of green, flowering desert as far as the eye can see.
The local flora and fauna are thriving, making it the best possible time to drop in for a fly fishing
or other outdoor adventures
Yes, Taos Ski Valley and environs are a well-kept secret among anglers. Not only are there four main species of trout in northern New Mexico
—Rio Grande Cutthroat, Brown, Rainbow, and Brook—but one doesn’t need to rub elbows with a horde of others looking for the perfect rock or riverbank.
In fact, you’ll blink twice when you see the number of empty, secluded nooks next to the gurgling, glistening waters of the Rio Hondo/Hondo River, which originates in Taos Ski Valley and runs alongside the highway that brings you here. In the ski valley you will find a slew of lodging
, and shopping
options all within spitting distance of the Rio Hondo (as well as other streams and lakes) plus access to other outdoor activities including hiking
, and horse and llama trekking
up New Mexico’s tallest peaks through groves of towering aspen and evergreens.
That said, if fishing
is the focus, hiring a guide is the key to finding the best spots
Whether you're a novice fly fisher or someone who can bait a hook in your sleep, you can get valuable local insight as well as gear from the Solitary Angler, Cutthroat Fly Fishing,
or other Taos-based guides. Cutthroat
has 30 years of expertise in helping first timers learn simple casting and fishing techniques that help increase their chances of reeling in a trout on Day 1. The Solitary Angler
, which is open all seasons, offers local fishing as well as half or whole day trips beyond Taos Ski Valley including to blue-ribbon private streams reserved for customers only.
No matter who you choose, you can't go wrong having a seasoned fisherman show you the watery side of the high-desert Land of Enchantment, whether at Taos Ski Valley or downstream on the Rio Grande, Chama, or other rivers.
And that’s no fish tale.