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Private Fishing Water, Fly Fishing Ranches and Lodges
For those who may want a more exclusive fly fishing experience, we do trips on private water and at a few select fly fishing lodges and ranches in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado.These guided trips often become one of a fly fisherman's most memorable experiences. Along with beauty and seclusion, private fly fishing ranches and lodges usually offer an angler the best chances at catching and landing trophy sized fish. Each location has a different rod fee per angler, which will be added onto the cost of the trip. See the Fishing Trips & Rates Page.
The Abeyta Ranch ~ Canon Bonito
Known as the Abeyta Ranch or the Canon Bonito water, this 2.5 mile stretch of the Conejos River in southern Colorado has great pools and runs which are inhabited by many large native browns and rainbows. Located just across the state line from New Mexico, the ranch is on one of the best and most accessible stretches of Conejos. It is easy wading and there has been a large amount of stream improvement done, creating some superb holding water. There are lots of really nice browns and a fair number of larger rainbows throughout the ranch's water. The Conejos is known for its green drake and stonefly hatches and, if you are lucky enough to be there when one is happening, you stand the chance of getting into some great dry fly action. The landscape is beautiful. This section of the river flows through open meadows with hills and cliffs off in the distance. Slightly less than a 2 hour drive from Santa Fe, the Abeyta Ranch is a great place to have a whole section of the Conejos to yourself.
The Quinlan Ranch
Located just west of Chama and south of Rancho del Oso Pardo the ranch is adjacent to the renowned, state-owned Edward Sargent Wildlife Area. It is a rich alpine wilderness at the intersection of multiple ecosystems - one-third forest, one-third scrub oak and one-third meadow. There are 4 ponds on the Quinlan ranch's 17,000 acres (yes, that is correct, seventeen thousand acres!). Each one is full of large fish - mostly rainbows, with some of the ponds having browns and Snake River cutthroats as well. The largest pond is over 5 acres with the others ranging in size down to about 1 acre. The ponds are in open meadow areas so anglers can easily fish from the shore without worrying about trees to hang up a back cast. Boats are also available for our use. The Quinlan Ranch is centrally located near many of the best fly fishing streams and rivers in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Anglers can do a day trip just to fish the ranches ponds or take advantage of the ranch's great meals and accommodations and use it as a base for a multi-day fishing adventure. Please check out the Fishing Packages page for more information on overnight and multi-day trips at the Quinlan Ranch.
The MK Ranch
Located on the Navajo River just across the border into southern Colorado, the MK Ranch has about 3 miles of the prettiest fly fishing water in the West. The landscape and the views are absolutely incredible. The Navajo flows southwest out of the San Juan mountains into a beautiful valley. The MK Ranch is located near the upper end of this valley with the mountains and San Juan wilderness off to the east. The river is full of good sized wild browns and rainbows with many in the 16 to 20 inch size range. Under the right conditions, they are voracious eaters. There are incredible numbers of cased caddis covering the rocks and these are a primary food source for the fish. Many different types of both wet and dry caddis fly patterns are effective. From mid-summer into early fall, large grasshopper and terrestrial dry flies often induce crashing hits on the surface from the bigger fish. The fall is beautiful on the MK Ranch with the aspen's and cottonwood's leaves turning gold against the dark green of the conifers. This is also when the biggest browns are thinking about spawning and become very aggressive. The ranch is a fairly long drive from the Santa Fe area (about 2.5 hours) but it is well worth the trip. Another option is to stay in the Chama area or at the Quinlan Ranch and combine a day on the MK ranch along with fishing on one of the other locations in the area for a second day.
The Bar X Bar Ranch
The Bar X Bar offers anglers a very wild fishing location at the southern tip of The Rockies, but still within a one hour drive from the plaza in Santa Fe. Located east of the city surrounded by the Santa Fe National Forest, this 5,000 acre private ranch has incredible fishing, in a beautiful high alpine setting, with lots of wildlife to be seen as an added bonus. There are five small lakes situated throughout the length of the 600 acre Manzanares Valley. Because these lakes are in the valley's meadows, access is easy and they are full of large rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. Along with the five lakes, the Bar X Bar has one mile of private water on Cow Creek and private access to Cow Creek Falls and the box canyon section of the stream. This section of Cow Creek has some of the best of small stream, wild trout fishing in the area. Lunkers in the lakes or wild fish in Cow Creek - the ranch offers the best of two completely different types of fly fishing waters. Along with being available for an easy day trip from Santa Fe, the Bar X Bar has a wonderful lodge building which is available for larger group trips and multi-day fishing retreats. Typically the fishing on the ranch starts to get good sometime in early April and runs through the late fall.
The Brazos River Ranch
The 3.7 mile stretch of the Brazos River that runs through this ranch offers the best dry fly fishing in New Mexico and perhaps one of the best all-round wild trout fisheries in the Southwest. At an elevation of 10,000 feet, this part of the Brazos runs through a gigantic and breathtaking, open alpine meadow. Casting is not a problem as there are no trees along the banks. The river is packed with trout offering an angler the chance to catch large wild rainbows, all sizes of brook trout, cutthroats and cuttbows. There are also a couple of smaller streams flowing into the river which have the most brook trout we have ever seen in any stretch of water. Often they will collide with one another trying to get to your flies. Along with great fishing and incredible beauty, the Brazos River Ranch has a very large elk herd, lots of bald and golden eagles, tons of deer as well as many other types of wildlife. We recommend that you consider staying over for at least 1~2 nights. There are nice cabins and gourmet meals provided. If you can only do a day-trip, it makes for a long day, but well worth it. Please check out the Fishing Packages page for more information on overnight and multi-day trips at Brazos River Ranch.
Cimarroncita Historic Ranch Retreat
With one of the healthiest wild brown trout populations in New Mexico, the Cimarroncita waters offer some of the finest private fly fishing in the Southwest. The large amounts of fish are sustained by an incredibly diverse group of insects that inhabit the river. Throughout the fishing season, there are at least five different stonefly hatches, eleven different caddis hatches and countless individual mayfly hatches. These aquatic insects, coupled with a host of different terrestrials living on the riverbanks, make this section of the Cimarron River a premier dry fly fishery. The prolific amount of food available for the fish, along with good river management practices, has created a very large size range of trout. The ranch's almost 2 mile stretch of the Cimarroncita (part of the famous "Dream Waters") offers a variety of fishing environments including open meadow stretches to areas shaded by alders, ponderosa pine and cottonwood trees. Averaging ten to fifteen feet wide, a great variety of fishing water is available. There are riffle sections, deep runs, bend pools, undercut banks, a spring creek tributary and many channel braids - all with easy wading and casting. Daytrip fishing is available throughout the spring and fall. From June 1st through September 30th the Cimarroncita Ranch offers excellent food and lodging along with their superb fishing.