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Private Fishing Water, Fly Fishing Ranches and Fly Fishing 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.A guided trip on any of the spots often becomes 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. To see the rod fee costs for every private water we fish, please go to the Fishing Trips & Rates Page.
Corkins on the BrazosLocated at the end of the road that runs up the Brazos River and directly under the Brazos cliffs, Corkins offers anglers the easiest access to the upper part of this amazing stretch of water. The further up-river you go the wilder it gets as there is no road access beyond Corkins. This section of the river is primarily large pocket water with deep pools and runs that hold amazing numbers of good sized rainbows and browns. The fishing is good throughout spring, summer and fall with July through early October typically being the best months to go. Smaller mayfly and stonefly nymphs always work but in the summer and fall the dry fly fishing is some of the best in our area. We have had days here where all you need is a small hopper or caddis pattern to land incredible numbers of fish on surface. In the fall the brown trout really turn on and there is a good chance of landing a few real beauties on any given day. The views are absolutely spectacular offering the quintessential Rocky Mountain fly fishing experience. This spot can have somewhat limited availability so please try to book your trip a bit in advance.
Canones Creek RanchThe Canones Creek Ranch offers an amazing section of the Chama River, just south of town. Having almost two miles of river with excellent stream improvements and two small ponds, it is truly the gem of the Chama valley. This ranch is in the freestone section of the river so it has good hatches from the end of snow-melt well into the fall - dry fly fishing is always a great option here. Over our years of guiding this property we have had excellent dry dropper fishing in the fall and also success stripping streamers in the deep pools of the ranch through the whole season. It is easy to wade and maneuver along the river with a foot bridge in the middle of the property that enables anglers to access both sides of the river, even at higher flows. Near the bridge, next to one of the ponds, there is a covered “pavilion” to sit under and get out of the sun while eating lunch or gearing up for a day of fishing. The ponds on the ranch hold some healthy fish that lurk in the depths, waiting to slam a streamer or cruise the edges looking to eat an errant hopper. It is a fun combination to be able to fish both of the lakes and river in the same day. For novice to seasoned anglers, this property has some if the best and consistently good fishing to be found in our area.
Cow Creek RanchCow Creek Ranch has an incredibly productive trout stream (Cow Creek itself) that meanders for 3.5 miles through an alpine valley along with seven high mountain lakes - both the stream and the lakes offer anglers some of the largest trout and finest fly fishing to be had anywhere in the West. Cow Creek has been professionally enhanced to provide dozens of pools that support trout that average 16 to 20+ inches in length. The lower section of the stream produces mostly larger browns and rainbow and the upper stretch has a good population of brook trout and some pure strain Rio Grande Cutthroats; how about a northern New Mexico trout “grand slam”? The lakes allow and angler to target some truly giant trout, often with the opportunity to site cast to these brutes with dry flies. The rich aquatic insect base in the both the stream and the lakes keep the fish fat and healthy. As well, the ranch carefully monitors the number of anglers that fish on the property throughout the season so that the trout are never overly pressured or stressed. Located at 8,500 feet and surrounded by National Forest land at the edge of the Pecos Wilderness, this ranch is amazingly wild but still only an hour drive from Santa Fe. Cow Creek Ranch is available for both day trips and all-inclusive, multi-day overnight packages. For more information on these packages, check out this page of our website: Fishing Packages
The MK RanchLocated on the upper reaches of 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 upstream end of the 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 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 Shahan RanchLocated about 6 miles upstream from the town of Chromo, Colorado on the Navajo River, the Shahan Ranch offers 2 miles of great private water. This section of the river flows through the river valley in a beautiful meadow of lush grasses and wildflowers. As you look to the North from the ranch you will see the Navajo Peaks and as you look up the river valley, you’ll see Banded Peaks off in the distance. This stretch of river has some great pools along with lots of deep runs and riffles. It is home to a plethora of rainbows and browns, many in the 16 to 18 inch size range. Nymphing works very well throughout the season and, in the summer and early fall, the dry fly fishing can be awesome - caddis, large drakes and hopper patterns often bring aggressive strikes on the surface. This section of the Navajo River is very easy to access from the road with easy wading. Like the MK ranch, the Shahan is a fairly long drive from the Santa Fe area. It is worth considering spending a night or two in the Chama area, with either the Juniper Cabin or the Quinlan Ranch being a great option.
The Bar X Bar RanchThe 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.