Jicarilla Fishing Blog

26 Nov 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

26 Nov 2014

Howdy,

Not much to report as far as fishing activity, the weather has been cold and the lakes are slowly starting to show signs of winter. Sheet Ice is not melting in the shallow coves on Stone and Mundo. It shouldn’t be long before ice fishing season starts. As long as no unforeseen heat waves come through.

The river has shelf ice forming in the northern exposures and around most of the boulders. It will not be to long before it is frozen over for the season. Please do not wander on the frozen river, no matter how thick it appears to be. To call this highly unsafe, is a major understatement.

Hope all of you have a happy holiday, as for me, I’m dreaming of warmer weather, dry flies, and wet wading, alas this will have to wait till next fall.

Jacob

19 November 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

19 November 2014

Howdy Fish Fans,

It’s getting cold here on the Jicarilla, now before you start packing up your ice sled; it’s not that cold yet. But our night time temperatures have been in the 10-11 degree range.  Sheet ice is present around the lake edges in the morning, but it usually melted by late morning.

As the temperatures drop the fishing pressure has subsided, though fishermen have been catching trout from the docks at Mundo as well as from float tubes the last few weeks with regularity. Anglers have been landing rainbow trout in the 11-16” range on everything from powerbait to swimming nymphs, wooly buggers and just about everything in-between.  Here are a few pictures from the last couple weeks.

One angler reporting fishing the Navajo River last week and said fishing was slow with only one brown trout landed. I imagine there still is some time left to fish the river before winter fully sets in, but those days are numbered.

Just so everyone who got excited about the ice starting to form is kept on the edge of their seats…

January 17th 2015 is the tentative date for the 9th Annual Jicarilla Ice Derby. Not all of the arrangements have been made and this date obviously is subject to ice conditions, but it is firmly written in pencil on my calendar.   This year we have an awesome assortment of prizes( as normal), but we went with some new and exciting things like Grizzly Coolers, Cash,  bait casting musky rod, door prizes, and much more.

We also will be selling raffle tickets at the prize ceremony. Up for raffle will be a iPad Mini, as well as a Full day guided trip to Chama Land & Cattle for trophy trout and Rio Grande Cutthroat trout for two guests to be booked summer of 2015. This guided trip is valued at $920.00 and allows you and your fishing partner access to the most exclusive reaches on the Jicarilla Apache Nation for a day. All proceeds from the Derby and Raffle go to stocking trout on the Jicarilla.

 

Just a little announcement to wet your winter time fishing palette, keep checking in as the 9th annual Ice Derby is finalized further.

Hope this reaches you in good health and spirits.

 

Jacob

November 3rd 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Monday, November 03, 2014

November 3rd 2014

Howdy ,

Well as anticipated anglers have been enjoying themselves at Mundo with some having forty fish days of catch and release with others capturing there bag limit with 18” plus sized trout.  I have not heard of anyone catching a ten pounder yet, but have seen multiple 3-6 pounders come out. Attached you will find some pictures of happy anglers and their catches.

The fish crew conducted its annual Stone Lake gill net survey last week. Due to the low water level the crew has been launching its sixteen foot jon boat directly north (3 feet north) of the east boat ramp.  By no means is this optimal but it seems to be working, be careful not to back in to close as the shore line is quite soft.  An angler also informed me there is a submerged barrel near this put in, and it could become entangled in your wheels. The fish crew will try to remove this debris as soon as possible.  We also have extended the south boat ramp 16’, but due to the receding water level, this ramp is not useable at this time. With the extension as soon as the water level rises, the ramp should be 100%.

As many of you who fish Stone regularly know, the lake has been hit incredibly hard by 15 years of drought with the last four years being the worst snow pack of the drought. Water levels are the lowest they have ever been according to Dulce residents. Conditions will not improve without ample snowfall. The fall 2014 gill net surveys indicated a decline in trout population with catch per unit effort (CPUE) below the desired 1.5 trout and hour.  The lake still has trophy trout as indicated by the large trout sampled last week (24” was the largest and multiple solid fat 18’s), there just are not as many as we would hope.  Due to low water, temperatures, especially in the summer have started to climb to what I refer to as a trout’s “discomfort zone”. When trout are subjected to their discomfort zone for extended periods of time, stress is the main problem to arise.  Stress can lead to reduced growth rates, disease, or in extreme cases death. Stress like many human health problems manifests itself more easily in the young and old, while middle aged fish are the strongest and last to fall victim to stress induced problems. With stress effecting young fish, recruitment of small age 0+ stocked fish may be less than desirable. Understand there are fish in the lake, but with reduced density and ample food, fishing will be more difficult than normal (and Stone has not been known as an easy lake). Please take this into consideration if planning a trip.

There is no evidence of a large scale summer kill event, but summer and winter kill events become more likely when water levels drop.

The fish crew conducted a civil engineering project to the “inlet” of the lake also known as Elk Stream.  The projects purpose was to give water and easy run into the lake when it does snow or rain. These projects which we will expand upon in the future only are successful if there is precipitation to runoff.

As always send questions to jicarillafishqs@gmail.com and I will respond as quickly as possible. For most this means the same day, but usually I cannot respond to e-mails over the weekend, as I like to fish a little myself.

Jacob.

 

29 October 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Wednesday, October 29, 2014

29 October 2014

Fish Fans,

Just a little update mid-week. Mundo has been fishing excellent as anticipated. One angler caught 52 fish last Friday, everything from bass and bluegill to a beautiful rainbow trout (see photos below). The angler and his family enjoyed good fishing, and as a long time angler of the Jicarilla he was pleasantly surprised at their good fortunes.

The Fish Crew will be stocking Mundo one more time this season so be prepared for a great fall/winter fishing season.

Anglers have been enjoying the amazing fall weather and the good action at Mundo, while sadly no one has, that I’m aware of ventured to the river to stalk brown trout…

As always for questions, comments, or concerns please e-mail me a jicarillafishqs@gmail.com

If I don't see you before hand, Happy Halloween!

J.

24 October 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Friday, October 24, 2014

24 October 2014

Fish Fans,

I fell ill with the Super Flu this week and have been out of commission, to the point where watching TV was too much effort.  But For the loyal readers, despite doctors orders I came into the office with a handful of colrox wipes and a facemask (not really) to give you guys the recent updates.

The first round a Mundo Lake stocking was completed last week as mentioned in previous posts large bodied rainbow trout were stocked from catchable 11” fish all the way up to 10 pounders.  Though it was impossible to net all the biggest fish for a quick camera shot I have attached a few photos of some of the nicer and one unique fish for you viewing pleasure.  We were hoping the kids could model off the 5-8 pounders but they were too much for them to hold still, long enough for a photo. So you get my ugly mug.

Sampling on the Navajo River wrapped up this week. With me on my presumed death bed the better two thirds of the Fisheries Crew Rosenburg Tafoya took the lead and made sure the goals were accomplished.  I have not had a chance to enter data and review locations of fish as of yet.

Notes of nice brown trout in deeper runs and pools were taken and even a few fish close to spawning condition. It appeared to be maybe a little early for full spawning mode in the sites sampled. That means if you have not had a chance to come streamer or spinner fish the river this year, it is not too late. She is running beautiful with about 30cm of visibility and at 40cfs. Sculpin patterns would be my go too this time of year even in fire tiger but of course the classic browns and olives should produce.

Due to my illness and the river sampling the fisheries crew has not yet conducted its gill net survey.  I am hoping on doctor’s order to be able to start surveying on Monday the 27th.

 

Also, when out at Mundo you may notice the construction of a large pavilion structure, which has been a joint project between Jicarilla Construction Department and Jicarilla Game and Fish.  Please enjoy once completed and report all suspicious activity or vandalism to Dulce Police Department or JicarilGame and Fish Law Enforcement Division.

 

Sadly as soon as the concrete was poured some girls though it would be nice to put their hand prints and names in the slab multiple times.  It builds character I guess, but looks like vandalism to me…

 

Go fishing.

 

J.

October 9th 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Thursday, October 09, 2014

9TH October 2014

Howdy Fish Fans,

Reports have been trickling in but barely noticeable, while e-mails and calls have been coming in buckets.

Updates:

Mundo: Has been fishing slow with catfish and bluegill moving deep with the colder weather. The bass bite which was excellent up until the last week or so but has also slowed with the fall temperatures. The trout fishing is about to get a lot hotter as we are stocking fish in the next few weeks. It has been confirmed we are stocking approximately 3200 sub-catchable rainbow trout and another approximate 2800lbs of 11”-25” fish some up to ten pounds. That’s right a few monsters are going to be stocked as well as ample catchable 2-4 pounders. After this stocking I for see great fishing this fall and hopefully weather permitting an excellent ice season.

Stone Lake: No new reports to mention, water is incredibly low and both boat ramps are currently dry. The department has been launching its 16’ jon boat from shore on the east side near the ramp.  We will be extending the south ramp while the lake is low in hopes of having it 100% when the water rises.  Snow would really be awesome this year, my fingers are crossed that the drought will loosen its grip this season.  The lake will be stocked this fall with its normal healthy dose of sub-catchable trout. The department will also be conducting a gill net survey in the lake next week to gauge growth rates as well as conduct a trout population estimate.

Navajo River: The River is currently flowing at 32cfs and was running clear, though today’s rains may play havoc on turbidity. Rains always play havoc on the access road (j-9) and caution should be taken as rock, mud and ruts make navigation a little more tricky after storms. Fishing for brown trout is the name of the game this time of year.  The Fish Crew will be conducting its fall sampling trip on the river Oct 20-23rd and fishermen should be aware that areas sampled will not fish well for a day or so surrounding the survey. If you are on the river you are more than welcome to come say hello but please yield right of way to the sampling crew.

 

Hopefully with all the fishermen sending me e-mails that there will be more to report in the next few weeks, if anything we should have some excellent pictures for the upcoming sampling events.

 

Jacob.

September 25th 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Thursday, September 25, 2014

25 September 2014

Fish Fans,

With hunting season in full swing here on the Jicarilla things have been a bit on the busy side. As a few of you know I was out of the office the last couple of days on personal stream research days, fish were caught and dirt roads driven. I believe I have responded to all e-mails and voice-mails, If you have pressing questions e-mail is usually the best, as this time of year I’m in the field quite a bit. I respond as quickly as I can to voice mails.

Many folks are still reporting excellent warm water fishing at Mundo Lake with wooly buggers catching all species except tiger musky.  The lake has been light on anglers and I even managed a day of fishing in the canoe all by myself until late in the afternoon when two float tubers arrived.  Though the bass bite was a bit slower than I would have liked (of course if my arm isn’t sore, I like all other anglers think it could have been better) I did manage a few in the 2lbs range as well as four or five more in the 1lbs range. All my bass were caught on large baitfish imitations in bluegill-ish colorations.

Stone Lake had its first anglers of the fall and they reported a skunk, though high summer like temperatures and clear skies with bright direct sunlight did little to help their chances. I have been meaning to make the trip out to Stone, but have not been able to fit it in. I’m just waiting for the perfect rainy overcast day to do it now…

The Navajo river is running low and clear, this of course can change with rain, but today it looks awesome. Some anglers last week reported catching many small browns in the 10-12” range and one larger specimen that spit the hook after a long downstream run. October last year, when sampling many large fish were captured that were in the process of or just completed spawning, so the next month and a half should provide excellent streamer or Rapala fishing. I have had good luck with rainbow trout colored countdown style Rapalas as well as sculpin and clouser minnow imitations.

 

As always hopefully your fishing proves successful,

 

Jacob

9 September 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, September 09, 2014

9 September 2014

Howdy folks,

I guess the hunting bug has once again swept the Northern New Mexico contingent into the woods and off my favorite fishing holes. Fishing reports have slowed to a tepid pace and most people I have spoken with end their reasoning for not fishing with “ As soon as I bag this bull, I’ll try and get out there…”.

Obviously many sportsmen and women sometimes spilt their free time between two passions, but missing out on fall fishing is just not an option in my eyes.  For those of you who are dedicated anglers you will find the honey holes on the Navajo River, Stone Lake, & Mundo Lake free of all but the most serious anglers for the next few months.

Since I do not have much to report from anglers, I’d like to take this time to give an update on some of the fish crew’s projects and upcoming events.

-          Two weeks ago the fish crew started a new aquatic vegetation control program in Mundo Lake. If this project is successful we hope to move it to Stone Lake in the spring of 2015.

-          The Fish crew along with Jicarilla Construction Department are currently building a new picnic area at Mundo Lake which should provide an excellent location for picnics and large group BBQ’s just 25 yards south of the spillway parking area. Expected completion of the picnic pavilion is mid-October 2014.

-          This week the fish crew is setting fyke nets in Mundo Lake to survey fish abundance and health. These nets will also allow the crew to reduce numbers of over populated channel catfish; the goal is to keep the population in check since there is limited take from anglers currently. Please do not disturb nets.

-          Obviously we have the 9th annual ice fishing derby coming up this winter. There will be some new prize categories, changes in some rules and protocols, and most likely a ton of fun as per usual. If you or your organization would like to donate to this year’s event please call or me send an e-mail at your earliest convenience.  The fish crew has started gathering prizes and planning this upcoming event and hope to have a flier out and it posted on the website as soon as possible.

-          The fish crew is preparing to stock the Jicarilla Lakes this fall with its normal sub-catchable rainbow trout as well as ample loads of catchable-plus (12”-20”) sized rainbow trout which we are able to purchase with the new fish funds which were incorporated into permit sales in 2014.  I will keep you all aware of these stockings as they come up. The fish crew is currently awaiting perfect water conditions as well as scheduling deliveries etc. I would anticipate late October or early November these stockings will start.

 That’s a brief overview of some of the news and projects here on the Jicarilla. As always send me an e-mail with questions etc. jicarillafishqs@gmail.com .

Happy Hunting, I’ll be fishing (when I can…)

-Jacob

 

26 August 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

26 August 2014

 

Howdy Fish Fans,

The Mundo Madness fishing derby was held this weekend, and I personally feel it was a success. I do wish a few more people targeted catfish, but that’s okay.

Adult:

1st Place Audie Reval- 17 channel catfish weighing 23lbs 0 oz. (300.00 cash prize)

2nd Place Shawn Jones- Mixed bag of Catfish/Bass/Bluegill weighing 15lbs 0.5oz. (200.00 cash prize)

3rd Place Patrick Lamb- Mixed bag of Bass/bluegill weighing 9lbs. 1.5oz (100.00 cash prize)

The one disappointing part of the derby was how few youth entries we had; all of the youth who participated got prizes regardless of weight caught. It is the firm belief of the Jicarilla Game & Fish Department that youth involvement with the outdoors is paramount to the success of natural resource management in the future. Please take a kid or five fishing!  Next year I would like to see the little ones in equal number to the adults!

A big thanks to everyone who came out and fished the derby as well as the volunteers and my fellow fish crew member Rosenburg Tafoya for always bringing the positive vibes. The Wildhorse Casino & Inn sponsored this event and donated the cash prizes, which I’m sure the top three anglers appreciate greatly.

Mundo: You should be able to limit out on catfish with decent bait from the east shoreline or from fishing in a boat on the south bay.  The top prize winning angler caught the majority of his fish in the last hour of the derby on the east shore line. I can only imagine night fishing there to wear out ones elbow quickly.

Bluegill have taken the hint about the changing weather patterns and headed into a little deeper water. Small beadhead nymphs are just as good as anything else for catching them, but small hooks a piece of worm and a bobber will get it done as well.

Tiger Musky are targeting bluegill right now, so a bluegill colored swim bait would probably get some action if you can place it in front of a player.

Stone: No reports, I’m a little disappointed in the anglers who call and write, there seems to be a lot of interest but no one is willing to give it ago.

Navajo River: Is clearing up and flowing consistently, it is still a hair early for fall fishing, but it is scouting season for me, and who knows you might luck out on an early pre-spawn brown trout… Catch and release of native fish is required, catch and keep is preferred for trout.

Jacob.

22 August 2014

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

22 August 2014

Folks,

Things have been very busy with this weekend’s derby, I had totally forgotten about the fishing report.

The Navajo river is shaping up beautifully for some awesome brown trout fishing this fall. Water is clearing up and it is becoming more and more readable by the day. Of course heavy rains can crush this sense of knowledge; it will soon be streamer time for me. One local angler managed two 16” browns last weekend using small rainbow trout colored spinners.

Mundo Lake temperatures are starting to drop with the rainy overcast weather the last few days and trout should start being a little more willing to come out of the depths for spinners, spoons, and of course the favorite powerbait flavor.  Tiger musky fishing has been heating up for a couple of the local anglers using purple plugs. 

I know many of you who read these posts are highly competent anglers, but I would like to take this moment to remind that the musky are not going to bite you. Do not gill finger and hang them vertical, do not rip plugs out of there grills or gills, be very nice to them they are sterile so what we have now is all we have. Catch and release practices for large toothy fish are well developed if you have questions about proper handling please do some youtube research or call me at the office. Do not be afraid to ask, tiger musky are very valuable management fish that the Jicarilla has devoted a large amount of energy intogrowing. Currently the musky are approximately 30” and are very willing to bite a well presented lure or fly.

I still have not received any reports from Stone Lake. The last few overcast days I think probably could have been the best days of the summer on Stone, sadly for me I was at work.  I will be targeting these days as my Stone Lake fishing days this fall and hopefully will be able to catch a couple or three.

Hope to see you all out there for this weekend’s derby and good luck in your next fishing adventure.

 

Jacob