Jicarilla Fishing Blog

August 4th 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

04 August 2015


The weather has been more than I expected this year, rain and rain and rain. Which is fantastic, now all we need to get back on track is an average or above average winter to top it off.  According to the Dulce weather station we have had 13.02” of precipitation this year so far, which if I remember correctly is more than we received all last year! Keep it coming! Though this weather does have its draw backs including lots of mud and rutted roads, the affect it has had on the landscape is incredible. It is very green here, and it is the first year I’ve been in this position were the lakes have not declined in storage all year, they have stabilized and slight increased.

Mundo Madness II was held on August 1st and we have 63 participants this year which is about ten more than last year. Besides a 30 minute lighting delay the event went off without a hitch. This event held in conjunction with the Hunt The Jicarilla Outdoor Expo helped raise monies to stock the lakes of the Jicarilla.

Below you will find a list of our top anglers and their catches.

Adult Division:

1st Shawn Jones with 60 Bluegill weighing 17 lbs. 12 oz. ($300.00 Cash prize)

2nd Mike Alesio with 23 Bluegill weighing 10 lbs. 11 oz. ($200.00 Cash prize)

3rd Gary Henry with 1 Largemouth Bass/ 4 bluegill weighing 1 lbs. 10 oz. ($100.00 Cash prize)

Youth Division:

1st Ivan Jones with 14 bluegill weighing 4  Lbs. 6 oz.

2nd Oryan Atole with 12 bluegill weighing 4 Lbs. 3.5 oz.

3rd  Darnell Reval with 4 bluegill weighing 1 Lbs. 11 oz.

All the youth participants that were present at the awards ceremony walked away with some awesome tackle sets with included fly fishing and conventional goodies like hemostats, lure, bait, tackle bags etc. The Game & Fish prides its self in its efforts to engage youth in outdoor pursuits and fun filled derby with awesome prizes is just one way we accomplish this mission.

Adult Cat Fish:

Fidel Vigil with 1 channel catfish weighing 2 lbs 7.5 oz ($150.00 cash prize)

The Department was expecting cat-fishermen to be a much more competitive bracket, but it appeared only one or two anglers devoted themselves to fishing for cats. It would not surprise me if a cat crazy angler brought in 50lbs of cats or more if they devoted the whole length of the derby just to catfishing.

Adult Trout over 20

Although at least a 100 trout were caught the largest brought to weigh in was 15.5” and did not qualify for the $150.00 cash prize. Based on the numbers of trout caught in the 8-12” range this year’s fall/ice season on Mundo should be the best in recent memory.

Big shout out to all the participants who dealt with adverse weather conditions all day to make Mundo Madness 2 a success. 

Thanks to the Fish Derby Crew Volunteers: Rosenberg Tafoya, Audie Atole, Ben Phone, Lionel Velarde, Jerome Lester, Newton Vicenti, and Christopher Blanco.

Come fish I hear it has been awesome!


13 July 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Monday, July 13, 2015

13 July 2015


If the weather could get any better (for the droughts sake) we would have feet of snow on the ground. It has rained almost every day here on at least some portion of the reservation. Now a lot of people have still been calling asking if the drought it over, Folks I cannot answer that, but what I can say is that this is the first year since I have been here where we have at least stabilized if not gained a few inches of water. All of the lakes have come up a few inches which does not sound like much, but this time last year we were down a foot or more.  Being an optimist this means it is the first year over the last 16 that we have not declined but improved and or stabilized. So good news all round, if we end up with an average or above average snow fall this winter, next year should be even better. So let’s all put some positive energy, prayers, etc. toward furthering that cause.

Fishing has been excellent. I have seen quite a few awesome stringers full of all warm water species. I ever had a report of a 15lbs. channel catfish captured. Trout fishing has been slowing down during the heat of the day, which is to be suspected in summer. Lots of thundershowers have been forcing anglers off the lake due to lighting in the afternoon/evenings. Please be careful as this lighting has been pretty intense in areas. Yesterday an angler reported a 17” bass and a trout that was 18” being caught.

I know anglers are getting out there, but reports have been incredibly slow. 

FYI The Fish Crew, Youth Employees, and college intern as well as a few wildlife biology members, last week finished the landscaping of the Mundo Pavilion. There still is a little gravel to spread but it is 99.9% done. You will notice a large fire pit and two large wood benches overlooking the lake, as well as one serious railroad tie retaining wall.

Little Beaver Weekend this weekend come up and enjoy the festivities. Mundo Madness II will be held August 1st. Details will posted again in this blog and around the web or call the office.

Have a good week,


Mundo Madness II

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Saturday August 1st will be the second annual Mundo Madness Fishing Derby. This event is held in conjunction with the Wildhorse Inn & Casino’s Jicarilla Outdoor Expo. Last year the event was fantastic and this year it should be even better. All the Particulars have not been sorted out as of yet, but so far there is about $900.00 dollars in cash prizes planned as well as other prizes. Entry for adults (13 & over) will be $15.00 and $5.00 for youth (12 & under).  

Derby Registration will be held at the Mundo Lake Dam Spillway (same spot at last year): Registration will start at 10:00am.

The Derby will officially begin with the loud noise at 11:00am ( siren/gun shot,undetermined what type of loud noise as of yet, stay posted for updates...)
The Derby will officially end with the yet to be determined loud noise at EXACTLY 6:00pm. (Last year there seemed to be some scuttlebutt about which clock, since it's my show, we use my watch/cellphone or other yet to be determined clock)

All Fish must be brought to the weigh in at the Mundo Spillway by 6:30pm (same as last year)
Prize ceremony will be held at the Wildhorse Casino at 7:30 pm (must be present to collect prizes)

Last year we had a excellent group of anglers and a lot of fun was had by all (even if some take things a little to seriously...) This is a fun family event, please bring a positive attitude fitting the laid back style of our fishing derbies. Many people on the forum have been present at all 3 derbies I have been a part of for the Nation, I run a good clean show, though it may seem erratic, that's is just the way it is. As usual cheating/shenanigans will not be tolerated and will get you blacklisted. 

Prize break down this year is a little different than last year. Must be 21 or older to collect cash prizes (so if you're a young buck, must have adult present to collect a cash prize). There will be over all bag weigh prizes and youth division prizes as well.

Bass Bluegill Combined Bag (pounds total)
1st: $300.00
2nd: $200.00
3rd: $100.00

Catfish (single species bag, pounds total)
1st: $150.00

Trout over 20" (if multiple caught largest wins, if there is a tie first to the check in station wins) all other trout catch and release for the Derby, So only keep it if you are sure it is over 20" (i.e. bring your lying stick)


Youth prizes will be similar to last year, all the kids who showed up walked away with some goodies, of course all the bag limit prizes apply to the youth division if they have an adult to collect (which they should)

There will also be multiple raffles etc. going on at the Outdoor Expo at the Wildhorse Casino over the weekend so you all are encouraged to stick around and enjoy the festivities. Last year they had an awesome BBQ plate/adult beverage stand/live DJ at the prize ceremony!

I'd love to see a good turn out this year and as always wish everyone the best of luck!


17 June 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

17 June 2015

Well folks it has been (as always) very busy for the fish crew. Summer is in full swing and it appears the rains are going to start to subside, which is good news for work. We are very grateful to have so much moisture this spring, though it by no means pulled us out of drought, it sure was a step in the right direction. All the lakes came up a few inches and you could almost hear their sighs of relief, well that or it was me, either way I’m telling the story here.

Mundo Lake has hosted a large amount of anglers this year, she has put a lot of food on tables, in freezers, and smiles of faces. A few weeks ago I told you guys and gals about Pautzke Bait’s visit to Mundo, and those guys have done an amazing job promoting not only the Jicarilla Apache Nation, but their creative line of fishing products in their new video posted to today on YOUTUBE. Of course you all have heard of their product line but Chris and Crew were a real class act and sure knew how to go above and beyond with their bait rigs and techniques. If you ever feel like you might be just “doing it wrong” I would check out their informative videos. Below you will find the link to Pautzke’s Mundo Lake Fishing Video…. A big thank you for the Pautzke Crew!


The water is starting to warm up and soon that means the trout bite will slow, but don’t fret,  the warm water bite is heating up and who knows, a 10” bluegill is going to get caught this year (hopefully by me) and I foresee a 6 plus pound bass (also by me) during this summer season. Of course if someone else catches them, that would be okay too, I guess…

The Navajo River last week went to flood stage and peaked for a short time right below a 1000 cfs. Since the normal flow this time of year due to up streams diversions is 55 cfs, this was a huge event. Flows of this caliber are incredibly rare and are super awesome for restarting the river, a good scrub so to speak. Clearing out sediment, scrubbing algae off rocks, and moving large rocks to new areas, while redistributing woody debris. A full on reset, which should do nothing but awesome things for all the fishes in the river. As you can tell this has been the highlight of the month for me personally.

We did have an angler give the tiger musky an honest shot with fly rod and bait casting swim baits yesterday, he got skunked on musky, but I think the recent rains which have clouded up the lake put his chances off significantly. As always remember these fish are not a tough as the look, and to practice the most humane and respectful catch & release techniques, if you need a better understanding of what this looks like google it, there is loads of information out there.

As always please report catches to me at jicarillafishqs@gmail.com or via phone (575) 759-3255.

Time to get back to work,


June 4th 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Thursday, June 04, 2015

June 4th 2015


The weather is starting to heat up, and though high 70’s and low 80’s may be fine for you that are office bound, for field workers their water consumption has increased dramatically the last few days.

There are lots of pictures to upload, which hopefully I can get too sooner or later. I know looking at all this text must be a bore to some of you. The website technology after two years on the job here is finally starting to make sense. 

This week the Fisheries crew (which has temporarily grown with the summer youth workers program, and a college intern) started to wrap up the Mundo Lake Pavilion structure. We finished a large rock fire pit (I have never done any masonry, so don’t laugh to hard if you’re a professional). Rosenberg Tafoya crafted two jumbo sized log benches. There still is a retaining wall, stairs, and final grading and gravel work to do.  But the project is finally starting to take final shape.

While working out at the lake all this week and last, it has come to my attention very few people read the fishing proclamation. Which saddens me greatly, as the Department and I spend a large amount of time putting it together, to not only benefit the resources, but also the sportsmen/women. Most rampant infractions were not knowing the limit of trout, and discarding fish entrails etc. from filleted trout into the lake. Please read the proclamation, it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY as an angler to know the rules! The rules can be found on the main page of Jicarillahunt.com if you need a refresher.

We also got to witness some of the hottest fishing action in the southwest. One youth angler managed two trout over 20” on powerbait from the dock on Tuesday. Many anglers have been filling their limits in less than an hour. This morning early there was a fantastic midge hatch that had the whole lake filled with rises, and the damsel fly bite I imagine is excellent. Last week an angler reported and had verified a 30” channel catfish that he caught and released.

As the temperatures continue to rise the trout bite will inevitably slow. There is nothing to be done about this, except target warm water fishes. The bluegill have started making beds and I have seen some gills that would measure 9” or greater in the flats. The beds are easy to spot. I have not seen any bass beds yet, but I imagine they have begun the spawn as well.

Saturday August 1st will be the second annual Mundo Madness Fishing Derby. This event is held in conjunction with the Wildhorse Inn & Casino’s Jicarilla Outdoor Expo. Last year the event was fantastic and this year it should be even better. All the Particulars have not been sorted out as of yet, but so far there is about $900.00 dollars in cash prizes planned as well as other prizes. Entry for adults (13 & over) will be $15.00 and $5.00 for youth (12 & under). I of course will keep you all informed as the planning process continues.

Hope all is well, get out and go fishing!


19 May 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

19 May 2015


Sorry for the delay in posting the fishing report, things have been on the crazy side with the spring season in full swing. Kids fishing days, visiting Pautzke Bait Reps, San Juan River Recovery Implementation Program Meetings, data entry, youth workers, well the list goes on and on. So let me give you the run down on the last few weeks and a little update on the fishing as well.

Jicarilla Game & Fish and the Fisheries Crew are highly active in the community and the last few weeks have been quite busy with community events, including Head Start Kids fishing day, Volunteer judging the Elementary School Science fair, and are currently working on a Father/Child fishing day for Father’s Day with the Community Health and Fitness Department. These events are essential for educating the public on fisheries management as well as getting the community excited about what is in their “backyard”.  It’s quite fun for me personally, as I was not trained as an “educator” so  to speak, so getting the opportunity to hone these skills is essential.

For all of you who are educators or parents my hat is off to you, as it is not as easy as one would think.


Two of the Pautzke Bait Professional Team Members came to the Jicarilla two weeks ago and were making a fishing video of New Mexico’s hot fishing areas and how to target them using Pautzke’s large array of baits. It was quite informative for me fishing with these guys as they filled me in on all the top secret ingredients (not really), and how the products are manufactured. Fire Balls and their Fire Corn managed to catch fish all day one fish topping 3 pounds. They were using slip bobbers set to about 7 feet. Of course you can read about their trip on the Pautzke blog (see link below) and except a video on youtube soon. I’m not a huge bait fisherman myself, but watching these guy’s fish was educational and entertaining (some very exuberant hook sets were the high light)!

http://www.pautzke.com/fireblog_read.php?read=339 or it is on their facebook page (331 likes so far).

Fishing at Mundo has remained consistently awesome and lots of above average catches have been reported. It seems all of the 17” plus sized fish have been caught using assorted lures like spinners and spoons. I have not received a report that included a bait or lure that did not produce fish.  I have not received any fly only reports, but many anglers using bobbers and beadhead patterns have been doing very well. During our kids fishing day one angler managed his limit in about 30 minutes, returning many “smaller” fish.

 The fishing is excellent; there really is no other way to put it. The weather has been on the rainy side which is excellent for the fish, not so good for the fisherman. Please exercise caution accessing the lake as the roads have been muddy off and on the last few weeks.

Many people ask what I’m doing or what is the Fisheries Crew plans for this year. I felt a little explanation of why the reports have been slow would be in order. As always you can contact me at Jicarillafishqs@gmail.com. Contacting me via phone this time of year is more difficult but if you leave your name and number (area code as well please) I will return your call as soon as possible. Good Luck Fishing!



30 April 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Thursday, April 30, 2015


Hope all is well in your perspective corners of the southwest.  The weather has still been temperamental in the afternoons around Dulce.  Yesterday the temps here peaked in the low 70’s and the sun was shining, you can almost feel summer coming.

The fishing on the other hand has been incredibly excellent at Mundo. One angler who camped last week with fishing partner caught 160 fish in four days using a peacock flash gold bladed pistol pete in size ten. A local angler has been limiting out consistently with spinners and spoons on trout in the 14-16” range, while fishing night crawlers 4’ deep with a bobber he has been averaging catches in the 16-18” range. Lures seem to be out fishing powerbait which is slightly surprising to me. Two anglers reported catching bass in the 16” range on the south side of the lake near the weed beds. I have not heard any reports about cat fish since last week, but I would bet the fishing is still excellent.

As of now Mundo Lake and Stone Lake were the only lakes stocked with trout this year.

Just so everyone is on the same page, the drought conditions that I have been harping on for the last two years, have not improved, in fact the drought has worsened. Fifteen years of drought with the last five years the worst of the fifteen.  Horse Lake and Dulce Lake has been hit the hardest by the drought and are not suitable for fish stocking. Stone Lake is very low and if summer is anything like last year, its situation will not improve this year. Embom Lake is in a similar state as Stone. Of course as all of you are aware, the drought is not just here on the Jicarilla, but throughout the Southwest, most of your favorite fishing holes close to home are feeling the squeeze as well.

I have to be a never failing optimist to work as a fisheries professional, especially in the Southwest. Monsoon and winter this year could throw us a bone and get these lakes back on a positive track.

Since Mundo has been spared the worst of the drought so far, you will notice an increased effort to maintain excellent fishing, at a level not seen in the lake before. Quality fish stockings spring and fall as well as an increase in catchable size fish seasonally. Lemonade out of lemons here folks. Speaking of Mundo I went out last Friday and sterilized the vault toilets and re stocked the paper products.

Good Luck Fishing,

22 April 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Wednesday, April 22, 2015

22 April 2015


The weather this last week has been a little bit unusual, but its bi-polar personality is pretty much on par for spring in the mountains. Wind, and ominous clouds, but very little moisture with temperatures anywhere from the mid-20s to the high 60’s depending on the time of day.

Despite all of this, anglers are still getting out and its seems the fishing is fanstastic. It’s actually kind of funny, I get more reports when the fishing is poor than when it is awesome…I would have thought quite the opposite would be true.

I have not heard of any particular technique out fishing another. The streamer nymph dropper combo seems to be the standard float tuber technique, and every flavor of power bait has been hot at one time or another.  Beadhead prince nymphs and caddis flies have been popular droppers, and are a great way to catch trout and bluegill.

I heard of one angler limiting out on catfish in less than two hours last week. Not sure of the bait, but I believe he was fishing from the east side of the lake. I also heard of one tiger musky caught that was over 30 inches and fat.

The river is currently running low and clear, during our spring survey last week we managed to capture quite a few brown trout in the 14-16 inch range with a few stretching out of 18+. Of course we conduct this work to monitor native fishes below is a sample of some beautiful native species captured last week.

 Buehead sucker male in spawning colors

Roundtail chub pre-spawning colors

Roundtail chub pre-spawn colors

Good luck fishing!


10 April 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Friday, April 10, 2015

10 April 2015


Fishing has been very good, though the weather has been less than optimal with high afternoon winds the last few days. Gusts up to 40mph combined with dry ground turned Tuesday into a Dust Bowl re-enactment forcing many anglers off the water. Yesterday and so far today have been calm and I imagine anglers will be out at Mundo hoping to limit out on trout, as many anglers have been doing.

Reports have been coming in fairly consistently about 50 fish days and 40 fish days and one angler even managed to catch a very nice bluegill on the fly. The water temperature has been in the low fifties and warm water species should be starting to become more active. Of course most of you come for the trout, you really should consider mixing it up a bit. No reports of tiger musky captures this year, so I’m not sure of their average size this spring, but I would not be surprised if a fish in the mid thirty inch range is caught this season. As with all the other reports I have written the last few weeks, fly pattern-lure selection-powerbait flavor has not seemed to have much of an influence on the excellent fishing.

Hope everyone is getting out and enjoying the hot fishing before the hot weather slows it down for the summer.


April 2nd 2015

Jicarilla Hunt - Thursday, April 02, 2015

02 April 2015


It appears spring has sprung. The birds were chirping this morning even though the temperature was 28 degrees on my way to work.

Fishing at Mundo has been on fire, lots of nice sized hold over fish, with some anglers limiting out in hours on 17+ inch fish. If you throw it, it seems to work… Worms, powerbait, lures, flies, you name it, have not heard of a particular technique not working. The report is very good for all the anglers I’ve spoken with. No word on warm water fish except a few bass were caught earlier this week, and one tribal member caught a large 20+ inch catfish on worms.

Water temperatures are on average 51 degrees, while Stone Lake is sitting on average at 53 degrees.

Field season is in full swing, and spring break youth employees have been milling around all week. Yesterday we started finishing the landscaping on our new picnic pavilion at Mundo. Planned landscaping improvements include a fancy retaining wall and a large fire pit. Of course picnic tables still need to be installed. Sadly I do imagine the Nation will be under fire restrictions this year, but I see a nice fire for the Ice Derby becoming a tradition again.

Just a short update this week, as the field is calling. This time of year as some of you have found out it is hard to reach me by phone, but I check my e-mail first thing in the morning and before clocking out.