The Mesilla Valley Flyfishers

Tale Waters

September 2002

Table Of Contents

Scheduled Activities

President’s Page

Minutes MVFF Board of Directors Meeting, August 19, 2002

Annual San Juan Club Trip

San Juan Equipment List

San Juan Motel Accommodations

Gila Chub

Wyoming Fall Special!!!

America's Most Endangered Fisheries Announced

Yellowstone Lake

Klamath River

Gulf of Mexico

Scheduled Activities

9 Sept. General Club Meeting "Flyfishing the San Juan, Preparations for the Club Trip October 4-6, 2003" by Norm Mabie 7:00 P.M. NMG&F Conference Room

16 Sept. Board of Directors Meeting

4-6 October San Juan Trip

President’s Page

The Club’s annual picnic was a success and a lot of fun despite competition from other activities in the area like President Bush’s visit to Las Cruces and the Deming Duck Races. At the lease, a big walnut tree near the river provided shade and there were fish stories told and enough trout biting to make the picnic fun. Thanks to all those that helped with the planning, organizing, and cooking.

The Club’s annual trip to the San Juan has been scheduled for October 4, 5, and 6 (Fri-Sun). The planning is in the capable hands of Norm Mabie. He has made arrangements with Soaring Eagle Lodge for a Saturday night dinner and with a guide service for Friday.

If you plan to go, please read the article in the newsletter for the details of the trip. You also can find information on the Club’s website at Please sign up to make a reservation for guides and the dinner using either the website or by calling Norm. The month of October is usually a great time of the year to fish the San Juan. This trip is always popular.

Starting September, we will resume regular monthly meetings at 7PM featuring Norm Mabie with a presentation for the October trip to the San , tackle tips.

The October meeting will feature George Sanders who will talk about his recent trip to New Zealand. In November, Al Trompler will talk about his trip to Idaho and Montana.

Hope to see you at these events

Bob Silver

The New Mexico Game and Fish Conference Room is located on 566 N. Telshor Blvd. (505) 522-9796

Minutes MVFF Board of Directors Meeting, August 19, 2002.

  1. The minutes from the July 15, 2002 Board Meeting were approved as published in the newsletter.
  2. The final arrangements for the Club Picnic 8/24/02 were discussed.
  3. Al Trompler presented the Treasurers report.
  4. The San Juan trip has been organized by Norm Mabie to be held October 4-6. Information will be provided in the September newsletter. The September 9th club meeting will feature a presentation by Norm discussing the San Juan trip.
  5. Paul Turner and Bob Silver attended the retirement party for NMGF Ernie Jaquez, and reported a great turn out from across the state.
  6. Paul Turner reported that definite habitat improvement was apparent from the clubs previous salt cedar removal work projects with the BLM on the Rio Bonito.
  7. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 P.M.

The incident reported in the Friday July 19, 2002 Las Cruces Sun News on page A6 did not occur on the Runyan ranch leased by the MVFF.

Annual San Juan Club Trip

Norm Mabie

The final plans for our annual San Juan outing has been firmly arranged for 4, 5, and 6 October 2002. It appears that about 35 people will participate. Once again, we are blessed with women and a few youngsters attending. The guided portion of the trip will be on 4 October (Friday) and the club dinner will be at the Soaring Eagle Lodge on 5 October (Saturday) at 6:00 PM. The 5th of October may be used to individually fish, sightseeing above Durango, or just plain relaxing.

A current membership in the Mesilla Valley Flyfishers is required to participate in this outing, so please check your membership advance of the trip. A "Sign Up Sheet" will be established with a cutoff date of 25 September or when a total of 24 clubmembers have registered. The member fee for this outing will be $35.00 on a non-refundable basis. This fee will cover a guide for 1/2 day and the evening meal at the Soaring Eagle at 6:00 p.m. on 6 October. If unable to attend after registration, you may transfer your reservation to another individual upon timely notification to Norm Mabie. In the event you do not want a guide, but do want the dinner, the cost will be $6.00 for each person. Direct contact with Norm for registration is suggested to avoid any delay caused by club mail pickup.

We will meet in front of Abe's Motel and Restaurant at 0730 on 4 Oct for guide assignments. Be on time and fully dressed in fishing gear for immediate departure for the river. We will not be able to delay long to await latecomers so that we are able to get out on the river before the fish are adversely affected.The guide will furnish flies and associated terminal tackle during the guided portion of the trip. The club member will provide their own lunch that may be self prepared or prearranged at Abe's or Rizuto's across the street from Abe's. Reports indicate that the water flow will be around 600 cfs so we will be able to access most of the better fishing hotspots.

All individuals not assigned guides on the morning of 4 Oct will be hosted by experienced club members in the Kiddie Hole or Middle Flats area for fishing or further on stream instructions. This group of individuals will meet at 1:00 PM at the small covered table at Texas Hole Parking Lot for afternoon guide assignments. The members from the morning guided group will meet at the same time and location to be hosted by the experienced club members. The 5,6 Oct will be reserved for individual fishing activity. By then, you should have become acquainted with other club members that can fish with you.

I was very pleased with the response that we had on this outing the past few years and I feel fully confident that we will have another wonderful experience again this year.

Point of contact: Norm Mabie, Phone: (505) 522-3810

San Juan Equipment List

Norm Mabie

In view of the upcoming club San Juan trip, I have prepared a check-list of sorts pertaining to equipment recommendations. Included are some pointers to make your experience more enjoyable and to lessen trips to local fly shops to obtain forgotten items after going out on the water.

The water temperature is 50 t0 52 degrees year round.A pair of dungarees or polar tech underwear that wicks away moisture from the body will do the job. Neoprene waders tend to sweat creating a clammy atmosphere inside your waders. I do not know of any sure-fire method of keeping your feet warm in this water and common practice is to head for the bank to warm your feet. Neoprene waders can be folded down to waist level to improve comfort in warm weather.

For those using Cottonwood or Pine Creek campground, be advised that there are hot showers for resident use at Pine Creek Campground. The state parking fee along the river is $4.00 and is included in your campground fee. There are parking fee drop boxes at each well marked authorized parking spots. Display a copy of your parking slip on the dash of your vehicle so that it is easily visible from outside the vehicle. There are numerous commercial RV parks in the vicinity of Abe's motel. It is suggested that you purchase any food, drinks, and gasoline at Bloomfield before traveling to your final destination due to limited availability and inflated costs of such items.

The month of October is beautiful and pleasant this time of year. You might consider a trip above Durango, Colo. to view the impressive fall colors with snowcap mountains in the background. There is casino type activity above the San Juan at Ignacio, Colo. and the Indian Ruins near Bloomfield, N.M.

An active club membership is required to participate in this club subsidized activity, so check to see that you are current. New or Renewal club dues may be mailed directly to me for this trip because of a possible delay in mail pickup by the club. This would insure that I have your current membership status and required registration fee.

The following is a list of recommended equipment:

Flyrod: An 8 1/2 ' or 9'- 5 or 6 weight rod of your choice. Might be advisable to toss a spare rod as breakage does occur. A graphite flyrod is an excellent electrical conductor, so leave the water immediately during lightening storms.

Reel: A reel capable of holding the recommended line for your rod and 50 yards of 20# line backing. You can expect a few fish to pull the entire line off the reel plus a bit of backing when making a run. The reel should have a decent drag to wear the fish down when making a run. Normally, a right hand person will crank the reel with the left hand and vice versa for a left hand person. Check your reel to be sure it is setup properly.

Net: A large cotton bag net is essential because many of these fish are too large and difficult to handle without a net. The cotton netting is much easier on the fish than the plastic or poly netting. The use of a magnetic net releases are the most popular and less frustrating than most of the ones that are available.

Waders: The neoprene or breathable type chest waders are most popular. Wear a wading belt at waist level to slow down water entry should you fall. The rubberized waders with a large opening at the top are not at all recommended because of rapid water entry when a fall occurs. All waders should be turned inside out to insure that they will be dry for the next day of fishing. Gravel Guards installed around the boot at ankle level to prevent gravel entry into your wading boots which will cause irreparable wader damage, not to mention the ensuing discomfort.

Wade Boots: Prefer felt sole or carbide spiked boots because of the ever present moss covered rocks on the San Juan. Even the use of these type boots do not entirely eliminate an occasional fall, so extreme caution is in order. A wading staff made from an old broomstick handle will greatly increase safety. Didn't forget a wader patch kit, did you?

Polarized Glasses: You should always wear glasses while flyfishing. The polarized type are highly recommended so that you can see the stream bottom when wading the San Juan is a very wide river, so constant wading is the norm), you can easily see the fly or strike indicator, and of course, the fish. Glare coming off the water is also greatly reduced.

Rain Jacket: Be sure to pack a light weight rain jacket in your fly vest because they have some very heavy and cold rain showers up there.

Fly Vest: You will be carrying a multitude of items essential for fly fishing or are otherwise required to make your outing more comfortable. You want to carry sufficient water or beverages out on the water and these items should be the plastic container type so that you are not injured if you fall. A retractable retrieve reel should be employed to hold all the tools normally used in fly fishing because most flyfishers are reluctant to reach down into a couple feet of icy water to retrieve tools that are dropped. And no flyfisher worth his salt would forget to put some toilet paper in his vest for unplanned events

Wide Brim Hat: Essential to prevent sunburn. The hat should have some sort of laces to secure the hat during windy conditions.

Long Sleeve Shirt: Prevents sunburn on the arms and neck. Might place a bandanna around your neck to further prevent sunburn. In addition, a temperature drop occurs toward evening which can make for chilly fishing.

Light Wind Breaker: For chilly evenings on the water or around camp.

Special Fingerless Gloves: These are special fingerless gloves to prevent sunburn on the back of your hands. This can occur very quickly because the sun block is washed off after frequently immersing your hands in the water. These are not the heavyweight fingerless gloves normally associated with winter type fishing.

Sun Screen

Insect Repellent

Chap Stick

Dry Fly Floatant and Strike Indicators: Use before using a dry fly, each time after catching a fish, or when you notice that the fly is not floating very well. Floatant is also used on polypro strike indicators and I frequently see the adverse affects of this problem while out on the water. The polypro strike indicators should be removed during windy conditions as they will create unwanted drag during your cast. I take along the yellow foam indicators for use during windy conditions.

Split Shot Sinkers: Size #6 or #8.

Leaders and Tippet: At least two leaders in 4X and 6X with matching tippet in both sizes.

Leader and Tippet NIppers: For clipping both items.

Hemostat or Needle Nose Pliers: For removing hooks imbedded in the fish and bending down the hook barbs since we will be fishing in a barbless only environment. Use a hemostat with very fine jaws to prevent small hook damage.

Snacks and Sandwiches: Toss these in your fly vest for consumption out on the water. You are reminded that you will furnish your own lunch during the guided portion of your trip. We normally do not leave the water to o back for dinner.

Recommended Flies: There are a number of flies that produce well on the San Juan at any given time, but the following patterns have produced well over lengthy period of time? If you inquire about fly patterns that are producing well, don't forget to ask what area and time of day that the fly was used.

Pale Morning Dun or Light Cahill-Para type-Size 18

Adams-Size 18, 22

Blue Wing Olive-Size 18, 22 (May be used as a substitute for Adams)

San Juan Worms-Red, Orange, and Earthworm Brown

Egg Patterns-Orange, Chartreuse, Red, Oregon Cheese

Sidewinder Midge-Size 22-One of the very best over many years

Midge Emergers-Size 22

Out of the Blue-Size 20

RS-2 mergers-Olive, Grey, Dark Brown-Size 22

Chocolate Midge Emerger-Size 22

Red Midge Larva-Size 20 long shank-Called Annelids, Blood Worms,

Chironomids, Yong Specials, etc.

Pheasant Tail Nymphs-Size 20

Chamois Leeches-Tan, White

Miracle Nymph-Size 22-Also called UFO, Yong Special, Caddis Pupa

Point of Contact: Norm Mabie, 2711 Claude Dove Drive, Las Cruces, N.M. 88011.

Phone (505) 522-3810.

San Juan Motel Accommodations

Norm Mabie

The local motel accommodations for our club outing on 4, 5 October 02 are usually difficult to arrange during this very popular month throughout the area to include Durango, Colo. Although the dates of our outing seem quite into the future, I would suggest that you look into rooming arrangements as soon as practical. Do not overlook Farmington, Bloomfield, or Aztec, N.M. for room reservations.

The following is a list of motels in the close proximity of our outing:

Soaring Eagle
PO Box 6354
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87416
1-800-866-2719 or 1-505-632-3721

Enchanted Hideaway Lodge
PO Box 6428
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87419

Abe's Motel
PO Box 6428
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87419

Rainbow Lodge
PO Box 6488
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87419
1-888-328-1858 or 1-505-632-5717

Rizuto's San Juan River Lodge
PO Box 6309
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87419

Octagon Inn
PO Box 6444
Navajo Dam, N.M. 87419

It is suggested that you check with other club members for sharing room accommodations and travel expenses. We had a very good turnout of club members last year and these individuals cooperated very well in all phases of the outing which made it all the more enjoyable. I will be staying at the Soaring Eagle Lodge during the club outing, so if you need assistance, please contact me there. Be careful driving up and I will see you all there. Incidentally, the highway up through Cuba and into Bloomfield has been finished and is now a very pleasant drive.

Gila Chub

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to add the Gila Chub to the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. The agency has also proposed to designate 208 miles of spring-fed and perennial streams and headwaters in New Mexico and Arizona as critical habitat for the fish. The agency is preparing a draft environmental impact statement on the proposed critical habitat designation. Public comment on the proposal will be taken. The historical distribution of the chub included the Gila River Basin in southwestern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico and northeastern Sonora, Mexico. Today, only 31 isolated and vulnerable populations remain in less than 15 percent of its historic range.

Wyoming Fall Special!!!

News of drought in the West has scared everyone off the rivers and streams in most of the Rockies, leaving plenty of good fishing without the crowds where there is water.  The Solitary Angler does have the water and the fishing but most anglers just don't realize it!

In Wyoming we received about a 90% snow pack last winter. We've had very few fires in the state and no fires in the Green River region.  Since the passing of the record July heat wave and the start of a good rainy season, the fishing has improved immensely on the Green River below and above Fontenelle Dam and on its tributaries (see current fishing report on our web site at

Fall is usually our best season on the Green River as Kokanee salmon start migrating upstream from Flaming Gorge Reservoir, followed by egg-sucking rainbows and pre-spawning browns, filling the river with big fish.  Add to this continuing trico hatches in the mornings, caddis in the evenings and the beginning of the blue-winged olives (fall baetis) during mid-day and you have a prescription for excellent fly fishing for large trout- without the crowds.

The Ham's Fork is flowing well and fishing has been improving steadily as the daytime and water temperatures have cooled off considerably.  We usually start seeing many pre-spawn browns up to 8 pounds by mid-September and they will come up for blue-winged olives during a hatch.  The rainbows are averaging larger than ever in the Ham's Fork and fall is the best time to catch them on our private water.

Now you can take advantage of this fabulous fishing with one of our expert guides at a price that you can't refuse!  For the months of September and October ONLY, you'll get a 20% discount when you respond to this announcement!!  That's right, 20% off!!!  That's a savings of $70.00 per day.  So you see, there is a bright side to this drought after all.  Great fishing, beautiful scenery, expert guides, no crowds, plenty of water, no fires and VALUE!!!

Call us today or respond to this e-mail and tell us you want the 20% discount that Van is offering for a fishing trip in Wyoming.  Don't wait!  With this kind of price we'll fill our available dates soon!  Call or write Van in Wyoming for travel, lodging and trip info, and get set to tie into some hogs this fall!


Fishing is improving in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado with water temperatures coming down and a lingering monsoon season contributing to flows.  September and October bring cool nights, sparkling days and reduced pressure, and the chance for big-fish action as mature browns begin to move up out of the Rio Grande on their spawning runs.  Call or write Van's home base in Taos for trip availability.

Toll Free 1-866-502-1700


LIVINGSTON, MONTANA - Some of America's finest fisheries are also among its most endangered, according to the Federation of Fly Fishers which today announced its annual list of the nation's most threatened fish habitats.

"A large share of our freshwater and marine fish species are at serious risk of damage and possible extinction," said  spokesman Bob Molzahn, FFF's Endangered Fisheries Coordinator.  "These ecosystems not only provide us with recreation, they also sustain our economy.  More than that, a fishery is an indicator of how well we manage our water resources for drinking water supply, irrigation, land use and industrial development.  Water that can't sustain a fishery  is not suitable to drink, irrigate crops, or manufacture products.  There is no substitute."

This year, three fisheries stand out among the hundreds of rivers and lakes devastated by human neglect and abuse.

     1.  Yellowstone Lake, Montana

     2.  Klamath River, Oregon and California

     3.  Gulf of Mexico


Home to the largest inland population of cutthroat trout in the world, Yellowstone Lake is at dire risk of losing a native species that is responsible for sustaining many creatures, from grizzly bears to bald eagles.

"Non-native lake trout, that were introduced to Yellowstone Lake many years earlier have been decimating this unique cutthroat fishery" said Molzahn.  "Federal funds for a gill netting program aimed at controlling the lake trout population have been eliminated from the budget.  The loss of these funds put the cutthroat trout population in Yellowstone Lake at serious risk of extinction.  These funds need to be restored to preserve this unique fishery."


A vast and remarkable fish and wildlife habitat straddling Oregon and California, the Klamath River was once the third most productive salmon river system in the United States.  But agricultural runoff, damming, water diversion and logging have reduced the once abundant salmon runs to less than 10% of their historic size.  Prized species such as coho salmon are now listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act. 

"For the minor economic benefit of sustaining a small and false desert economy, we are hammering a once multi-billion dollar a year fishing industry, threatening all recreational opportunities, and destroying one of nature's most magnificent buffers," said Molzahn. 


As one of the world's most important fisheries, the Gulf suffers from over-harvesting, loss of critical habitats and destructive trawling techniques. That damage extends throughout the U.S. Gulf Coast, from Key West, Florida to Brownsville, Texas.  It also encompasses all variety of habitats, from sandy beaches to open sea, from coral reef to coastal estuaries.

Pollution from America's heartland is spewing into the Gulf at an appalling rate, creating a "dead" zone that covers thousands of square miles along the Texas-Louisiana coast.  The problem is a vast algae bloom fed by excessive nitrogen and other pollutants that enter the Gulf from the Mississippi River.  When the algae dies, decomposition depletes the water of oxygen, killing all marine life in the region.

"Tighter control on non-point source pollution caused by runoff released into our watersheds is essential," said Molzahn.  "This requires toughening federal clean water standards.  But because the source of this problem extends even to the suburban lawn, significant efforts at public education are also needed to explain to each citizen the importance of using even common materials such as fertilizers with care and restraint." 

The Federation of Fly Fishers is the voice of the millions of people who fly fish throughout the world.  The Federation is dedicated to supporting fisheries research and restoration, improved water quality and flows, the perpetuation of wild fishery stocks, catch-and-release angling regulations where appropriate, and the establishment of a more adequate voice for angling interests. Contact: 406-585-7592 or email: