On the first day of the new year I thought I would go try my luck on the Pecos River in Pecos NM. I live in the town of Pecos and this river flows through the town. It originates in the canyon north of town in the Sangre De Cristo Mountain range. Most of the river is frozen over this time of the year but if you go up the canyon 10 or so miles there are some spots exposed to the sun and you have a few small sections that are fishable.

I started my day at the old mining town of Tererro. I didn’t have much luck but managed to hook a really small rainbow that wiggled off my line as I was reaching for it. After that it was slow. I moved up the river a ways between Tererro and Cowles(another old mining town) and hit a section of river there. I managed to get one small Brown landed.

No one really fishes this river in the winter for obvious reasons seeing that most of it is frozen over and there is not a lot of activity. I just went with the go to flies; the Stonefly and Hares Ear.

I will have to play around a bit more with size and color and see if I can generate more interest from the fish. But, at least I am off on a decent start for this years season, I didn’t skunked anyway…

Pecos River

Pecos River

Me and my dad did a day of fishing on the San Juan just before Christmas,well, I did anyway. When we woke up on the fishing day we awoke to about 4-5 inches of fresh snow. It was enough to make him want to take it easy but it wasn’t stopping me. The water just below the dam is pretty much a constant 45 or so degrees anyway so snow on the ground isn’t going to make a difference.

There are two good fly shops there and they all had the same information about what would work and how to fish it. I have never fished this river I have only heard about how great it was year round. In fact I have read that there are two places in the world where you will find the best winter trout fishing action; one is the San Juan River and the other area is New Zealand. They say the San Juan is so because of the constant water temp. It allows for massive generation of food.

From the moment I stepped foot in that river it was constant action. Once you figure out the depth to run it was game on!

The first five or so I caught were not very large but I hooked into two real nice fish after that but I failed to land them. They put up a great fight though and I got a close enough look at them to see that they were big. Not long after that I landed a really nice sized rainbow. I am not used to catching fish this big as a general rule since I am mostly fishing small wilderness streams where the fish are 8-12″ on average. It had been a long time since I have seen a really large rainbow, not just in length but girth as well.

The action after that was intense, around 10 AM the fish were slow rising every where you looked. A quick look in the slower moving water exposed what they were feeding on. It was an easy match, the fly shops did not let me down. It was fish after fish after fish. None of them were quite as large as the one below but they were all very close so I was pleased. Another thing I thought that was really neat was when I was working my way up the flats I would go through some shallow pools and I would have a group of anywhere from 10-20 fish following me up river. They were literally on the heels of my boots waiting for me to kick up food for them. It was pretty amazing. I took a video but you cannot really see the fish so I won’t bother posting.

Towards the end of the day I moved down out of the flats into what they call the “Texas Hole.” I tried with no luck using the previous fly patterns at any depth so I changed up the rig to run a small salmon egg and a San Juan Worm. After two drifts I hooked on to something big. It ripped my line faster than anything else that day. I fought it for about 2-3 minutes then lost it. I never saw it but it would have been the largest fish of the day without a doubt.

Oh well, next time…

San Juan Rainbow

San Juan River

It’s cold, no doubt about that but the Rio Grande is still flowing very nicely.

Up here where I live on the Pecos the river is frozen up. I don’t think we will see any action there until March/April. So, you go to the Rio Grande! If I was closer I would be going to the San Juan but that is another couple/few hours tacked on to my already hour and a half long drive.

This was my first trip to the Rio Grande up North. I lived in Albuquerque NM for about a year and the RG flows through the center of the city. Pilar NM is the place I went. This only about 20 or so miles out of Espanola and it’s the intersection that takes you up to the end of the Taos Box at the Taos Junction Bridge.

As you wind up the gorge the river is on the left the whole time and there are great looking spots all over the place. Deciding exactly where to step in was hard. I took the advice of an old friend and went all the way to the bridge and attempted to hike up into the box.

That didn’t go so well. After the attempt I decided to just work my way down from the bridge hitting the slow pools and the spots just above the riffles. I did this routine changing fly combinations every thirty minutes or so because I was getting zero action. After 3 hours I was a couple miles down from the bridge and getting very frustrated.

I had made the decision that this pool I was in would be the last one. I lined that pool from one side to the other, played it just above a nice wide riffle and worked it below the riffle without a single bite. I had plenty of snags so I know I was nymphing deep enough.

I decide to call it there and walked back up river to the slow moving pool section. I was making practice casts as I walked up the current and threw a long shooting cast ahead of me as I broke through the last of the riffle and then I was it; an odd movement on the strike indicator. I thought “nah.” it had to be a snag. So I cast on the same line again and it does the same thing. Could it be? I cast one more time and it twitched and boom! it goes under. I set the hook and there it is, a beautiful 11 inch Rainbow.

I landed it, got the hook out and sent it back into the river. That was three and a half hours in the making and I was very satisfied with the catch. It’s funny how something so simple after preparing for a day and fishing for half the day can feel so rewarding.

It is though, It just is…

Well, it has been a while since I posted anything and to tell you the truth not much exciting has happened. The motorcycle riding has been non existent and other than that I have just been trying to make a living. I got the urge to get back out in the wilderness though and to be honest, riding the motorcycle so much wasn’t doing much for my physical conditioning except for when I would ride off the side of a mountain road or burn my clutch out 20 miles from the nearest paved road.

Backpacking has always been in the back of my mind but I have grossly neglected the activity so I set out to change that. I have not purchased any gear for this activity since the late 80’s. except for a nice Mountain Hardwear tent I purchased in Fl for kayaking and my mountain bike trips (yes, there are actually mountain bike trails in Fl). So I had to scrounge through the boxes in the attic to see what I still had. When I live in South Carolina my old friend Bill gave me his old Vector pack from the Marine Corps. Now, we were all issued one of these at one point but they had to be turned back in. It is actually not a bad internal frame system aside from the fact it weighs as much as damn tank.

But now I have a pack! I can get on with this trip now. I mentioned it had been a while since I had done this and it was readily apparent in how much I over packed. I forgot “every ounce counts.” It was fine until I hit the first set of steep switchbacks. Anyway, so I packed it up and set out for a short overnight refresher hike.

The plan was to take the Holy Ghost trail near Tererro NM and intersect with the Winsor trail and then end the day at Lake Katherine. Well, after I got to the Winsor junction I had to resort to one of the back up lakes, Stewart Lake. I think it was my feet that made that decision. I did not have on proper hiking boots. I had on a pair of what I would classify as an urban Hiker made by Timberland. They are all leather and very water resistant but they did a number on my heels.

So, I made Stewart lake with relative ease and set up camp. I definitely under estimated the mileage using my topo and compass. I put Stewart Lake at 5 miles and it ended up being 6.5.

A lot of stuff came back to me and my next hike this weekend will be planned and packed a lot better. I am going to use the same footwear but I went to the local REI and made sure to get proper wool hiking socks and sock liners instead of using my everyday white socks. What was I thinking?

So here is a low grade video of some of the trail and the lake:

First off let me say a big thanks to Doug. That was an awesome ride. We both know it didn’t end too well but it is not your fault My pig of a bike had issues. I personally think it was the clutch catching on the handguard then coupled with hot engine did it in.

I knew I was pushing the limits of the DR.

So anyway, it starts out well. A nice cruise up to our first attempt at hitting some single track. Those hopes were dashed instantly by a gate.

So we move on.

Soon enough Doug finds the good stuff. Switchback after switchback after switchback. I am loving this though!

And some straightaways.

We don’t have much room for error in a lot of places.

We are handling business though. Well, Doug is handling it a lot quicker than me. Soon enough though I catch up and nature left us a gift!

Good thing someone packs a hatchet. It  was the only thing that came through for me today (Effin Clutch).

And a quick 30-45 minutes later, viola! We both did our fair share of that job.

This is our well deserved break at the bottom. That water in the creek was nice and cold.

Now we have to make the decision; the easy way out or the hard way out?

Whatever, the hardway! That was not a good decision for me.

Not too bad in the beginning, we even had some nice flat rolling sections. What you won’t see pictures of is after this section as I was trying to manipulate an uphill switch back I got caught on a rock which spun out and dropped my bike. Not too bad though. I had to take the Right side Handguard off because it was jamming the brake but everything else looked good to go.

I think I made it up another 100 yrds of some of the harder stuff on the trail when all of a sudden bike no workey. I had it in gear but it wasn’t moving. Now I think we are at least 2 miles if not farther up this trail and about a mile from the end. Doug checks my clutch adjustment and notices it is a bit tight. After the adjustment still no go. This clutch is smoke checked.

We let it cool for about 20 minutes and I can get it to grab ever so slightly but it is enough to get the bike up about 100 more feet to another switch back which allows me to turn the bike around. After that it was a long coast home.

Hey, I made it all the way to Cochiti Golf Course which I think was quite a feat considering the effort we put out on trail.

There is my ride, finally. I was done…

A Crazy day…

Well, I have been trying to get people to gather at Santa Fe Brewing Co. for a little get together on Tuesday nights. The first week there was a little confusion but a few people did meet up. This last Tuesday was great though!

At least 8 people including myself were there. We even got a ride planned out of this for next Monday. Let’s hope this little meeting keeps up. There are many people to meet and lot’s of good times to be had here in the Santa Fe area.

And I promise, no more Tequila…

NMM= Non Motorcycle Material

So I have met a few locals here and got invited to see Tracy Lawrence, Coutnry-Western Superstar w/ 17 #1 hit songs. I am not much of a country music buff but I have to say I had a good time. Them cowgirls know how to paint it on that’s for sure.

Aside from a little incident at the Applebee’s after the show the night was a lot of fun without incident. The Applebees incident, ya, that was just like old times. We stayed level heqaded and it earned us a free round of beer and the other guys got booted out.

Good times…

Maybe you are interested in what I have done to my bike since I bought it, maybe you are not, either way I am going to tell you.

When I bought the bike it was stock.  Right off I didn’t like the tank and the white headlight shroud and the shock springs were way to soft.

The tank doesn’t have the capacity to make you feel comfortable 50 miles out with no gas station in site or expected in the near future. This was the first issue I resolved by buying the IMS 4.9 gallon tank. It really made  it look a lot better. With that order I also purchased new front and rear springs. The stock springs on the bike were way to soft. So I took it to a .55kg/mm front and an 8.4 kg/mm in the rear. That is just about as beefy a spring Eibach makes for this bike. The shroud was easy, a little Krylon did the job.

So with some help from a local Pecos resident who used to wrench at the SF Motorsports the springs were installed and the bike now looked like so:

And this is how it looks with a hawk strapped on the back (another story to be told):

So anyway, since then I have taken it upon myself to re jet the bike. I installed a new main jet and a new needle and made some modifications to the airbox as well as installing a K&N HiFlow Airfilter. The jetting led to some serious issues. I have had my carb out and disassembled about 5 times since I did this. I think I have it all worked out now though.

Tweek tweek tweek.

Now there are some more things I want to do; some cosmetic, some functional. Most recently was the replacement of the stock tail light with the DR250 Hi Speed Low Drag Tail Light.

Old Tail Light:

New Tail Light:

Disregard all those GPS units you see, I have done nothing illegal!

And finally the bar riser. A most functional and needed install. I can’t begin to explain the difference this makes when you are standing on your pegs on trail. It puts you in a very comfortable position sans leaning over slightly which was uncomfortable and made working the clutch a pain.

I just got my rear spring bearing in from Kientech yesterday and that will go in as soon as I feel motivated to completely remove my rear shock.

The turning point for me was the jet kit install. Once I removed my own carb, disassembled it, put it back together, drilled new holes in various places for various things and the bike actually started after it was all put back together, I felt a lot more confident in my ability to figure out this bike.

I have to be confident to do this stuff because there is no way I am paying some dude I don’t know 60+ dollars an hour to work on my bike while he is txt’ing his bitches. I just don’t trust a lot of these guys…





awoke, it was cold, it was raining. I packed up the bike took me a quick PTA and topped it off nicely with some Old Spice High Endurance.

It took all of a mile for me to realize the gear I had was not adequate for this June winter storm that rolled in on me. The 10 mile ride to Angel Fire was brutal. I could go maybe two minutes a hop then I would have to stop and thaw the digits.

All I wanted was a nice big breakfast to make up for the pitiful beef jerky dinner I had the night before. I stopped at the first place I saw open and promptly setup camp. They didn’t know but I knew that I was about to make that place home for a couple hours.

Breakfast was good and got the scoop on sporting good shops in town and headed to Mountain Sports to get some winter supplies. A hundred bucks later I was much better equipped.

Off to FR76!

It looked unassuming. Low clouds, weak drizzle. I knew I would be having some quality time in the mud which I don’t hate.

As I gained some altitude I noticed something white in the grass, ya, snow. The snow got thicker and was still falling on me ever so slightly.

About 12 miles in got the 25 mile pass was when I started thinking about a flat or another clogged jet episode. I wouldn’t die but it would have sucked. My feet were soaked and beyond pain into the numb and even with my new waterproof/windproof (ya right) gloves I was still having to stop every 5 miles is so to regain feeling. I remember at one point I was literally running in place on my pegs while motoring down the road.

I didn’t have a track for this road and signage stopped a while back. However, I did have that free NM topo map uploaded into the Garmin 60 csx and it let me know I was doing ok.

So finally I round a curve which I suspect is the area I got stopped at coming from the other side about 3 weeks ago. It is the spot so I know it is all downhill from here. The only obstacle in my way was a couple of Elk. They stopped for a photo op then hightailed.

(Now look at the pic in my first post)

So that’s basically it, sipapu for a BLT and then slabbbed it home on the high road to Taos. Not the greatest adventure but it taught me a few things:

  1. People really still use guard dogs
  2. GE has some splainin to do
  3. Never under estimate the Rockies in June
  4. Truchas takes their Graffiti very seriously
  5. Waterproof gloves, waterproof gloves….

So it was planned and it happened, not without hitches though.

The first leg over the mountains on FR 83 then down an old jeep trail into San Pablo almost ended in me being eaten alive by a pack of guard dogs. Luckily the lady who owned the land in which I ended up on came out of the house and was happy to let me through her gate.

She was nice, and honest as she told me to watch myself as her dogs circled an took individual sorties at my ankles.

Anyway, I got through and hit mostly dead ends on my planned route. Oh well, still saw some nice scenery and plenty of wildlife.

So after a late start and much exploring I ended up at Coyote State Park at around 8PM and got the tent setup just in time for the rain.

Note to self: never, ever, forget the thermarest again…

After a quick dinner of beef jerky and Jack Daniels I slept, kind of, I mostly slept in between intervals of rolling over all the rocks under the tent.

I had to be a semi-contortionist to get all parts of my body on smooth ground…