Northern New Mexico has some of the best trout fishing I’ve ever experienced. They have it all from East to West. Big rivers, tributaries, creeks, lakes – you name it, there’s fish in there.

This time around we decided to get into some far off creeks near Santa Fe National Forest. Creek fishing on the fly is always a little bit more strenuous of an endeavor than the traditional dock or having the luxury of a kayak or boat.Though tougher to get to and definitely tighter of a casting position than most people care to try, the reward is catching a fish that has likely never seen a human. Hiking far enough in to fish places that are silent – alive, only with the sounds of nature, is what I live for.


A different kind of hike…

A typical hike consists of trail heads, trails, scenic overlooks, perhaps a fork in the road or two and that’s generally it. Creek hiking and fishing is the opposite – it’s bushwhacking at it’s finest. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find a beaten path from animals or others who have braved it. Most times, however, you feel like predator is going to come out at any moment.

Pushing through branches and bushes can be taxing while carrying your gear and trying to land your footing, but it’s actually kind of fun after a few beers. It’s all more than worth it once you find that spot where the fish are and it all comes together!

Oh yeah, and the fishing was absolutely amazing too!

“Pushing through branches and bushes can be taxing while carrying your gear and trying to land your footing, but it’s actually kind of fun after a few beers.”


Gearing Up…

Alongside our fishing gear, we had our daypacks rigged out with your basic back country survival equipment, sunscreen and a Lifestraw.

The star of the show for us, however, was the YETI Hopper 20. Not only did it keep our water and beer cold all day, but it basically doubled as a machete to get us through the thicket. We used it like a battering ram to bore through branches and bushes that otherwise would have stopped us. Built like a white water raft that could take on anything, I just threw it in front of me and pushed our way through thorns and the gnarliest of branches. It just kept going with no signs of giving up any time soon. Truly built to last.

From your boots to your landing net, having the right gear can always make or break a trip. Simplicity and performance is what it’s all about!

– Drew Arnold