FROM SEPTEMBER TO November along New Mexico’s Rio Grande, the lines between truth and beauty become distorted. Bluebird skies and red-capped mountains cascade into rushing flows of lucid water bursting with trout. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment, home of some of the country’s most sublime fly-fishing.
Self-confessed “grizzled” guide Ed Adams of Ed Adams Fly Fishing emphasizes the importance of hiring a guide to perfect your rhythm, maximize enjoyment and take you safely through the river’s famous rushing rapids.
If you fancy yourself more of a loner, local guides say a good place for first-timers is Taos’ Orilla Verde Recreation Area. It boasts an eight-mile stretch of river where wading and casting is easy, plus there’s a road running alongside for quick access. For those who’d like to combine hiking with fly-fishing, there’s the Taos Junction Bridge near Pilar, N.M. Fish below, then hike up. For the seriously advanced, there’s Wild Rivers Recreation Area, about 25 miles north of Taos. Along with fishing and strenuous hiking, there’s also an excellent camping facility, a visitor’s center, bike trails and nearby hot springs.