Report from the Cimarron: Granny Was Right

Written by: Rita Schimpff


Rita Schimpff with a fine Cimarron River rainbow.

photo courtesy Rita Schimpff

My granny used to always quip, “Big presents come in small packages,” and such was the case on our fly-fishing adventure on the Cimarron River out of Ute Park, New Mexico. My husband, Skip, and I had met Doc Thompson at Troutfest 2012 in New Braunfels, Texas and had decided to set up a trip with him. Although we both love to fish dries, I especially do, and that was how we set up our trip. We fished private water for two days, punctuated by lovely lunches served al fresco. Both days were extremely successful on a little river with big possibilities. But, for me a dark side lurked.

It started out innocently enough. As I said, I really like and prefer to fish only dries and am content to do so all day long. We did well, but it was not long before Doc eased me into trying a double-dry rig—a large stonefly of Doc’s creation followed by a Parachute Adams to act like an emerger. I went along with it, and we caught even more absolutely beautiful browns in water 20 feet across and knee deep.

Before lunch, we were in a deeper run; mind you I was still having a blast with what we were doing. Skip, being a little more adventurous and really a closet nympher, was quick to take Doc’s suggestion of a dry-and-dropper set up, this time using a beadhead nymph behind the dry. (“See Rita, you are still fishing dry.”) You can see what is coming next! Instantly, Skip had on a scrumptious colored 20-inch fat rainbow, and then they both looked at me. Well. . .I am not stupid.

Doc’s an Eagle Scout, so how bad can this be? I’ll do it just this one time. . .Wham!

Many things made the trip such a success. Doc taught us to try new things, read the water, and plan how to fish each section slowly, quietly, and carefully. He pointed out that we were fishing in “stained” water which made the fish more comfortable. He was extremely patient and so knowledgeable about the flora & fauna that make up the ecosystem.

When I first had first seen this tailwater river, I had been a bit taken back by its small size. But, looking back I realized what a unique experience we had shared. Granny also said, “Never judge a book by its cover!

 Granny was right on both counts.

Rita Schimpff is an artist who lives in San Antonio, Texas.

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