The Brazos River
I don’t know about you but I rarely have the strength of will to follow a river trail until it ends. More often than not I see a particularly juicy run or a too enticing hole through the trees and cannot resist the urge to stop hiking and start fishing. However, early last month I had the opportunity to guide the Brazos River Box and thankfully I harnessed the strength of will to put on blinders as I led my clients down the trail past innumerable picturesque waters. Although, as strong as I thought I was I must admit that at one particularly gorgeous pool I asked them if they were ready to stop and “clear the cobwebs.” My clever way of suggesting that we stop this foolish hiking and start fishing. Thankfully, they were determined to hike to the box and so I led them on, albeit secretly reluctant.
If you can resist the temptation of perfect waters and make it to the end of the Brazos Box Trail you will be rewarded with one of the most beautiful stretches of trout water in the state. I do believe the old adage that ‘beauty lies in the eye of the beholder’ but I dare you to make this trek and argue that this river is anything other than one of New Mexico’s finest. After scrambling over rock fields, following scattered cairns which lead you up into the realm of the mountain goat, you eventually scramble back down and are dropped at river’s edge. You step off of a bank covered in wild flowers and into clear waters. You look up at the sheer cliffs of the box canyon rising 2,500 feet above you and see a small strip of perfect blue sky. The river flows around structure composed of boulders and felled trees and it is so fishy that your fingers tremble as you hurry to get rigged. The best news of all is that it is indeed as fishy as it looks.
In fact, the entire two and a half miles of the Brazos River leading up to the box provides incredibly good fishing. It is owned and accessed through the private holding at Corkin’s Lodge, a rustic and historic community of cabins tucked in the trees at the base of the cliffs. Corkin’s Lodge has been operating for over 70 years and is the type of place where families will vacation generation after generation. Do you want the best news yet? It is affordable. This paradise is not reserved for the super rich but I guarantee that you will feel like you have won the lottery when you pull a wild brown from a plunge pool and release it back into the water while you stand beneath the setting sun blazing off the cliffs above.
We have guided many clients through these Brazos waters over the years and have discovered that in addition to being both a cozy retreat and a top quality day trip fishing destination, Corkin’s Lodge provides the perfect base camp for a multi-day fishing trip. There are three other rivers in the area that provide diverse yet unparalleled fishing for the region, the Chama, Conejos and San Juan. All three rivers are accessible for day trips from Corkin’s and each offer the angler something different. Call us at the shop to book!