Every Saturday (with the exception of Jun. 23) through Sept. 1 at 10:30 am, Solitary Angler’s certified instructors provide a free 90-minute “Quick Start” fly-casting class to the public at Sipapu. Sipapu is centrally located in the heart of the Camino Real Ranger District of the Carson National Forest, making it the ideal place to fish the Río Pueblo de Picuris, which runs through the resort.
The free Saturday clinics provide a one-on-one, hands-on instruction. Instructors demonstrate the three elements that form a good cast: how the fly rod, reel and line work together; how to cast overhand and backhand even in the wind; and how to shoot line out and strip line in.
“It’s imperative to learn to fly cast before you can actually approach the water to fly fish,” stated Van Beacham, owner of Solitary Angler. “Our casting lessons give the beginner fly fisher the basic skills necessary to start fly fishing.”
Solitary Angler’s owner, Van Beacham, is a fourth-generation native New Mexican who grew up fly fishing. He developed a unique teaching technique that his certified instructors use to make learning to fly cast fun, fast and easy with an emphasis on fly fishing small streams.
“Our emphasis is on casting techniques that will translate into practical application on the numerous small- to medium-size streams that are abundant in New Mexico and the southern Rockies,” stated Beacham.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but for those who do not have their own, fly rods and reels are available for use during the clinics at no charge, and may be reserved in advance by calling (575) 758-5653.
Fishing licenses are required (with the exception of New Mexico free fishing days), and may be purchased at Sipapu’s general store. For more details on the free 90-minute casting clinics, visit SipapuNM.com.
For those wanting additional instruction, half-day personalized classes on fly fishing small streams are provided for $125 by Solitary Angler. The small stream afternoon clinic offers instruction to groups of 1 to 4 people per instructor to practice casting skills on the Río Pueblo at Sipapu.
Students learn how to read water, make fly selections, use the right casting techniques for each situation, how to achieve a good drift and position themselves to cast a specific target. They will also learn the difference between dry fly, wet fly and nymph fishing, how to identify the major aquatic insects, how to match the hatch and how to properly land and release a trout.
Sipapu also offers a stocked trout pond right at the resort. The next New Mexico Free Fishing Day isSept. 22 when anyone can fish without a license in public fishing waters throughout the state of New Mexico. For information on free fishing day and other fishing information, visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website at wildlife.state.nm.us.
Other summer activities at Sipapu include disc golf, geocaching, hiking, camping. The Riverside Café, located in the historic lodge, offers a New Mexican-inspired menu, a full bar and is open daily. Sipapu offers a variety of lodging that is full of history and rich with character. Sipapu also features campsites and RV spaces. For more information, call 800-587-2240 or get more details online.