A longtime favorite destination for New Mexican anglers the Conejos River hatch has arrived early this year due to lower stream flows and warmer weather brought on by the drought.
During a recent trip to the big river near the tiny town of Antonito we found the air abuzz with fat lumbering stone flies and trout rising to the surface to engulf them.
And boy does this sucker work on the Conejos River's resident population of big, bad, brown trout.
Those seeking solitude, great mountain scenery and plenty of angling opportunities need only venture down to the river from any number of obvious access points.
Be careful when wading this river as it is deep, wide and slippery with the nearest professional medical care some 30 miles away at a clinic near of La Jara as our host, Thom Cole, discovered after dislocating a finger during a slip and fall.
Be respectful of private property owners who generously provide much of the public access to anglers on this river.
Bring plenty of water or carry a purifier as many inviting stretches require a good hike.
And wear a wide brimmed hat, a proper shirt and perhaps some sunblock to ward off effects of the high elevation sun.
Our best catch of the trip was found lurking in the quiet water at the edge of a deep, turbulent run under an overhanging tree surrounded by willows festooned with the big bugs.