"Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman's job is simple: Pick out the best parts."

-Charles Waterman

Fisherman's Tour of the Pecos Canyon and Beyond

If you've never been in the Pecos Canyon before, the following is a pictorial showcase of the sights and the fish that you'll see as you drive and fish up the canyon. NM-63 goes through the Village of Pecos and follows the Pecos River twenty miles up the canyon until the road ends in Cowles.


The canyon is a mixture of private and publically owned properties from the river crossing in Pecos all the way up to Cowles. Privately owned land dominates the river access in the lower parts of the canyon and you need to know someone or you need to hire one of the various outfitters in the Santa Fe area to get access. Our experience is with High Desert Angler, they have excellent access from our location at the edge of Pecos up to Tererro.


As you progress farther up into the canyon and start to explore the tributaries, the privately held access begins to thin and public land dominates. From Tererro up to the farthest upper reaches of the Pecos Wilderness there is an abundance of river to fish, especially if you willing to hike and bushwhack a bit. In this tour, I will emphasize the public access.


Pecos National Historical Park

While this park isn't part of the Pecos Canyon, it needs to be included in a fisherman's tour. Just south of Pecos, three miles of the Pecos River in the Pecos National Historical Park are available for fishing from April to October. This fishing program allows access to three, one mile "beats" that are limited to two fishermen per day. There is a $25 per person fee, plus a $3 park fee to fish the river. Reservations are required and the beat assignment happens on the day of the reservation on a first come, first serve basis. We have gone there and had our choice of beat, but don't count on it. In an area where there can be a lot of pressure on the river or limited access due to private land ownership, this program gives folks the opportunity to fish in solitude.


Check in at the park headquarters is necessary. The fishing access to the park is located at the entrance of the Forked Lightning Ranch near where NM-63 crosses Glorieta Creek. Access times are 8:30am - 3:00pm Thursday thru Monday during the Spring and Fall months and 8:30am - 4:30pm during the Summer. When stream flows exceed 200 cfs the river access is closed. All fishing is catch and release. Only artificial baits with single, barbless hooks are permitted.


More information about the program and reservations is available on the park's website - Pecos National Historical Park website


Select the thumbnail below to view a larger picture for this section of the tour.