Holy Ghost Creek/Panchuela Creek
By Devon Fletcher
I fished the Pecos Wilderness twice in
one year. On a very hot June day, I had the pleasure of fishing the
Wilderness section of Holy Ghost Creek all by my lonesome. It was a
perfect summer day of fishing. I caught over a dozen eager browns, all
on attractor dries. Walking out, I passed a fisherman working the
section in the campground and couldn't imagine that he was having the
kind of day I just had. I dodged the potholes I hit on the way in, and
drove back to Santa Fe all smiles.
In November I went to Panchuela Creek
and caught nothing. The few actual opportunities I had, I squandered.
On the way out, I saw a fisherman coming in from his day on the Pecos
River. Curious, I quickly turned into the NMDGF parking area only to
realize I was practically going over a cliff. I literally bounced my
wife's Corolla down to the bottom!
I chatted awhile. His day was much
better than mine.
I then turned to the daunting prospect of getting up
the deeply rutted, STEEP entrance. My first attempt succeeded only in
burning rubber. I retreated, banished the thought of getting towed out
of there, and steeled myself for a second attempt. I carefully looked at
my choices and determined that I needed to go to the left, balance on
the high points of the ruts and somehow get my left front tire onto the
grass to the side of the collapsed border between pavement and dirt. By
some miracle it worked on the first try.
I gave abundant thanks and
thought my good fortune in getting out of there was more than adequate
repayment for my poor luck on the stream. I checked under the car for
any obvious damage and saw nothing. I worried for awhile, but slowly
came to realize we had emerged unscathed.
The next day there wasn't time for
fishing, so I did a little 4 mile loop hike in the forest near Santa Fe.
The trails were practically like highways compared to what I'm used in
most parts of Gila. It was nice ,but I was about a month late for the
Note to fisherman: Holy Ghost Creek in the wilderness is
very narrow, with abundant trees, shrubs and plants along the banks, so
there’s not a lot of room for casting and you’ll need to stay out of the
There’s more room in the campground, but fewer fish and more
fishermen. Panchuela is more open and wide enough for real casts in some
places, but the fish were very spooky, so maybe it sees more pressure.
Also you’ll need to pay a parking fee at both places. At Holy Ghost, you’ll need to park outside of the campground and
walk in to fish, unless you are actually camping.
By Devon Fletcher
More properly, Northern NM-Sangre de Cristo & Pecos Wilderness.
We camped in Northern New Mexico twice this summer. In June we went to
Jacks Creek, back on the southern edge of the Pecos Wilderness. It was
still pretty cold: low sixties in the day, mid thirties at night. Our
second day there it rained all day. Up on the peaks, they got several
inches of snow.
We hiked the Cave Creek trail one day, and the old
Windsor Creek trail another. I did some fishing in Jacks Creek, but
without much success. We had fires every night. Played Spades with our
friends Edan and Eric. We also ate absolutely gigantic green chile
cheeseburgers at Bobcat Bite.All in all, it was a really nice trip.
July we stayed at Black Canyon, the first Campground on the Ski Basin
Road. It's only about seven miles to the plaza in Santa Fe. I'm pretty
sure we were closer than my stepson who was staying at a motel on
Cerrillos Rd., and we were only paying $10 bucks a night. It's a great way
to see Santa Fe on the cheap, and the sites are reservable too.
Although the main reason for the visit was seeing my stepson and his
girlfriend, who were in town, my wife and I also hiked to Nambe Lake
and I caught a couple of nice trout in the Rio en Medio. I was
surprised to find this nice little fishing stream so close to Santa
Fe.There weren't a lot of fish, but I don't think it sees a lot of
We all visited Bandelier
on a hot and humid day. The Rio
Frijoles was very low. We also visited a distillery in a house in a
suburban subdivision outside of Los Alamos
. Another great trip.
Enjoying our adventures? Wanna keep up and maybe share your own adventures?
Click To Join Our Moderated List
Painting By Featured Artist MJAckley "Sunset Behind Fall Tree II"