The Ñirehuao River, known as "The Home Water," the river winds its way through high desert grasslands, offering breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities for anglers. With miles of river access on the ranch and the fishing access to prime off-property spots, El Saltamontes has something for everyone. The river banks are easy to tour with open areas for backcasting and gravel-bottom streams that make wading a breeze. Throughout the season, the focus is on large terrestrials like hoppers and beetles, leading to abundant catches of average 15-17 inch fish with specimens over 20 inches frequently caught. To top it all off, the lodge is conveniently located right on the river, making it the perfect base camp.
Creek Fishing outside the Ranch
Anglers can immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenery of such tributary streams that run through the stunning Valley of the Moon and fed the Ñirehuao River, while fishing for beautiful- brown trout that average 14 inches. With a variety of aquatic insects present, the creek offers diverse hatches, including mayfly making it a top choice for those who prefer dry fly fishing. Whether it's casting your line into the fast-moving currents or admiring the surrounding landscape, a day spent fishing in the Valley of the Moon is an experience that's not to be missed.
Falling under this broad category of "spring creeks/lagoons” are a large number of running-ponds-waters the size of small lakes of 1-2 acres. Some of these are ancient river oxbows spring fed.
They are fascinating fisheries, and consistently hold browns of larger proportions than the average of the main river, often in the 18-20 inch range, with fish over thirty inches occasionally hooked. They seem to pop up at random over the landscape of the ranch – the knowledge of the guides is invaluable in locating them. Wonderfully, we continue to find new ones every year!
The stillwaters around El Saltamontes provide a unique fishing experience, with different environments and types of fish. One of the most remarkable lakes, Lago Del Cielo, is surrounded by towering mountains and is fed by natural springs. This lake is known for its clear site casting waters, with underwater structures such as rocks, drop-offs and weedbeds that hold big rainbows and brown trout. The lake is best fished from a boat, but there are plenty of opportunities to wade and cast from the shore.
The lake is best described by guide David Burger: “Is quite simply awesome. Any angler harboring a prejudice against stillwater fishing will change their point of view after this experience! Using the lodge’s pontoon boats we can cover most of the lake’s shoreline over the course of the day. From cliffs, logjams and weedbeds, this lake offers a lot of great structure. Large browns are often found hugging the shorelines in unbelievably shallow water. The fish enjoy dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, beetles, caddis, mayflies and midges on their daily menu – basically, anything will work, as long as it is big and ugly! The lake area is incredibly scenic, and guests seem to very much enjoy the thirty five minutes ride through the native forest to get there.”