Aug 3 2008 11:39 pm
In an atypically poetic fashion, my father exclaimed tonight that, "getting into bed at Cow Creek Ranch is like getting into an envelope." They tuck the corners in extremely tight. I think this is a mark of excellent service. That and they gave me four AA batteries today for free. And they picked up a bottle of gin for my dad in Pecos, which, considering the road to Pecos, is no mean feat. The staff here are genuinely nice.
Cow Creek Ranch is a small, historic guest ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in northern New Mexico, about 40 miles east of Santa Fe. It is the next valley east of the Pecos River valley.
Cow Creek Ranch is rather swanky. And not inexpensive. It is luxurious and the fishing is easy. Cow Creek was once, and still is in some places, a tiny mountain stream. But on the ranch property it has been transformed into a four mile string of fifty foot wide plunge pools and seven "high mountain lakes" which really just seem to be man made ponds filled with, on average, sixteen inch trout, mostly rainbows, but also browns, brookies, cut-bows, and allegedly some cutthroats. They feed them in the winter then stop feeding them when guests arrive, probably so that the fish are hungry and jump on your line tout de suite. This might be the cause of the rather emaciated looking fish I caught. Big heads, long bodies, but skinny. They get fat on pounds of pellets then have to eke out a living on #16 caddis flies all summer.
I'm not sure how I feel about all this. I want to disapprove. Bulldozing a fine mountain creek into huge fish barrels, stocking fish and starving them in the summer, cooking lavish gourmet meals three times a day, a staff bigger than the number of guests, the sheer amount of waste that is generated by such an operation etc. etc.
While I'll probably never be able to afford this kind of thing on my own, I can do it now with my family and rationalize it as quality time with them.
But when I'm honest with myself, I have to admit that things here are luxurious and it is rather pleasant to angle stupid 20" trout all day long while someone else is cooking you fatty steaks, making your bed, and generally going to great lengths to make sure you're happy all the time.
Also, my brother and I had the longest and second longest cast in the casting contest tonight: he cast 81' and I cast 78' ... on a four weight.