Gila Wilderness Horse trip for Gila Trout in New Mexico, July 2017

Texas FlyFishers’ member Chris Bruttig is looking for interested members to join him on a fishing trip on horseback to the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico in July 2017.

Here’s Chris’ invitation…

I am putting together a horse packing trip into the Gila Wilderness for Gila Trout .We would be departing near Cliff Dwelling New Mexico.  It would be a total of 8 days on the trail.

We would ride horses into the wilderness and all we would have to bring is personal gear. NM fishing license and fishing gear. A horse wrangler would take us to where we want to go in the Gila Wilderness, supply tents,  cooking gear and food. We would be targeting catch and release wild Gila Trout.

Cost: $1600 per person

Details about fishing for Gila Trout.

Pictures of the area that we’d be riding and fishing

I am working with Stacy Lynn at Bayou City Angler.  She is willing to host a meet and greet at her store sometime before the New Year.
If you are interested, please contact me at 951 526-3628  or

6 thoughts on “Gila Wilderness Horse trip for Gila Trout in New Mexico, July 2017

  1. Chris–Initially, I was intrigued and somewhat excited about you proposed Gila, New Mexico Horseback/fly fishing trip; however, after some investigation, the Gila watershed is basically a hit & miss fishery with great possibility that streams in some parts being almost dry. That aside, I went on a 6 day horseback trip many years ago in the Absaroarka Beartooth Wilderness just north of Yellowstone National Park. ….sleeping in tents, sleeping on the ground, bathing in streams. We had wranglers and a cook, but that aside, even at 6 days, unless you are 29 years old, 6 days in the saddle, sleeping on the ground and plying cold waters for trout, can be taxing (and at age 51) I was in good shape. The $1600 cost you say can easily double…airfare, car rental to destination, gear ($150-200 bed roll, $35 ground pad, and sundry items to keep weight under 50 pound gear weight so mules can carry) adds up in dollars.

    Soooooo…..for what it is worth…I have been there, done that once, and although intrigued to do it again, 8 days in the saddle and with the possibility of not necessarily good fishing…..I advise you and others in Texas Fly Fishers that they might want to re-evaluate this trip you propose. Exciting, perhaps yes, but maybe a good fly fishing lodge for the same amount of money with the possibility of a good Scotch in the evening might be better choice for those who are no longer 29, 39 or 49.

    Questions….call me….John Blair, 936-202-8025


    • PS, PS.
      FYI Its an easy 2 day ride to Mogollon Creek. We would camp for 3 days and than ride back for 2 days. So you are only in the “saddle” for a total of 4 days. 2 going, 2 heading back.




    • Here is a report from Jill Wick who works as a Gila Trout restoration biologist for New Mexico Game and Fish.

      Hi Kit,
      Good to hear from you again. I don’t have any new information on where to fish in Mogollon Creek. I haven’t been in there and I haven’t heard from anyone that has… if I do, I will let you know what I hear. The last I heard was that the fishing was really good from where the trail hits the creek upstream to the waterfall and above. I would definitely recommend using pack animals to get into Mogollon Creek. Black Canyon is a bit more accessible for a day trip, but you could also pack into there as well.

      Let me know if you have other questions in planning your trip.



  2. Hi John,
    No worries. We are all at different places in our lives. The main goal is that it is suppose to be fun!
    I agree, this is a bucket list type of trip. To fish for wild, once endangered, Gila trout. and to see a part of the country where Geronimo once hid out from the US Calvary and which is still “wilderness” makes it worthwhile to me. Having a cook is a real advantage and we can have input on the menu, like steaks etc. With horses, we can also pack extras like a case of wine and or Scotch. We can even pack in a cot it that works. A couple of people expressed interest in hiking in from the other side and meeting the camp. Its about a 4 hour hike. I personally too old to hike, I want the horse to carry me and the gear. I am 65. Price wise I don’t know that you could do much better. A similar trip for Golden Trout in the California Sierras is around $3,000 per person, plus whatever it takes to get to California.

    Anyway, stay in touch and come to the meet and greet even if this trip does not work for you. For 2018 maybe we could do Slough Creek in Montana? Who knows?

    Best Regards,

    PS Your right, the area can be hit and miss. We would be fishing Mogollon Creek.


  3. OK guys, since we have nothing else on the calendar for freshwater for the month of July, do we want to put this down as the July TFF Freshwater trip?

    I can see that we have some interest, and I’d love to get feedback (report and pictures) from those that do go. Do we have proposed dates?



  4. Just to touch base for the New Year. There are a few more spaces for anyone interested in going. Let me know if you are committed no later than the end of January. I need to get a firm head count and deposits from those that want to go so I can book our dates and schedule some planning meetings in the next month or so.

    Kit Bruttig


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