Toner Mitchell

  • Community From the field Voices from the river

    What are fences good for?

    In New Mexico, fences protect trout habitat and livestock It feels great to get out again on TU field projects. A few weeks ago, we journeyed to the Gila to take some stream measurements, and last week we went to the northwestern Jemez Mountains to replace some fence along the Rio de las Vacas. Our volunteer crew of women and men from regional TU chapters and our partner organization, New…

  • Voices from the river

    Remembering Duane Cook and his service to people

    A man holds a big trout

    I remember being a boy and watching my mother and grandmother yell at the television, as though the Vietnam War was Nixon’s fault and Kennedy and Johnson never existed. At the Memorial Wall in D.C., I remember tears rolling down my good friend’s face the moment he located the name of his father, who died when my friend was but two years old and had yet to commit his dad’s face to memory. My fishing buddy who worked at…

  • Voices from the river

    The gift of the skunk

    One learns not to expect much when fly fishing during the winter months. At least around here, or if you’re me. Regardless of the season, sometimes you step into a river and just know something’s off. The water’s not moving right, or the sound of the wind rings particularly empty and distant. I envy steelhead die-hards their familiarity with this feeling, the impending, inevitable void, and how they march into it undaunted.   A guy I know…

  • Voices from the river Featured

    Old trout don’t need a mirror

    Unlike humans, trout only grow more beautiful with age. I know, I know, beauty’s on the inside, but come on. We are all aware of growing older and should be able to admit to being bothered by it sometimes.

    There are billions of reasons to love trout, their fickleness bordering on intelligence, their powerful reluctance to surrender in battle, and their impeccable taste in house and lot. The way trout look is enough by itself.  This latter attribute expresses itself throughout a trout’s life. Baby trout are like jewels, their scales and inquisitive eyes shooting sunshine in every direction. The…