toner.mitchell's posts

About toner.mitchell

Querencia: A love of place

In 2011, when I was still president of New Mexico’s Santa Fe (Truchas) Chapter, I was approached by Nick Streit, president of the Taos (Enchanted Circle) Chapter and owner of the Taos Fly Shop, about restoring a section of the Red River in Questa. The Red had been a workhorse for several decades, impacted by … Read more

Still on top

Efforts to fix habitat are as much for people as they are for the planet It’s legislature season in New Mexico, a time I’ve come to abhor for how it represents my species and, perhaps more likely, my deficiencies as a chess player.  Sausage making is a circus, spectacular flights of ethical and logical acrobatics … Read more

What Esther Garcia meant for fishing

Growing up in New Mexico, I took for granted that there were fishing spots where no one would want to go. Steep hikes, brush and snags everywhere, places that required too much work to get to.  “Joke’s on them,” was my thinking; if only people knew that it was so much more fun than work. The people who knew … Read more

San Juan New Years in the Old Years

It’s difficult to remember exactly when it began, our annual New Years fishing trip on the San Juan River below Navajo Dam. We had hair and it wasn’t gray, and some of us still had muscles. We brought our kitchen kits and coolers, cooking our meals and washing dishes, then staying up half the night playing cribbage, … Read more

The ecology of multiple use

Effective partnerships win The 2014 listing of the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse as a federally endangered species caused the closure of an expansive meadow along the Rio Cebolla to all uses – camping, fishing and especially grazing. As a gathering pasture in the spring and fall, the meadow was critical to the operations of … Read more

Faith

Fly fishing in New Mexico.

I was driving home the other morning from my son’s school, where a prospective head of school had fielded questions from an auditorium full of parents. One father had asked how the candidate would promote critical thinking in an environment so well known for its “indoctrination” of our nation’s youth. He seemed to accept this reality, yet expressed hope that debate would be encouraged on controversial topics. One of them, no surprise, was … Read more

Corridors paved with water

A view of the mountains in New Mexico.

When teaching guide clients how to read a stream, I stressed three basic conditions that dictate where a trout will hold: access to food, access to safety and access to shelter from energy-sapping currents. A healthy and stable abundance of any or all of these conditions affords trout the option of staying put, perhaps enabling … Read more

Small-stream tactics in the age of non-native invasives

Native Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Contrary to many conservation-minded anglers, I am one who believes that, along with cockroaches, coyotes and Siberian elm trees, brown trout will survive the apocalypse. They possess many of the traits we Americans admire most: they are intelligent, confident, adaptable, rugged, ambitious and breathtakingly handsome. And for the time being … Read more