Restoring a future with Gila trout

By Jeff Arterburn Very few people encounter the mountainous region of southwestern New Mexico known as “The Gila” by accident. The nearest interstates track the open desert valleys far from the sierra. Locals here will still acknowledge the occurrence of oncoming vehicles with a finger raised momentarily from the steering wheel, and not the middle … Read more

Legacy

The drawing of the trout is from the hand of a small child. The description even more so: “This was the first fish I ever cot [sic] on a rod. When I first felt the feeling of reeling in the fish, I was amased [sic].” In the span of 15 years, Jeremy Brooks’ writing and … 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

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

Working to keep the Rio Grande cutthroat trout off the Endangered Species List

Extensive efforts in southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico to restore habitat for the Rio Grande cutthroat trout (RGCT) have been underway since at least 2003. State agencies, tribes, federal agencies and Trout Unlimited have cooperated to bring this species back to more of its historic range, applying expert knowledge and considerable experience to restore this important native species, which is also the state … 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

Our duty to comment on public lands plans

American’s have a birthright to federal public lands throughout the nation. Forests, rivers, grasslands and more offer exceptional recreational opportunities for each one of us, and we have a duty to speak up on how they are managed. In New Mexico, two large swaths of public lands are revisiting management strategies. The Carson and Santa … 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