A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME & FISH
As COVID-19 continues to force all of us to make changes to our daily schedule, the department would like to remind that together we can make a difference. To help minimize the spread of the virus:
Practice social distancing.
Wash your hands regularly.
Avoid non-essential travel.
Wear a face covering.
Avoiding interacting with large groups.
Stay healthy and safe.
In this time of change, the department would like to encourage anglers to continue COVID safe practices; it is a great time to mend equipment, stock tackle boxes and prepare for upcoming fishing trips. In the weekly fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, we will continue to share tips and tricks to help you be ready and to safely go on your next adventure.
In this week’s fishing report, Berg shares some memories of fishing with dad. If you choose to go fishing this father’s day weekend, make sure to practice #ResponsibleRecreation.
Dustin Berg talks about fishing with his dad
Many dads have opened the door to endless outdoor adventure for their kids by first taking them fishing. My dad started taking me fishing in about 1988. We’d venture out into the Jemez Mountains and float bugs and worms down the mountain streams. I have fond memories of chasing grasshoppers through tall grass and using those grasshoppers I caught as bait for the fish. The Guadalupe Box in the Jemez Mountains was one of our favorite places to go. There were wily brown trout lurking in the deeper dark pools that would erupt violently on our floating grasshopper baits. It was thrilling for me as a young boy and even still sends a jolt of electricity through my veins today.
As I grew older and more capable, my dad poured fuel into the fire by taking me further into the great outdoors. We backpacked into remote places near Red River, bow hunted the Gila Mountains and picked up fly fishing and wading the San Juan River.
On the San Juan River, we’d camp at Cottonwood Campground and fish upstream to a place called ET Rock. Wading the San Juan is an experience one never forgets. The abundance of large trout swimming around your boots is a fishermen’s dream. We preferred to fish with dry flies because the sight of watching a trout rise to take your bait is an absolute rush.
The entire stretch of river from Cottonwood Campground to ET Rock was excellent fishing, but it was at ET Rock where I caught my first 24-inch rainbow trout. I am not positive, but I think I caught that fish on a black midge cluster fly or brown elk hair caddis. We caught a lot of fish on those two flies and I believe they work often because of their close resemblance to many naturally occurring bug species. My dad and I had some really great times fishing up there on the Juan.
Thirty-two years later, I am blessed to be a dad taking my son, Tyler, fishing. My hope is that he will learn the many lessons in life that are taught through being in nature and experiencing adventure. The informal and often impromptu education found only in the great outdoors is priceless. I am so grateful that my dad took me out and taught me how to fish.
If you have personal tips and tricks that you would like to share as we wait out the current restrictions, please email Berg at email@example.com.
Social distancing is a challenge for all anglers; the itch to go fishing just keeps growing. But this is a time for all New Mexicans to pull together for the overall health of all our citizens and stay home. The department reminds anglers it is their responsibility to be aware of closures and contact land managers for properties of interest when restrictions are lifted.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — blm.gov/new-mexico
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) — fs.usda.gov/about-agency/covid19-updates
New Mexico State Lands — nmstatelands.org/resources/recreational-access/
New Mexico State Parks — emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/
New Mexico Open Gate Properties — wildlife.state.nm.us/hunting/maps/open-gate-program/
New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas — wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/state-game-commission-lands/
Angler and outdoor recreationists should consult their local government’s website for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.