This fishing report, provided by Dustin Berg of Go Unlimited (supporting disabled anglers) and the Department of Game and Fish, has been generated from the best information available from area officers and anglers. Conditions encountered after the report is compiled may differ, as stream, lake and weather conditions alter fish and angler activities.
2020-2021 New Mexico fishing licenses are on sale, valid April 1 to March 31.
A MESSAGE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF GAME & FISH
The department is continuing to adapt our ways of working to conserve wildlife for all New Mexicans. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, department biologists and conservation officers continue to conduct wildlife surveys, contact anglers and OHV recreationists and stock fish in open waters throughout the state.
Our teams are wearing personal protective equipment for everyone’s safety while working in small groups for maximum social distancing. We ask for your help to keep everyone safe and healthy by following the NMDOH public health emergency order by wearing PPE while staying at least six feet away from staff and equipment.
IN THIS WEEK’S REPORT
A young angler shares information about his favorite fishing spots and offers up a few fly fishing tips.
Fishing with Jude Fletcher and his father Seth
Jude and his father Seth are from Artesia, but their family ties bring them north to fish some of New Mexico’s pristine rivers and streams. This week, Jude wants to share his love for fishing with his fellow New Mexico anglers and a couple of tips that help him find success.
Jude, now five-years-old, is proud to call himself a genuine diehard fisherman. He started fishing in ponds on his family’s property when he was just three. He fell in love with catching bass first and then, soon after, trout. Jude prides himself on his ability to name all the different species of trout in New Mexico. With certainty, he says, “brown, rainbow, cutthroat, Gila and brook.”
Jude got his first fly rod on his fifth birthday, and he quickly developed a passion for fly fishing. He says, “I’ve caught bass, chub and trout on my fly rod, so far.”
His favorite fly is the Woolly Bugger because the fly has a fair amount of weight to it that helps him with his casting. He also likes midge pattern flies because he and his family have caught a lot of fish using various patterns. He and his family like to fish the Rio Peñasco, Rio Hondo and Rio Bonita (close to Ruidoso).
Jude also loves trolling the banks looking for stoneflies, nymphs and other larva so he can try to “match the hatch” using a fly that looks like the insects present where he is fishing.
The Red River is an extra special spot for the Fletcher family. The family has fished up there for many years, going back to the 1950s when Seth Fletcher’s great-grandfather started fishing on the Red. Fletcher says, “it’s kind of a rite of passage in our family for a boy to go fish the Red River below the Questa hatchery with his father.”
Jude is very excited and usually wants to spend his evenings in the front yard practicing his fly cast. When the weekend comes, he is up at 5:30 a.m. and ready to hit the water.
Jude says, “I’m very excited because next year I get to go fish with my dad and grandpa on the Rio Costilla and Red River!”
I think every kid should try fly fishing!
Any anglers willing to share their stories, experiences, techniques or tackle, please contribute by emailing Berg at email@example.com
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)
U.S. Forest Service (USFS)
New Mexico State Lands
New Mexico State Parks
New Mexico Open Gate Properties
New Mexico Wildlife Management Areas
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Consult local government websites for information regarding specific city and town fishing access.