Meet Dustin Berg, the new author of the NMG & F state weekly fishing report

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Fisg boyDustin Berg is the author of the state fishing report that is published weekly in the Los Alamos reporter. Courtesy photo


If you have been reading the Fishing Report of the Department of Hunting and Fishing every week in the Los Alamos Report, you may have noticed a new name. Earlier this month, the avid nature lover, Dustin Berg, was named author of the fishing report, assuming the role of Bill Dunn, who became a family name among New Mexico's cane fishermen for decades.

A native of Albuquerque, Dustin began pursuing outdoor activities at the age of four, loaded with a fishing rod. Throughout his adolescence and until his twenties, he learned to hunt great games with a bow and a gun. A motorcycle accident in 2003 instantly paralyzed Dustin Berg from the waist down, but his love for the outdoors and sports was not compromised. He adapted the team and worked with friends and experts in outdoor adventures to overcome the barriers that existed for his new physical form and the use of a wheelchair.

His passion for life and esteem for other wheelchair users inspired ideas of access, opportunity and adventure. As a result, he founded GO Unlimited (, an organization that in the past 14 years has created access to outdoor opportunities for people with disabilities and, in doing so, has improved the quality of life . For thousands of people of all ages and abilities.

In an interview with the editor of New Mexico Wildlife, Alexa J. Henry, Dustin offers some tips for fishing for children, shares his favorite fishing spots in our state and his most memorable fishing experience.

?What is your most memorable fishing experience?
That is a difficult question. As I get older, I love to take people fishing and I like to see other people, especially children, fish more than fish.

If I had to choose a personal experience, I would have to be on a trip to the San Juan River with my father. I must have been about 11 years old and just learn to fly fish. We did an excursion to E.T. Rock early in the morning. While navigating the dirt road wearing boots, I felt sole boots and carrying a flying stick, lost my balance and fell into a cactus. Disgusted but too stubborn to give up, I felt frustrated, pulling cactus from my hand for what seemed at least an hour. After that, my dad and I proceeded to fish around E.T. Rock and upriver, where a pretty whirlpool had stacked a pile of large trouts that fed on the surface. I caught at least a dozen fish, including the biggest fish of my life, 24 ", using high water flies.

I will never forget that trip. It was a good lesson of perseverance and a truly amazing experience to see how the trout rose to savor the flies that I tied at the end of my line.

?What advice do you have for someone fishing for the first time?
Whatever happens is the experience you get. Go prepared for fun whether you fish or not. Rain, clouds, fish catch, see the beautiful country, encounters with wildlife, etc. What happens is what makes it an adventure. Catching fish can certainly make it more fun, so do your due diligence and talk to local fishermen or stores that can help you prepare for success.

?What are some of your favorite fishing spots in the entire state?
I like fishing in Lake Navajo because it has a great variety of fish species, especially sea bass, pike, salmon and trout. I like the mountains of Jemez because they offer many nice mountain streams. I like Lake Ute because the walleye fishing can be excellent, and the walleye fishing is delicious to eat. In Elephant Butte I like to fish at night and I have had moments when my friends and I have caught more than 100 fish. Any body of water around Chama and Tierra Amarilla is beautiful and I love fishing there. Red River and Angel Fire are also my mountain favorites. I have had some great camping / fishing trips on the Costilla River. I'm sure I missed a place or two, but these are all amazing places to go.

?Do you have any advice to introduce a child to fishing?
Make it fun and eat lots of snacks. Start with a place where fishing is quite easy, such as a children's pond. I taught my son a lot about fishing in the Seven Springs Kids pond in the mountains of Jemez. It may be good to make the trip, not all about fishing, in case you are not fishing any fish. Camping, hiking, barbecues and playing in the streams are some of the things that can make the excursion fun with or without catching fish. Take the children outdoors and have fun: fishing will resolve itself if the children are developing an interest in the large open spaces.

?What is your favorite lure and / or fly?
Fishing in the lake, I love crankbaits like the Berkley Flicker Shad in white / green and natural colors. Fishing in the river and the fly, I like elk hair caddis, black flies and pheasant tail nymphs as a general starting point, knowing that the choice of the right fly depends so much on what is being plotting at that time. But in general, there is usually a mistake in which you are fishing and it looks like one of the above.

?What do you use for fishing (rod, reel, flying vest, boat)?
I like to use traditional centrifugal casting rods with a bail casting reel and an 8-pound test line. I like the 9-foot-long fly rods that catch the 4-pound test leader. I like the bank, the river and the fishing boat. I use tons of different equipment, including tackle boxes and fly vests. I like to use rubber nets to land fish because it is healthier for fish and much easier for me since my hooks don't get tangled up with that old nylon net. I like to buy equipment that includes rods and reels in the average price range. The $ 50 beginner fly fishing combos usually work well for starters and some. I wear polarized sunglasses that cost around $ 30 because I have sunk or broke enough expensive pairs that hurt when they get lost. Polarized glasses are important to see in the water. Have a wide-brimmed hat to keep cool and avoid burning with the sun.

?Do you have a favorite recipe for the fish you catch?
I like fresh kokanee salmon caught and stuffed with butter, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and lemon, wrapped in foil, and cooked on a barbecue grill or on the coals on the edge of a fire, heat for about 3 minutes . each side. If the meat is good and flaky it is cooked.

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