Thomas wins Society of Animal Artists Award

Have some cool news to share about my father, Fred Thomas, who's been a wildlife illustrater for 30-some years and a lifelong hard-core outdoorsman.

This Year's Fly

  • By: John Gierach
  • Illustrations by: Bob White
Into the Light

The best motel in Basalt, Colorado is the Green Drake. It’s clean, plain, not too expensive and you can guess from the name that fishermen are welcome. The resident dog is named Baxter. He’s a hundred-pound yellow Lab, and a friendly and sudden leaner. You quickly learn that when you stop to pet him you have to throw a leg out and brace so he doesn’t knock you over.

You’d have to describe the place as nice and homey, but it hasn’t entirely escaped the gentrification that’s occurred in the 25 years since Basalt was a workingman’s alternative to nearby Aspen. In almost any other town in the West, this establishment would be called “The Green Drake Motel,” but here it’s “The Green Drake: A Motel.”

Mike Savlen's Suggestion

  • By: Bob White
  • Photography by: Bob White
Technicolor Fishy

I enjoy mike savlen’s paintings for the same reasons I like the man: The artist and his work are bold, honest and colorful.

Savlen grew up near the water, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and began to fish with his father at the age of two. Since then, he says, water and fish have fascinated him. His interest in painting began at about the same time, when he found a can of house paint in the trash and decided to re-paint the family car. “I guess,” Savlen says with a grin, “that my parents didn’t quite understand my artistic vision!”

New Water

  • By: John Gierach
  • Illustrations by: Bob White
New Water

Like most of the trout streams in my life, I first saw this one from the window of a moving car. We were at right angles to each other at a narrow bridge, going our separate ways. It was just a sidelong glance: not much more than a fisherman at the wheel registering flowing water.

Farther along, the road turned to roughly parallel the stream and there were longer glimpses and then full views. In this stretch it was mostly riffles with uniform cobble bottoms, and darker slots at the bends where fish would hold. I followed it downstream as it took on feeders with unremarkable names like Willow, Spruce, Moose, Buck, Bear and Boulder creeks and grew from a creek itself to a good-size stream and finally to a proper little river.

secret spring creek

  • Photography by: Brian Grossenbacher
Secret Spring Creek

Kept from public knowledge; withdrawn, remote, secluded.

Photo essay