Short Casts

  • By: Bob White
  • Illustrations by: Galen Mercer
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Galen Mercer doesn’t think of himself as an angling artist. In fact, during a recent examination of a quarter century of his work, Mercer was surprised to find that, of the hundreds of paintings he reviewed, only three or four actually contained anglers, and fewer still included fish. “I’ve always been far more interested in the sporting environs than the particulars,” he explained. “Except for scale, I’ve never felt compelled to ‘humanize’ a landscape. Quite the opposite.”

An Angle On Art

  • By: Bob White
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Click image for slideshow.

Most sporting art, especially angling art, has a practical purpose or function. Painters, photographers and printmakers try to capture a moment in time and preserve memories. Sculptors recreate objects cherished by anglers, be they fish or fly. Rod makers, net makers, boat builders and fly tiers create the tools with which we pursue our passion.

Presentation

  • Photography by: Todd Kaplan
Id Ff Brown Drakes Fmt

Subject: During early evenings in June along the banks of south-central Idaho’s Silver Creek, brown drake spinners collect en masse. In response, the creek’s largest brown trout appear from their cutbank lairs to inhale them. Most creek devotees say there’s no better time to catch a five-pound trout on a dry fly.

Bushwhacking along the Talkeetna River, Alaska

  • Photography by: Gabe Rogel
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Specs: Canon A2 body; 28-200mm lens; Fuji Provia 100 film; f8; 1/100

Printmaker John Koch

  • By: Bob White
  • Photography by: Bob White
Brookie Pool by John Koch

I admire John Koch’s woodblock prints for the same reasons I like the man; they have an honest and rough-hewn quality that I find direct, straightforward and authentic.

Sporting Life

  • By: John Gierach
  • Illustrations by: Bob White
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I was northbound on State Highway 63 in eastern Wisconsin, nearing the end of the long drive from Colorado in a peculiar state of mind. If you’ve never experienced one, it’s impossible to describe the quality of road trance these solitary drives can induce. Suffice it to say that after thinking things over for 1,100 miles, I’d arrived at the inescapable conclusion that at the right distance and in a certain light, a mature cottonwood tree looks like an enormous head of broccoli.

Presentation

  • Photography by: Tosh Brown
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Blake Brown takes his shot at “cruising” carp near Spofford, Texas.

Fishing Music: Ben Winship & David Thompson

  • By: Bob White
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Like “the important part of fishing” says, the process is often more important than the product, and this is particularly true when it comes to fly-fishing. Perhaps, that’s why I enjoy road-trips so much. Whether it’s watching the sun come up while I pull a boat to the river, or the long quiet on drives home, time on the road has become an integral part of my fishing experience, and the music I listen to while driving is fundamental to the experience.

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.”