Remembering float-fishing in New Mexico

Technorati Tags: water,outdoors,activity,activities,southwest,travelogue In the realm of travel, nothing can approach a successful river run on good water, with the opportunity for some gamefish along the way. Okay, maybe if we could work some hunting into that river run, too. That should be next. Browsing the magazine rack the other day - the most likely place, along with the local honky-tonk, to find me wasting my time - I spied a new outdoor magazine. At least it was new to […] Read more »

Mountain Men of the Gila

Technorati Tags: people In his grip on the imagination, psyche and national character, the mountain man rivals the cowboy as the archetypal American Hero. In the Southwest the mountain man reached his zenith, and held his lifestyle longest, in the region’s last great wilderness - the Gila country of southwest New Mexico. Here within the mountains and canyons of the Gila, San Francisco and Mimbres Rivers, the mountain man era lasted well into the 20th century. The fur trade brought […] Read more »

Martin Price — modern day Mountain Man

Technorati Tags: person,people,mountain man,southwest,Gila While a correspondent for the Albuquerque Journal, I spent an afternoon in the Grant County Jail interviewing a modern day mountain man. This isn’t writing; it was just a matter of getting the man to talk and then arranging the notes so it all made some sense. After the piece came out there was some comment by law enforcement that I’d made the guy out to be better than he was. For example, I found out […] Read more »

Dreamfish in the Upper Gila River

Smallmouth Bass - the author’s dreamfish Photo by M.H. Salmon. Within the limits of his size, the Smallmouth Bass is the perfect game fish, and just the fish to bring a sleepy-eyed boy to life. The Smallmouth Bass may well be our finest freshwater gamefish; I think he is. Clearly, he is superior to his bass cousins. The White Bass is a small, staid, tasteless fish compared to the Smallmouth, a school fish given to running, en masse, in man-made […] Read more »

Gila River and Smallmouth Bass

You sit around enough campfires or barrooms with enough fisherman and you realize that every one of us is pleased to argue for our favorite fish, favorite fishing spot, and favorite method of pursuing fish. Like the endless debates over guns, game animals, and calibers, these are arguments that won’t go away, and that outdoor writers will forever milk for copy. I’m no different, except perhaps that I may be more willing than most to admit that my angling references […] Read more »

Jackrabbits - remarkable critters

Technorati Tags: jackrabbits,wildlife,animals It seems that this year they’re everywhere. I’m talking about jackrabbits - a plethora of big bunnies. All right, it’s true that many people - perhaps most people - wouldn’t call a healthy jackrabbit population a blessing. Here in the Southwest, jackrabbits are largely taken for granted; like ravens, we see them around a lot but don’t really notice them much. Hardly anyone remarks, “Hey, I saw a jackrabbit today!” When jackrabbits do get noticed, the reference […] Read more »

Goat Packing for Wild Trout in Whitewater Creek

Technorati Tags: goat,packing,trout,animals,wildlife What most people know about Whitewater Creek is The Catwalk. Go there most any day in good weather and there will be a half dozen cars or more in the parking lot, and a commensurate number of people hiking The Catwalk over the water as the creek comes down the canyon. But it isn’t hard to escape the crowds. A mile or so up the canyon The Catwalk ends and crossing the creek means getting your feet […] Read more »

Sky Islands — a unique environment worthy of protection

Technorati Tags: outdoors About 15 years ago, I became the editor of Basin & Range , a short-lived magazine (three issues) based in Silver City. The demise of this periodical is a story unto itself, and not a particularly pleasant one, but the inspiration for the journal is still out there, albeit in somewhat tattered form: the mountain ranges and desert basins of Southwest New Mexico and Southeast Arizona. Along about the same time, a very good book of natural […] Read more »


Technorati Tags: firewood,winter,general interest It is one of the rituals of autumn, like Halloween, the crop harvest, deer hunting, cider, or a trip to the mountains to savor the colors of the leaves. It just wouldn’t be the fall of the year here in New Mexico without thoughts of firewood and some time spent afield, cutting, loading, and splitting a load of wood. I have no particular expertise in the matter of putting up wood for the winter. Indeed, I […] Read more »