The Quiet Mountains: a Ten-year Search for the Last Wild Trout of Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental

By Rex Johnson Jr.

Combining travel observations, natural history, ethnography, ecology, & ichthyology; plunges the reader into a world that is so far from the 21st century U.S. that it is difficult to believe how physically close the two countries actually are. 16 color plates, 40 duotones by David Burckhalter; 10x8 inches, 224 pgs.


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ISBN: 0-8263-2273-5

EAN: 978-0-8263-2273-9

Binding: Hardcover

Publish Date: 30/08/2005

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Rex Johnson Jr.
David Burckhalter , Photographer

Readers who believe as Herman Melville's Ishmael, that �meditation and water are wedded for ever,� will be entranced by Rex Johnson, Jr.'s, account of his travels to the upper Bavispe River in Mexico's northern Sierra Madre. Combining travel observations, natural history, ethnography, ecology, and ichthyology, Johnson's narrative plunges the reader into a world that is so far from the twenty-first-century United States that it is difficult to believe how physically close the two countries actually are.

Johnson goes in search of an ancient species of trout, the Bavispe, at least 3 million years old. It has been easier for the Bavispe to remain unchanged for millennia than for the human inhabitants of the Sierra Madre to endure for mere centuries. Johnson notes the area's Indian descendants are in the process of becoming modern, and the needs of the ancient trout, dependent on pure, unpolluted water, collide at times with the choices of people scratching out an existence in a challenging environment.

The parallel stories from natural and human history are a central theme in Johnson's account of environmental change and its consequences, layered with the personal, contemplative meaning he finds in the quest for the seldom-seen fish.


"David Burkhalter's brilliant color and black-and-white photographs of the scenery and people of the region supplement the text. Besides being a book about trout, it is also a compelling story of both natural and human history in land that is changing environmentally with soon-to-be-seen consequences."--Salmon Trout Steelheader

"Johnson has composed a wonderful, at times lyrical, exploration of an out-of-the-way niche on our crowded planet."--California Literary Review

"Johnson set out to write a guidebook on trout fishing in Mexico but ended up spending 10 years recording the changes that occur in a land and its people as the modern world reaches them.David Burkhalter's spectacular photographs illustrate the beauty of this remote world. This book should please anyone interested in Mexican history and ecology--or fishing."--Science News

"Readers will appreciate Johnson's descriptions, and David Burckhalter's photos, of country and cultures with features often beautiful, charming, alien and occasionally edgy."--Fly Rod & Reel Magazine

Rex Johnson, Jr.
, a professional writer, holds an appointment in the department of mathematical sciences at the University of Texas, El Paso.

David Burckhalter is a photographer in Tucson, Arizona.

Additional information

Weight2.6 lbs
Dimensions10.5 × 1 × 9 in


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