The Catfish of Affirmation

Catfish were simply the most likely fish that were in season, were probably waking now from winter semi-dormancy and could be found close to home. I knew the kinds of places one would set up for catfish on a typical summer night but these weren’t likely the right venues for tonight.

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First Epistle to Wisconsin

I wrote a letter last night to a fellow who wants to learn to ice-fish this winter, a letter meant to prepare him for the harsh realities of the world of ice-fishing in advance of my January arrival where I will take on the role of personal trainer for a few days, demonstrating the cutting […]

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Tubular Bliss

For me, the joy of fishing arises from its variety.     First, there is great variety in the species of fish themselves, especially here in Pennsylvania. Our fishes largely adhere to our major watersheds, the Ohio and Susquehanna but then also the minor watersheds: Lake Erie, the Genesee River, Delaware River and Potomac River, […]

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Simple Pleasures

Brook trout water remains a simple pleasure, as do the trout themselves. I could walk the mountain runs of the Alleghenies for days on end with no rod and remain content. Looking and knowing that the magical little fish are there is enough.     I’ve been away too long. Too much pavement, too much […]

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No Need to Starve

At the store there’s no 2% milk or the hotdog bun section is bare or our favorite breakfast cereal has all been consumed by the locust swarm – the shoppers who got here a little earlier than we did. Immediately, the mind turns toward survival snaring, the digging of choice tubers or the use of […]

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A Reel Conspiracy Theory

By 2005 or so, I was all a well-rounded angler should be and had all the contraptions an angler should have: I owned a fish-finder, I had two kayaks set up for trolling, I owned 25 or so fishing rods, a plethora of lures and a bunch of great reels. I was geared for ice […]

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Fish Feature: Gizzard Shad

This year I’m going to feature a variety of Pennsylvania fishes on my site, fishes that I have at least a little experience with, fishes that I know really swim here. I think there’s a lot more fish diversity out there than we sometimes give our state credit for as we reel in bluegills, bass […]

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Utopia in the Marshes (Waters of the United States Rule slips below the surface.)

Well, here it is: the most controversial thing I will write this year. Let’s get on with it.     The response to rescission of the Obama-era Waters of the U.S. rule seems nearly uniform among outdoor and conservation minded individuals, something akin to a scowling Thunberg reprimanding, “How dare you!” Now what stands between […]

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