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 […]

Read more "First Epistle to Wisconsin"

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, […]

Read more "Tubular Bliss"

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 […]

Read more "Simple Pleasures"

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 […]

Read more "No Need to Starve"

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 […]

Read more "A Reel Conspiracy Theory"

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 […]

Read more "Fish Feature: Gizzard Shad"

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 […]

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

2020 – Just Getting Warmed Up

Early January outings portend well for the year ahead. My best guess is that this year will be a good one for finding new places to pursue fish, an excellent 12 months of finding flourishing wildlife and an unprecedented period of learning about the fungi of the Pennsylvania forest. Anyone who’s read this ongoing account […]

Read more "2020 – Just Getting Warmed Up"