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"
I wasn’t hopelessly tied to the comforts of home and work life. I could still make it out here. I could adapt – I’d done it before.Read more "The Soft Chains of Comfort"
Fishing is the finest pasttime known to man and one reason for this is that your enthusiasm for it can quickly be “re-set” if it ever becomes dull. The people I’ve met who have given up fishing over time usually describe years of going to the same places and fishing for the same things, imagining […]Read more "Hope Springs Eternal"
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"
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"
It was good to be out today but I felt I was wasting my time. Alright, this wasn’t really true – I was exploring a new place and getting fresh air and exercise which is never really a waste of time. But I was in search of a special mushroom and it now seemed I’d […]Read more "The Element of Surprise"
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"
As I write, Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Commission rushes to dispense over 4.4 million trout into the waters of the state. Many of us have seen the ads run on social media and elsewhere touting additional trophy-class trout this year that are to be included in the mix. The busy trucks and net men portend […]Read more "Welcome to the State Hatchery!"
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"
Maybe it’s the solitude. Maybe it’s the adventure. Maybe it’s the stark simplicity. Maybe it’s because of all of these but it’s certain that I love to drop baited lines through holes in the ice. I do so as much as winter temperatures allow, frozen lakes remaining always a prerequisite. In southwestern Pennsylvania there are […]Read more "Plunge of the Polar Bear (Do it with good form and you too could stay alive this winter!)"