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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Hope Springs Eternal

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 […]

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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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The Element of Surprise

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 […]

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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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Welcome to the State Hatchery!

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 […]

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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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Plunge of the Polar Bear (Do it with good form and you too could stay alive this winter!)

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 […]

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