I took a hike with a couple of friends several years ago along Slippery Rock Creek here in Western Pennsylvania. He was a long time friend and a native-born American. She was a native of the former Soviet Union as one might have guessed from either her appearance or accent. She clearly loved to not […]Read more "How We Know Our Woods are Healthy – a Plethora of Critters"
There aren’t any. Let me just get to the point. I don’t know of any perfect places. The outdoors is what we make of it as we pursue our individual pursuits. If we read writers like Thoreau, Muir and Nessmuk, we come away from that writing with the definite perception that so much […]Read more "Perfect Places"
Recently, I kayaked with friends through the upper reaches of a gentle riverine reservoir – an impoundment that still looks like a river but with greater depth and less current. Wood abounded in the watercourse and I wished for fishing tackle, maybe catfish tackle. Giant sycamores leaned precariously out over the inscrutable water – still […]Read more "Get Ready, Your Woods and Waters are About to Change"
I like to visit obscure places I find on maps, places not many others go, places of wild opportunity. But sooner or later I also find myself drawn back to the adventure hubs of the east, the places where I might sip something for a while under a sun umbrella and even socialize before venturing […]Read more "Happiness Knows no Place"
Between 2007 and 2011, I walked over 4,000 miles through the eastern forests, living alone in the wild for months at a time, walking northward most days and spending nights in minimal tents or none at all. This was the Eastern Brook Trout Solo Adventure, the best days of my adult life. Much […]Read more "Seeing Like Nature"
When I was 14, my family moved from the wilds of western Maine to the very metropolitan Cortland, New York. If you’re an outdoorsman or fisherman, you might think that this was a big step in the wrong direction (in some ways it was) but I didn’t see it that way. Maine had offered just […]Read more "Fish All the Places"
This is among the longest pieces I’ve ever published on this blog, a feature I wrote recently on the record high levels of the Great Lakes in general and Lake Ontario in particular. The lakes are even higher now than when this was written a couple of weeks ago. “We must all unite in […]Read more "Great Mistakes"
Last week, near Portland, Oregon, authorities shot and killed a bear for taking treats from humans. This was very typical of animal control policy – the set of rules put in place by government to keep us safe from the dangerous wild things and to keep the wild things separated from us. And these rules […]Read more "Paradigm Shift"
I write a lot on The Dying Fish blog about minimizing government’s role in conservation, rather than thinking of the EPA and state agencies as the only bulwarks against environmental ruin. I also write a good bit about the danger of coming to think of public lands (state game lands, state parks, national forests, etc.) […]Read more "Stewardship"
On the first day of November I was on the Black River in northern New York, trying to catch a Chinook salmon, the largest type of trout or salmon (salmonid) on the North American Continent. I’d failed here before to actually get one in though I’ve hooked many in previous years. I just have […]Read more "A Problem and an Opportunity along the Lake Shore"