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"
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!)"
I didn’t recognize Anthony at first. I was looking for a guy in a Jeep Renegade somewhat over six feet tall, hyper-athletic and sporting a wolf’s head visible tattoo. But this wasn’t Anthony. The day we met, Anthony didn’t have a look that said he snowboards off trail, runs ultra-marathons or spear hunts wild boar […]Read more "Triumph of the Archer Hero"
I took my snow boot liners out for washing and the boots themselves went in the shower. The sled’s about to be locked away in the basement. This week the tip-ups and jig lines will be worked over in preparation for next season. All in all, I’m just saying that the ice fishing season has […]Read more "Reflections on Ice"
I stumbled downhill through the persistent snow that still blanketed the forest floor here on the lake’s south slope. It wasn’t really easy to get the big sled down here without a trail but that’s what keeps this spot mine alone all winter long. I had little light left and I would reach […]Read more "Serenity Now"
“Watch out for spiders!” Susan warned as I left to go ice fishing a few days ago. She knows the history of arachnids that sneak into camp and into sleeping bags when least expected. Yes, even in mid-winter. But it was particularly cold today, the high only reaching about 20. I wasn’t […]Read more "The Spiders of January"
When I was a little kid in Newfoundland, Canada, I followed dad on the adventures he thought we should go on – adventures to far off places and strange country that I now know were neither far off nor all that strange. We went up and down streams for mud trout, drove down to […]Read more "Longing for Ice"
It’s a land of 10,000 lakes, a place of resurgent wildlife and a place of grand summer vacations. Almost no-one goes there who doesn’t have to between November and April. I’m leaving for Minnesota in a little less than two weeks. I feel compelled to test the limits once again and attempt a long-distance solo […]Read more "Minnesota"
Well, it’s about like I’d said last time. I’m chained to the writing desk, trying to fulfill the commitment I’ve made to the few out there awaiting a book, a commitment to have a volume available during the month of March. To be honest though, I’m not even sure at this point when exactly The […]Read more "A Captive to my Art"
I’m just in from a week on Long Island, having my book scrutinized, economized and criticized by good friends. I should be bold enough now to seek out some criticism from those who are not friends. Aside from the practical aspects of the trip, it’s always good to spend time with the Kohl family who […]Read more "Travels in Civilization"