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"
Winter is certainly here now in western Pennsylvania, though the season took a long time making up its mind this year. We ice fishermen are still waiting (most of us, at least). The woods has taken on the stillness and quiet that accompanies shorter days and long and frigid nights. The forest takes […]Read more "Signs of Life"
The slaughter was shocking. Hadn’t these guys ever heard of catch and release!? What if everyone felt entitled to show up and haul out 3 of these every time they were at the Lake Erie tributaries? I like native fishes and I don’t like crowds. Hence, I have ignored steelhead trout within the […]Read more "Not Quite Hatchery Trout, Not Truly Wild"
I’m starting something new today: “Fish Features.” The purpose is to showcase the variety of Pennsylvania’s fishes and to offer some education. This is how I’ve spent most of my life: studying fish and I’d like to share some of that experience and knowledge. In the months ahead, I’m going to feature as many Pennsylvania […]Read more "Fish Feature: The Alewife"
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"
From April through October, mushrooms brightened my 2019. Within a few weeks of stowing the ice-fishing gear, I was cutting pheasant backs and hoping for morels. In retrospect, it’s striking that I’ve wandered around the woods of eastern North America for 35 years or so, hardly taking notice of the bracket fungi, cap-and-stems and puffballs […]Read more "A Fertile Fungal Forest"
Susan and I walked around a community park in Pittsburgh’s north suburbs one evening a few weeks ago, circling the little pond and looking for things that might be living there. Suddenly, we were confronted by a thug, a ruddy fellow with two upraised weapons pointed in our direction. He meant business and he wanted […]Read more "Invasion of the Cray – Cray"
I sat at the Ihop yesterday wondering whether my blueberry pancake portion would be as large as advertised and scratching new mosquito bites. At 10:30 AM, I’d squeezed in between the breakfast and lunch crowd and found plenty of seats available among the modest brunch crowd of senior citizens with their wide, roving bespectacled eyes. […]Read more "Nothing Complicated"