May 13, 2020

The story I’d like to try to tell begins in the late 80s, though it doesn’t really. It really starts before that, with a wild boy in Clifton Forge, the major settings being the Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers. Or, maybe it should start even earlier, on a mid-spring day i...

March 12, 2020

Musky are curious critters. If you follow this column, you know that I spend what probably amounts to an unhealthy amount of time considering what makes them tick. They’re a mysterious fish with a swagger that doesn’t always match their predatory physiology. They’ll br...

February 26, 2020

Fish enough, and keep track of the weather and conditions, and certain patterns begin to emerge. Like, for example, when it’s worth going fishing, and when it’s not.

When the South Fork gets a bit of rain in the winter and the clouds hang on for a few days after, and wh...

January 15, 2020

I can’t remember my first hunt. The first time my dad took me, gun-toting, afield in the pursuit of real game. But I know that it was a heavy experience—one that I had looked forward to, and that fueled my love for the outdoors, and, likely, one that he had to sacrific...

January 3, 2020

The older I grow, the less I care about material things. Sure, as an angler, material things—such as boats, gear, etc.—can facilitate experiences, but it is the memories that are treasured. They are all gifts. Time is a gift, and so it is during the pause taken at Chri...

November 20, 2019

It is generally unwise to state rules in fishing, without qualifiers. I’ve learned so quickly in answering questions from clients on the river. Words like “never” and “always” simply invite instances of “sometimes.” Add a lady to the mix, particularly one with the temp...

June 13, 2018

High water. It’s the bane of any river fisherman or fishing guide, and I’m sure I’ve opened my last three columns bemoaning it. When the rivers blow out for weeks at a time, there are really only a handful of things one can do—swallow depression, fish stillwater, tie f...

March 21, 2018

There are many reasons I fish, solitude being one of the foremost. But I love people, and relish the opportunity to meet new ones, especially those with an outdoor passion. Meeting new people on the water often leads to new friendships, and sometimes the exchange of in...

February 7, 2018

The rapid was still in sight. Its white symphony took first chair to the wind, and the cold followed third—silent and subtle, but heard. I made another cast to a piece of rocky structure. It was labored, with many false casts. Fly line doesn’t shoot through guides when...

February 1, 2018

My eyes snapped open mid-morning. The previous night found me restless—scouring charts, tables; interpreting the forecasts; weighing my options. Tides were slight; the weather, poor. “Cold spell” complaints were being tossed about Southwest Florida tackle shops like li...

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