Our Outdoors: The Things I’ve Forgotten

By Nick Simonson The dark wood of our living room floor is the color of coffee, making it easy to disguise my spills when the replacement pot I bought this spring leaks a few drops down there on my first pour of the day.  But since getting Ole, my new yellow lab puppy to replace…

Our Outdoors: Christmas in July

By Nick Simonson I grabbed the pink-and-purple deep running crankbait off the floor, almost as an afterthought.  It had sat, stashed away for years in the miscellanea that most anglers have – lures, baits and other items of tackle that don’t quite make the cut, aren’t of any sort of confidence color, or just don’t…

Our Outdoors: Krystal Crappie King

By Nick Simonson   The art of lure making and fly tying results in a good deal of B flies and seconds that, after a few tries on the water are relegated to the bottom of the box, and are filed away for future reference, simply because they failed to connect with the trout, walleye…

Our Outdoors: Give ‘Em the Slip

  By Nick Simonson   There’s a sort of silent excitement in watching the chartreuse top and orange spindle point of a slip float slide under the surface of the water, knowing (or maybe not knowing) exactly what comes next.  The sweep of the rod tip to set the hook, the protesting pull on the…

Our Outdoors: Spring Shallows

It was fitting that the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band blared through the back doors of the pavilion, where the 10:30 crowd at the wedding reception sang along with each verse of “Fishin’ in the Dark” with growing rowdiness, especially on the well-known choruses of the song.  Just down the sandy shore of the lake, my…

Our Outdoors: Advanced Angling

By Nick Simonson Not every aspect of angling is as easy as sitting on the bank, casting out a bobber over a hook full of worms and hoping for a bite, the way many of us started out fishing.  With each varying twist on the sport, there is more to learn and practice than there…

Our Outdoors: Welcome Notes

By Nick Simonson Coffee for the outdoorsman is more than just a morning drink.  It’s the dawn-delivered lifeblood of adventure, that sip that puts some pep in each step and kicks the adrenaline up a notch when that initial fish taps the line on a gorgeous spring day or the slightest crackling of leaves echoes…

Our Outdoors: Likely Locations for Trout

By Nick Simonson   The conditions and even the dates have varied greatly from year-to-year for the trout opener on the small stream in the state park south of my home.  In some seasons, the water has been so low that the stocked browns still remained stacked by the dozens in the deepest pockets under…

Our Outdoors: What a Bargain

By Nick Simonson Having spent a good deal of the weekend scoring for the local high school trap team and doing yard work in the unseasonable 80-degree highs, I hoped the rain scheduled for Sunday afternoon would hold off long enough to let me loosen my arm for the approaching stream trout opener with some…

Our Outdoors: Lead On

By Nick Simonson Another cast, another strike, another hookset met with the sensation of nothing on the other end.  The line wound haphazardly on the spool of my reel without the weight of the lure to keep some tension on the retrieve.  It wasn’t the first time I had been bitten off in the swirling…

Our Outdoors: Unnatural

By Nick Simonson The first few spotted seatrout I picked off of the grassy break were respectable for the Don Pedro Island area along the Intracoastal Waterway of Southwest Florida.  At an inch or two under the minimum limit for keeper-sized speckles, these fish provided fast action as the tide rose onto the large flat…

Our Outdoors: Fish Formula

  By Nick Simonson Catch and release angling isn’t anything new, in fact the conservation tool has been around long enough to have its own acronym of C&R, which is universally known in fishing circles.  At the outset, providing the length or maybe the length and girth of that monster fish of the day wasn’t…