Our Outdoors: Clear Water Tips

By Nick Simonson I’ve fished a great number of lakes in the past few years, from alkaline-clouded sloughs in eastern North Dakota to crystal clear lakes near the Canadian border in northern Minnesota. Of all the waters fished, it is the latter that has provided the greatest challenge. Those lakes where a person can sight…

Our Outdoors: A Clear Line

By Nick Simonson The water was clear.  Sure, it was finally spring and the ice came off the lake late this year, and like any stretch after that momentous occasion, the water was always crystal clear.  Ripping a few flies through the shallows on the even of opener to see how my handiwork looked after…

Our Outdoors: A Winning Season

By Nick Simonson Wrapping up the awards celebration for the local High School Clay Target League teams, it was natural to look back on the spring that was.  With the various State Tournaments and Championships across North Dakota, Minnesota and 29 other states set for the coming weeks as part of the USA High School…

Our Outdoors: Another Awaits

By Nick Simonson In the gin clear water of spring, it was a slow troll for the usually fast-biting walleyes on the small lake under the warm and sunny evening skies.  A combination of flooded gravel pits connected to two large sloughs on its north and south end created in the wet 1990s, the water…

Our Outdoors: Magnetic

By Nick Simonson In the bright sun of mid-morning, my buddy Marty, my son AJ and I pulled into the small ice-coated parking area near Long Bridge on Big Detroit Lake.  It was as it had been in late winters before, crusted blue ice sloping down to a hardened mud ramp leading out toward the…

Our Outdoors: Get Ready for Spring

By Nick Simonson It’s that time of year, and while all the insanity focuses on a bouncing ball for the next few weeks, the shift going on in the outdoors will tick up to a maddening pace as well.  Being prepared for everything spring has to throw at an angler is key to success and…

Our Outdoors: Kidding Around

By Nick Simonson For every great ice fishing day with a spirited four-year old, there are those other days where things get cut short or don’t pan out. That’s just part of the process and being ready for what comes results in more good fishing memories.  For each photo of a trout, bluegill or walleye…

Our Outdoors: A Season of Growth

By Nick Simonson Manning the booth at the Bismarck Sport Show for the teams I’m helping to get off the ground with a hard-core group of 20 other volunteer coaches gave me some time to reflect on all our cadre had accomplished since last fall.  From my joining the group mid-summer after relocating to the…

Our Outdoors: Juice It

By Nick Simonson Some of the most memorable fishing trips I’ve been on have been the result of disaster. Okay, not disaster in the terms of life-threatening circumstances, but, it would probably be fairer to say, major inconvenience.  Whether motorless in the flow, or without power on hard water, finding the silver lining hasn’t been…

Our Outdoors: On the Move

By Nick Simonson Just like in summer, staying on the move to find fish is key in winter, especially now as the season settles in and ice thickens up.  Some days are more conducive to mobile ice angling than others, but locating roving schools of perch, or finding that perfect point that draws regular visits…

Our Outdoors: Scent Matters

By Nick Simonson My buddy and I purchased pups from the same litter of labs at mid-summer.  Through stories exchanged over the phone and text message, the two brothers are well on their way to becoming good field dogs, putting up the roosters and hens available in our respective areas during this challenging pheasant hunting…

Our Outdoors: Mingo Modification

By Nick Simonson The gentle up-and-down motion of the gulf waters against our walk-on charter boat sitting a few miles off the coast played with the thick line of my borrowed saltwater setup.  Between my brother and brother in law, I watched for the tap-tap-tap coming up from a hundred feet below on the beefy…