Our Outdoors: Down in Flames

By Nick Simonson “When we get one on, it’s a Chinese fire drill,” my buddy John explained with a laugh as we motored out along Garrison Dam on the south end of Lake Sakakawea in search of the chinook salmon which are stocked annually in the reservoir and provide a unique, cold-water fishery that fires…

Our Outdoors: Generations

By Nick Simonson With a smack, the foam fly flopped over on the cast next to the silver metal of the boatlift at the end of the dock. A second later, a dimple appeared and the offering was gone, replaced with all the might of a silver-dollar sized sunfish which swirled and turned under the…

Our Outdoors: Fun With Fluorocarbon

By Nick Simonson While the number of people engaged in fishing activities has declined in recent years, it’s safe to say that those who remain in the ranks of anglers throughout the upper Midwest are armed with uncountable lures, amazing watercraft and technology that rides the cutting edge.  As a result, this concentrated core of…

Our Outdoors: Trail Cams Capture Excitement

By Nick Simonson With trail camera technology now a big part of most every dedicated deer hunter’s pre-season scouting rituals, getting a glimpse at that big buck (or several of them) patrolling a certain area provides a shot of excitement for the upcoming autumn, the opportunity to understand more about the animal’s movement, and a…

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…