alaskan pike
Photo: Chad Shmukler

Boy scout

Where preparation lacks, adaptation thrives

Preparedness was never my thing. There’s a reason I made it to Webelo, but didn’t matriculate farther through the Boy Scout system. You can only show up at the den meeting without your little scarf slider so many times before it sinks in.

This just isn’t for me.

Absoroka-Beartooth Wilderness
Photo: Matt Reilly

Striking gold in the Beartooths

Hiking Montana's Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness in search of golden trout

“That’s a bitch.”

Ken Keffer, a Wyoming native fresh from a month of hiking the Bighorn Mountains, tossed a respectful gaze up a steep pitch into a crease where our trail disappeared into the raveling slopes of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. Admitted point-of-factly, the words didn’t bode well for my never-West, oxygen-guzzling lungs. In fact, most trails in Montana start higher than the ground-bound can geographically get in my native Virginia, and we were headed near to the top.

Reindeer Lake - Saskatchewan - Arctic Lodges
Photo: Mike Sepelak

Lunch fish

Monster pike on Saskatchewan's Reindeer Lake

It’s a satisfying gurgle, the sound forged through dark water as a foam creation tied dreamily late one winter night is retrieved in fits and starts over dark, north woods water six months later. Yellow with red painted-on dots, trailed by two white marabou feathers and a few strands of tinsel, it passes as a popper, albeit a poor man’s creation.

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