Latest Blog Posts

How to catch the biggest brook trout of your life

A foolproof recipe for success
An unnamed stream on Michigan's Upper Peninsula (photo: Jim Sorbie / cc2.0).

I don't usually write how-to essays. My way of doing something might not be the best for everyone, so I worry about feeling bad when someone points out a better way. The other day, though, I caught the biggest brook trout of my life. That made me feel good. Really good. And now that I've had some time to think about how it happened, I believe I know something so important I have to share it.

Growing older, not up

We all have to grow older, but we don't have to like it
Photo: Chad Shmukler

Much of the fun of getting to know a new fishing buddy is the slow and pleasant process of asking questions about their life and answering questions about yours.

“Where'd you grow up?”

“What do you do for a living?”

“If you could have any superpower, what would it be?”

That's the routine Tom Hazelton and I worked through during our first trip together when he asked a question I didn't expect.

“Are you retired?”

My heart's in the swamp

Is home where you hang your hat, or your heart?
Photo: Chris Hunt

When I was 11 years old, my father moved our family from suburban Denver to the Piney Woods region of East Texas. As much as I protested — the move would take us 17 hours, with one dinner break and a couple of rest-area pee stops, from the rest of our family — the move wasn’t all bad. As we pulled into the low country around the Sabine River late one night, my sinuses opened up and I realized something that I never knew I was missing.

Why do so many trout anglers hate whitefish?

Whitefish deserve the same love as trout
Now that's a face everyone can love (photo: AD Boyle).

Despite the increased focus on and effort devoted to native fish conservation these days, the mountain whitefish is often overlooked or maligned. Whitefish, like trout, are members of the salmon family. They are native to many of the same storied waters as our beloved trout — Rocky Mountain rivers like the Madison, Snake, and Green. And they’ve lived alongside cutthroat and bull trout for centuries. Whitefish are often the first species to struggle in the face of declining water quality.

Fishy resolutions

It's a new year, time to make a few resolutions, and endeavor to actually keep them
Photo: Chad Shmukler

It’s a new year, and I’m doing what I do just about every January. I’m already on the plan to try and dump the holiday weight, coupled with the “COVID weight,” which has been a persistent companion since we all locked down nearly two years ago. And yes, it really has been that long. But it’s more than that. This year, a lot has changed, and that means the resolutions will change, too.