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Writing is a lot like skinning a beaver. It takes some preparation, some time invested, and diligent follow-up to make it all worthwhile.  more
In my first River Talk column of the new year, I set a goal to loosen my grip on what I perceive to be “reality,” based on sensory experiences. more
I once had an old friend, not so recently deceased, who had a thirst for whiskey, a passion for the best bamboo fly rods, fly fishing and—not the least—women. more
When January rolls around, people think about watching eagles at favorite viewing spots along ice-free water. more
“A thing of beauty is a joy forever,” wrote the poet John Keats. “Some shape of beauty moves away the pall/From our dark spirits,” he continues in Book I of “Endymion.” The revered poet cites “The sun, the moon/Trees old and young,” along with other restorative elements of nature.  more
“Grandpa Adam, I want to catch a ginormous beaver, as big as me,” declared my son Rorick, while speaking on the phone with my father. We had been telling many bedtime stories lately about the beavers that his Grandpa Adam and I had caught in the past. Even the less colorful stories were eagerly absorbed by my son’s ears as he began to catch the fever for going trapping for beavers. more
The area has experienced some cold temperatures and snowfall, though we have had a bit of a thaw around the New Year holiday. Those of us who watch wildlife have likely seen bird species during the winter months that are not seen at other times of the year. more
Not so many years ago, Montana was still the wild west. A rural state with lots of cowhands, where it was legal to purchase a sidearm, wear it in a holster, and walk down Main Street. Real estate was reasonably priced, and there was a lot of open space. more
While on a winter walk recently, I was focused on the icy ground when I found a face peering back. “Pay attention!” it seemed to say as I made my way safely home. Several days later, another “face” appeared when I took the dogs for their first outing of the morning. It cast a smile on a gloomy day, offering a change of heart and a fresh start. more
Who likes New Year’s resolutions? I think we all like the idea of fixing small areas of our life, so we can be a better version of ourselves, perhaps with the exception of those who are already perfect and need not improve.  more
Perhaps over the course of the year, you might have wanted to take a trip with the family to explore some habitat or to see some wildlife not seen in our region. Perhaps to see some elk, for example, … more
When I arrived in Missoula, MT, after a three-day bus ride, one of the first landmarks I saw was the Clark Fork River. A friend and I had left our homes in Westchester, NY, to attend the University of Montana. We were on our way to the campus when we crossed this very large river. That’s when my antennae went up—a trout river right next to the university! more
I thought I spotted Santa the other day, peering into my kitchen window as I washed the dishes. His bright red cap was lit up with sunlight and a blush of cherry color crept across his belly. But that belly didn’t shake like a bowl full of jelly, and Old Saint Nick isn’t the only red-clad fellow flying around lately.  more
Its been a long eventful year, and as I fight with many of the same ongoing tasks that make up my day-to-day out here, I can’t help but reflect on the blessings and progress that have been made.  more
I have a friend, an older gentleman, like me, who fishes several times a week. He even goes forth late into the fall, now that the new fishing regulations are in effect. The new rules allow year-round trout fishing on most of the state’s rivers. more
If you go outside on a cold winter morning, you might not hear too much in the way of bird life. more
Dad has jumped down to the river’s edge, nearly toppling into the chill glassiness. He is gently poking an object with a stick, turning it over and marveling at its size, the spatter of spots laid across its near-albino skin, the jagged wound jack-knifing across its back. The trout rocks silently in the mild current, keeper of its mysteries, as we discuss the possibilities regarding its demise. more
“I need to kill something,” my wife said to me as we juggle attempting to clean the house and preparing for work, church and half-a-dozen other family obligations taking place in the next few days. more
If you are along the river or a lake, you might notice some small ducks on the water. If they are close enough, or if you have binoculars, you will notice a lot of black-and-white bodies. Their small, chunky bodies are smaller than that of a mallard, and only about one pound in weight. This is the season of the buffleheads. more
Sometime in 1978, I received a call from Ed VanPut, letting me know that the Wulffs, Joan and Lee, had purchased the old Doubleday property on the upper Beaver Kill, where they planned to open a fly-fishing school. more
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Currently viewing stories posted within the past 2 years.
For all older stories, please use our advanced search.