Three Ideas for Open Water Fishing Success

Three Ideas for Open Water Fishing Success

by Bob Jensen   It’s fifteen below zero outside, the wind is gusty, and the sidewalk needs to be shoveled.  What am I thinking about?  Open water fishing.  You know, that thing we do from a boat while wearing a tee-shirt and shorts and maybe sweating a little bit.  I am convinced that we will […]

124 Points of Light

124 Points of Light

I tied jigs of all kinds – trout jigs, walleye jigs, panfish jigs and bass jigs. The bright neon pink and orange were spring beacons, letting me know that someday, hopefully soon, their bright pastels would draw in smallmouth and crappies.

Re-purposing Pheasant Feathers for Fishing

January 20, 2013 by  
Filed under Bass Fishing, Featured, Pheasant Hunting

Re-purposing Pheasant Feathers for Fishing

I am constantly exploring new ways to use the feathers from my favorite upland bird – the ringneck pheasant

Fly Fishing Gifts

December 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Fly Fishing Gifts

Our Outdoors: The Gift That Keeps on Giving By Nick Simonson If you’re looking to give the gift that keeps on giving to your favorite angler, or maybe just trying to find a way to burn up these dark winter nights in your den, a fly tying kit is the end of both holiday shopping […]

Trout Fishing Tips

April 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Our Outdoors

Trout Fishing Tips

By Nick Simonson The recently stocked trout in the stream near my house were quick learners this year.  With a winter short on snow and a spring that only just recently made up a couple of inches against the lingering drought, water levels were low and the fish were instantly wary after the DNR truck […]

Fly Fishing Knots

April 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Fly Fishing Knots

By Nick Simonson On Friday night, my fly fishing gear was in a sorry state.  It had been almost 8 months since I had last used it on some sunny day in Detroit Lakes, Minn. for the dock-patrolling bluegills at my family’s cabin.  In addition to updating the twisted leaders with no tippet and cleaning […]

Pheasant Feathers for Fly Fishing

January 23, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured, Our Outdoors

Pheasant Feathers for Fly Fishing

By Nick Simonson This year, it seemed that every pheasant was a trophy.  Whether it was those early birds on opening weekend with half-colored feathers, or that lone rooster coming late in the season, each one provided a welcome warm meal and a new crop of pheasant feathers for fly fishing.  With one season behind […]

Lure Making Tips

January 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Lure Making Tips

By Nick Simonson In the past few weeks, I’ve touched upon different jig patterns and fly patterns on tap for the new year in my articles and that, along with what looks to be a winter that will cause a cabin fever epidemic of historic proportions, has elicited some emails and Facebook messages asking me […]

Tying Foam Flies

July 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Tying Foam Flies

In my memory banks, I hold a combined blur of countless lazy, sunny afternoons standing in the shallows of the lake, long after more serious quarries have been abandoned in favor of hearing the plop of a fat foam fly and the delayed smack of a never-satiated bluegill rising to pull it from the surface. […]

Stocked Trout Fly

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Stocked Trout Fly

Stocked trout are known as the eat-anything additions to their foster flows, and they probably aren’t as sharp as their more naturally occurring cousins. However, they can still be a challenge and are definitely a lot of fun as the angling season gets going. While many trout anglers prefer using spinners to cover water and […]

Fishing Diary

Fishing Diary

By Nick Simonson There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past five years. I’ve lived in two states and three towns and have had six different jobs, with this one being the most consistent. In that time I’ve fished over 60 lakes and rivers, gaining some level of familiarity with […]

The Glo Bug Fly

February 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

The Glo Bug Fly

By Nick Simonson Last week, as I braced myself against the wind and made my way up the walk in the glow of the front porch light, I saw through the blowing snow that first sign of spring. It wasn’t a robin, hiding its head under its wing in the late January cold. It wasn’t […]

Fly Tying for the WinterTime

December 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Fly Tying for the WinterTime

Our Outdoors – By Nick Simonson From Bismarck to Brainerd to Balaton, the region has been blasted with the most epic blizzard since those doubled-barreled every-other-weekend storms from the winter of 1996-97. My wife and I crawled along I-94 to visit my family just before the Gulf-fueled, moisture-laden monster dumped 16 inches of snow. We […]

Lightning Bugs – Pheasant Tail Nymphs

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Our Outdoors

Lightning Bugs – Pheasant Tail Nymphs

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Of all the game birds sportsmen pursue, none is more colorful than the ringneck pheasant. Which makes it a pretty odd fact that the most popular fly used by outdoorsmen is the generally drab looking pheasant tail nymph – or simply, the PTN. Of course, trout, bluegill and other fish don’t […]

Smallie Streamers – Flies for Bass Fishing

February 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Bass Fishing, Fly Fishing

Smallie Streamers – Flies for Bass Fishing

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Except for a few wily grayling in the cold running streams of northern Norway, few freshwater fish have fought as valiantly on the flyrod as the smallmouth bass of my home water. These fish, from late April through October on the Sheyenne River and others like it in the upper Midwest, […]

Fall Success Provides Great Fly Tying Materials

February 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing

Fall Success Provides Great Fly Tying Materials

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Fall not only represents a time to return to the field, but also a time to restock fly tying and lure making materials for the winter. From partridge and grouse in the early season, to ducks, pheasants and deer as cold air sets in, the bounty of nature on the wing […]

Discovering Trinity

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Discovering Trinity

By PJ Maguire Easter weekend, with most of my peers hunting snow geese somewhere from Nebraska to North Dakota, I was in Northern California. My father and I had made the journey from St. Paul together by plane. We were going to visit my sister and her fiancé and their new child my first nephew […]

Tying Egg Flies

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Tying Egg Flies

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson In my quest for steelhead knowledge, I have found some interesting patterns, from complex streamers to simple nymphs. Stocking the fly box has been both rewarding and exciting as my arsenal takes shape for my trip to the shores of Lake Superior this spring. The most enjoyable box to compile has […]

The Woolly Bugger

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

The Woolly Bugger

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson In my journeys into fly fishing and fly tying, I have not found a more enjoyable fly to put together on the vise and put under the water’s surface than the woolly bugger. The beauty of this streamer comes from its simplicity, both in how it is tied and how it […]

Partridge Patterns – Tying Fly Patterns for Panfish

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Partridge Patterns – Tying Fly Patterns for Panfish

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson As hunting season hits full stride and the first few birds are placed in the pouches of my upland vest, I can’t help but plan for two things – dinner, of course, and the number of patterns I will tie with the feathers attached to the birds I harvest. With the […]

Fly Fishing Tying – Terrific Terrestrial

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Crappie Fishing, Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Fly Fishing Tying – Terrific Terrestrial

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson The Fourth is behind us, and summer is in full swing. If swarms of mosquitoes weren’t a sure sign, the vast numbers and array of other insects present during the day and at dusk is a definite reminder. The table is set for summer’s great binge, and every fly fisherman needs […]

Hoppin’ & Poppin’ – Tying Flies

February 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Hoppin’ & Poppin’ – Tying Flies

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson     The exciting thing about tying flies and fly fishing is trying out new patterns. Questioning whether a fly looks edible, how, when and where it should be fished and more are part of figuring out the grand puzzle. The trial for every tied fly comes in two phases; first, […]

Time to Start Tying Flies

February 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Time to Start Tying Flies

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Over, under, around and through, that’s the way to tie…a fly? Well, that’s the way I finish them at least. Another great start to a fall bird season and the switch to daylight standard time has dashed my hopes of anymore after-work hunting trips. But once again those pre-standard time hunts […]

Fly Fishing for Beginners

February 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Fly Fishing for Beginners

By Doug Leier At this stage in my life I feel satisfied with what I’ve bagged, tagged and caught, including deer, birds and a few lunker fish. A 40-inch pike is a favorite memory because of the light rod and tackle I was using and my struggle to boat the fish. It was a classic […]

Fly Fishing Basics

February 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Fly Fishing, Other Fishing

Fly Fishing Basics

Our Outdoors Nick Simonson     When most people think of fly fishing, they think of the movie “A River Runs Through It,” pristine mountain streams and a glistening rainbow trout held aloft by the L. L. Bean-clad angler. But that isn’t fly fishing; at the most it is a minute part of it. Just […]