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  1. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson What was planned out to be a two week course in fly tying, jig making and lure crafting was extended into a month-long lesson in how to dodge the weather and cope with an unpredictable spring that postponed class sessions and cancelled fishing days altogether. But my class...
  2. Hot Topics
    by Doug Leier It's hard to believe when I glance at the calendar that it's May, and not June or maybe July. The early arrival of spring-like temperatures after a milder winter can do that. So while open water fishing has been viable since mid-March, between work, school and other...
  3. Hot Topics
    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...
  4. Hot Topics
    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...
  5. Hot Topics
    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...
  6. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson If you've ever laid eyes on a steelhead, you know the color they bring to a spring fishing trip. The hens are a glistening chrome with a faded pink stripe down their sides and a light green top. The bucks turn a deep pink - almost purple - throughout their sides with greenish...
  7. Hot Topics
    It's What We Make of It By Nick Simonson A year ago this very morning I was sitting across from my old boss in a conference room as he explained the layoff benefits the company would be providing me until they'd run out or until economic conditions improved. As I had been the one handling the...
  8. Outdoor Gear
    By Nick Simonson My guess is whomever was in charge of setting up the 2009 NFL schedule was a deer hunter and a Minnesota Vikings fan. What other alignment of the stars could explain last week's bye for the Favre n' Harvin show falling precisely on the opening weekend of deer firearms season...
  9. Outdoor Gear
    By Nick Simonson As my offering drifted around in the pool eddy, I hoped that my brother would see a fish caught - if not by me, then by another angler, or maybe himself - and he would experience the finned allure of the north shore of Lake Superior beyond the lichen-covered bluffs and...
  10. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson With all the hunting opportunities around us, it's tough to set the shotgun or the bow down for an evening and pick up the fishing rod. However, fall provides an excellent chance at some fast trout fishing, particularly in those deeper pits and ponds where agencies have...
  11. Hot Topics
    Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Though the weather is an element that is always out of my control, I try not to let it dampen the spirits of a fishing trip; particularly when that trip is my first of the season and my first to a new place. Despite highs in the forties, rain and cold swollen...
  12. Hot Topics
    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...
  13. Hot Topics
    Our Outdoors Nick Simonson Quilters have their bees and bakers have their cookie exchanges. At these events, the artists in their respective hobbies get together to exchange patterns and recipes, adding a little more to each other's experience, each taking away something new to try. The...
  14. Hot Topics
    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...
  15. Hot Topics
    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 case of...
  16. Hot Topics
    Our Outdoors Nick Simonson What's in a fly box? Flies, obviously, but it is the stories those flies tell of a winter gone by and the promises of an upcoming season that make the arrangement special. Monday night, after a particularly frustrating evening of fishing current rushing by at 1300...
  17. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson I couldn't even cast a fly rod last year at this time. In fact, my only experience with longrodding was a lame attempt a few summers ago on an Idaho stock pond near a hotel we stayed at while my dad attended a conference. After awkwardly whipping the rod through the air for...
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