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  1. Hot Topics
    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...
  2. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson Each turn of thread, each wrap of chenille, each tiny strand of flashabou and hackle fiber was as much an act of defiance at what was going on outside as it was an attempt to block it from my mind. A foot of fresh snow, on top of ice, on top of rain prevented the Minnesota...
  3. Hot Topics
    By Nick Simonson Cold air is streaming down from the north, making these January nights the perfect occasion to stay inside and tie up your spring and summer arsenal for whatever lurks in your waters. I am constantly exploring new ways to use the feathers from my favorite upland bird - the...
  4. Hot Topics
    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 quests and the...
  5. 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...
  6. 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...
  7. 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...
  8. Outdoor Gear
    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...
  9. Hot Topics
    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...
  10. Hot Topics
    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...
  11. Hot Topics
    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...
  12. Hot Topics
    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 a dandelion poking...
  13. Hot Topics
    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...
  14. Outdoor Gear
    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...
  15. 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...
  16. Fly Fishing Forum
    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...
  17. 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...
  18. Hot Topics
    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...
  19. Hot Topics
    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 is...
  20. Hot Topics
    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 first...
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