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Matt Dickerson: Canoeing provides outdoor rewards

Posted on July 11, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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My wife, Deborah, likes to angle for beavers.

No, not in the same way that I angle for trout. She doesn’t try to catch them. She definitely would not want to hook them, or net them, or get them to try to eat something that looks like food but isn’t.

But when we go out on the water paddling together, seeing a beaver or two is for her a sort of extra reward. This is also true for her of turtles, or osprey, or blue heron, or really any wildlife. But especially beavers.

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Matt Dickerson: Collecting stories about the outdoors

Posted on June 27, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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As I write this column, the Arkansas River is plowing past outside my hotel window, carrying 100,000 cubic feet of water per second — roughly double its normal volume for this time of year, but only a fifth of what it was carrying just a couple weeks earlier. Some of that water has come all the way down from the Rocky Mountains (where it was once fantastic trout water), flowing across Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and into Arkansas. But much of it fell from the sky within the state in the hills of the Ozark and Ouachita National Forests.

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Matt Dickerson: Fishing for trout at mosquito hour

Posted on June 13, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Less than an hour remained until sunset. I had one stretch of river to fish before calling it a day.

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Matt Dickerson: Expectations and explorations

Posted on May 30, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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The dates had been circled on my calendar for months. Both came in the same week. Both were for fishing, though with different people in different states.

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Matt Dickerson: And then it struck

Posted on May 16, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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It had been a long day, and indeed a long couple weeks. Too much time had gone by since last I had stood beside a river and listened to its voice, looked for its creatures. Which is to say, too much time since I’d been fishing. I was feeling the need. Though less than an hour remained until sunset, I threw a couple rods in the car and drove down to Frog Hollow below the falls in Middlebury.

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Matt Dickerson: Of cliff swallows and javelinas

Posted on May 2, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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It was hard to keep my eyes on the road as our car roller-coastered through the Texas Hill Country. Thanks to the winter rainy season, wildflowers in myriad hues of blue, yellow, white and red blanketed the ground. Though we had missed the season for the state’s famous bluebonnets, the Indian blankets were in full bloom. Also known as “firewheel,” their deep red petals tipped in yellow were accented by an occasional stem of blue sage popping up in their midst.

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Matt Dickerson: Opening weekend on the water

Posted on April 18, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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By Monday afternoon, I was beginning to hear reports of flooding around Vermont. Heavy rain moving in on Sunday, combined with plenty of snow still melting on the higher elevations of the Green Mountains, had the rivers raging. The White River was over its banks on Route 107. Otter Creek rose a yard over its flood stage in Rutland. The Winooski had also crested official flood stage in Essex Junction.

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Matt Dickerson: Eagles, elk and an empty nest

Posted on April 4, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Last week began with the end of my cross-country ski season. It ended with the beginning of my fishing season.

It wasn’t the opening of Vermont’s general trout season. That doesn’t come for another week. And it wasn’t my first fishing of 2019. I’d headed across the bridge to New York a few weeks earlier to chase some steelhead in a Lake Champlain tributary. But it was spring break, and that led to my first real fishing trip of 2019.

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Matt Dickerson: When spring starts

Posted on March 21, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Matt Dickerson: No comfort in the North

Posted on March 7, 2019 |
By Matt Dickerson



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When my nephew Brad rumbled into Middlebury in his Chevy Blazer for his first year of college, my wife and I knew we were in for a four-year ride. It wasn’t that his Blazer was painted in camo colors or that he’d named it “Southern Comfort.” The real clue was that the vehicle was loaded with toys from floor to roof — plus another three feet above the roof. Mostly they were outdoor toys: snowboard; kayak; mountain bike; climbing, camping, fishing and hunting gear. The boy loved the outdoors. He also loved to play.

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