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Lessons for the young outdoor enthusiast

Posted on July 29, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



I recently went to a fly-tying workshop at Bristol’s Lawrence Memorial Library. Getting a lesson in tying flies from David Henderson and Bob Reynolds was not only highly enjoyable, it also reminded me of two important outdoor sporting lessons I learned when I was young.

The first was that outdoor sports can be expensive and dangerous. The second, and more important lesson, related to the first, had to do with which of my parents to go to for money and which to go to for permission.

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Club makes Long Trail a Vermont gem

Posted on July 22, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



One of my favorite summer outdoor pastimes is hiking to the various alpine ponds along Vermont’s Long Trail. These overnight trips combine my enjoyment of backpacking and my passion for fishing, while providing almost enough exercise to burn off the copious quantities of trail food I consume on the hike.

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Figures don't tell stories of catch, disaster

Posted on July 1, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



Those who spend time outdoors, even on traditional sports like hunting and fishing, spend a lot more time dealing with numbers than one might think. The sports require one to develop a certain reasoning ability with numerical values and concepts of scale.

Consider the sport of fishing. It requires, among other things, fishing line. And a successful angler needs to have a pretty good idea how strong 4-pound test line is, and what it’s like to cast with or tie knots with, and what the differences are between 4-, 8-, 12-, and 20-pound test.

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Many species are invasive

Posted on June 17, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



There is a lot of concern these days about invasive species. And rightly so. There seem to be thousands of species out there in the world just waiting to invade. And it’s not just nuisance aquatic species like Didymosphenia geminata (a.k.a. “rock snot,” or didymo for short) and Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian milfoil) that are causing trouble in the neighborhood.

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Sports column: Position on use of gear truly heartfelt

Posted on June 3, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



I recently read several sources stating that Alaska has decided to ban felt-soled wading shoes from all statewide waters. That’s right, felt: the traditional, ubiquitous, all-natural fabric made from pressed woolen fibers. Alaska is not banning something toxic, or a product made from oil drilled in the Gulf of Mexico, or the skins of some endangered species, but good old-fashioned woolen felt.

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Special type of stocking report

Posted on May 20, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



This time each year I write my annual column on Vermont’s trout stocking efforts. It stays consistent from year to year as the state’s stocking efforts have very little annual variation. A mix of browns, brookies, and rainbows totaling 4,000 to 6,000 get placed in the New Haven River, with the brookies going in the upstream portions.

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Home soil advantage

Posted on May 6, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



Our house sits in the woods. In front, across our driveway, we have a small open space where we have a garden and a few fruit trees. Off to the side is a partially shaded, overgrown, unproductive blackberry patch. Most of our land, however, is wooded. We have trees nearly touching our walls on three sides.

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Tying on with grandfather

Posted on April 22, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



One of my life’s regrets is this: When I was young and foolish — which is to say, before I became middle-aged and foolish — my father offered me a fly-tying tool kit that once belonged to my great-grandfather.

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It can't come soon enough

Posted on April 8, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



Opening day of fishing season can’t get here soon enough.

To some degree, that statement is always true. At least emotionally. It’s not too long after the Vermont fishing season closes at the end of October before I’m beginning to miss the sport. Some time around February, maybe even late January, I start actively longing to get out on the water, to stand in a moving river with a fly rod in my hand.

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Paper chase marks start of trout season

Posted on March 25, 2010 |
By Matt Dickerson



With all respect due to the aficionados of the quadrennial FIFA World Cup Football tournament, the Olympics (there is already discussion about the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia), or the upcoming opening day of the Major League Baseball season, there may be no event or season as eagerly anticipated by a small but rabid collection of Vermonters as the start of the fishing seasons.

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