Matthew Dickerson: Catching trout part of New Year’s ritual

The ice on the lake is about four inches thick — just thick enough to be considered safe for ice fishing, but still thin enough that it proves quicker to chop holes with an ax than to drill them with my hand auger. I’m awake, dressed, and out on the lake 40 minutes before dawn to set up my ice fishing tip-ups. In the pre-dawn light and with cold fingers, I struggle to bait the first couple hooks with the little live shiners I bought the night before. But I manage to get the first one down into the water jus … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: Ode to snow (and an outdoor center)

My wife and I bought our seasons passes for the Rikert Nordic Center today. In truth, it was more of a step of hope than one based on the present reality.

Matthew Dickerson: Wilderness survival not always the toughest test

The idea of wilderness survival is certainly appealing to me, mostly because wilderness itself is appealing.

Matthew Dickerson: Local, free-range, and antibiotic-free

“Any luck?” It’s a common question one hears when fishing. I’m sure I’ve asked it as often as I’ve heard it.

Matthew Dickerson: Of lost ice and changing seasons

I don’t remember the exact year when I first drilled holes in the ice and set up tip-ups, beginning a longstanding tradition of ice fishing in Maine the first few days of every new year.

Matthew Dickerson: Ducks on a pond, and other memories

We parked the Jeep on the edge of the old unmaintained Class VI road running through the town forest.

Matthew Dickerson: Reflections from an October paddle

The chill air bit into our hands and cheeks as we reached the far shore of the lake and turned the canoe into the wind. “Let’s be careful,” my wife said.

Matthew Dickerson: Ian and the Clyde River

At the annual gathering of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, I signed up for fly fishing on the Clyde River, a tributary of the transnational Lake Memphremagog.

Matthew Dickerson: Exploring the rail trail

The bike trip started with seven miles of continuous downhill—and quite a bit more if we’d had the time to continue all the way to St. Johnsbury. But we had to turn around. And that’s what made me a little nervous, because those seven miles of downhill al … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: The success and/or failure of a father-in-law

I have a confession. Although all three of my sons have gone on fishing trips with me from time to time, none is especially interested in fly fishing. If I bring one of them with me somewhere wild and beautiful — a national park in Alaska or Wyoming, for … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: Alaskan rivers and first fish on flies

Neither Kira nor Tuesday had ever been fly fishing before. But there they were in Alaska taking a three-week environmental writing class taught by my friend David O’Hara (from South Dakota’s Augustana University). And there I was, helping teach the class. … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: Four days on the Snake River: Part 3

3rd in a series; read the previous installments here.Morning light creeps into Hell’s Canyon, carving the hillsides with light and shadow in just a few minutes as neatly as the water has been carving it for millennia. I look up the slopes for a glimpse of … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: Four days on the Snake River: Part 2

2nd in a series. Read the first installment here.It’s the third morning of our four-day float trip with ROW Adventures down the Snake River along the Idaho-Oregon border. My wife Deborah and I sit in the shade of one of the rare clusters of trees near the … (read more)

Matthew Dickerson: Four days rafting Snake River, Part 1

Hell’s Canyon. With 8,000 feet of elevation difference between river level and the highest peaks of the enclosing ridgelines, it’s the deepest river gorge in North America — even deeper (and wider at the brim) than the Grand Canyon. It’s also the terminus … (read more)

Many Vermont lake trout are born in a hatchery

SALISBURY — There have been occasional years when, for one reason or another, I didn’t make it down to the fish hatchery off Route 53 in Salisbury. But I try to make it an annual pilgrimage.The hatchery, more accurately known as a “fish culture station” a … (read more)