08/22/15 7:00am
08/22/2015 7:00 AM

With the passing of “Focus on Nature” columnist Paul Stoutenburgh, the recent retirement of Louisa Hargrave’s “The Oeno Files” wine column and the previous semi-retirement of my own “The Observer” column, there’s just one columnist left standing when it comes to continuous longevity of service to this newspaper. (more…)

04/05/15 6:00am
04/05/2015 6:00 AM

On Paumanok the snow pack is gone except for traces; way upstate we’re still dragging the horse manure out of the barn on snowshoes. Back on the West End the ice has finally left the harbors and you can at least contemplate fishing for early stripers; upstate, however, there’s nary a thought of early trout streams. To make a long story short, the “tween” season is a crazy one!  (more…)

03/22/15 12:00pm
03/22/2015 12:00 PM

When we drove out to help a colleague of ours on the West End recently, his car was stuck in a deep icy rut at the bottom of his driveway. Clad in a light jacket and wearing no gloves, he was frantically trying to shovel his way down to the bottom of the tires with a small straight-handled snow shovel that might have passed for a child’s toy. (more…)

12/07/14 12:00pm
12/07/2014 12:00 PM

Whenever we fish Long Island beaches in the fall and look at anglers fishing the suds, we always see one or more individuals slinging surface lures. In most cases, especially when there’s no “blitz” of diving birds and splashing bait, these folks would be better served casting tipped bucktails or tins. Yet they persist. Why? (more…)

10/12/14 5:00am
10/12/2014 5:00 AM
Swimmers in a triathlon can often bunch together, making for challenging conditions. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Swimmers in a triathlon can often bunch together, making for challenging conditions. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Confidence is a funny thing. If you ever find yourself in a place you have never been before, out on a broad river or a beach that seems featureless, you know how important confidence can be. If you’ve cast for hours and hours with no response, you also know how easy it is to lose confidence. To paraphrase the great outdoor writer, William Harnden Foster, “to catch is history, to be shut out is mystery, and history is a much better teacher than mystery!”  (more…)