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…)

09/08/14 5:00am
09/08/2014 5:00 AM
A view of a river and mountain in Wyoming. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

A view of a river and mountain in Wyoming. (Credit: Microsoft Images)

Why do we go on vacation?

That thought goes through the head of anyone who lives, contented most of the time, anywhere with a lot of outdoor opportunities. We’re not talking “stay-cation” here, i.e. taking a week or two off work to catch up on painting the house, dining locally, and enjoying the bay or Long Island Sound intermittently. (more…)

08/17/14 7:00am
08/17/2014 7:00 AM

As a university instructor and professor, I’ve spent a lifetime teaching students the fine points of math, science and history. While teaching in schools can be challenging at times, it doesn’t compare with the teaching that guides and skippers do on a daily basis when sports step out of their cars or cabins to “go fishin.”

(more…)

07/27/14 7:00am
07/27/2014 7:00 AM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new bike path along River Road in Calverton.

When taking to the road this summer, be prepared for car trouble. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Midsummer is vacation time for a lot of us. Local beaches are starting to draw crowds, local restaurants are starting to fill up with “touristas” from points west, and angling is about to settle into the doldrums unless you’re one of those lucky enough to have friends who go offshore. So we travel, often with the trusty family camper, pickup, or sedan, machines we’ve probably taken for granted most of the year.  (more…)

06/15/14 9:00am
06/15/2014 9:00 AM
Liam Hansen of Wading River fishes with his father Mark on the town's floating dock during the 15th annual Riverhead Snapper Tournament in 2012. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

Liam Hansen of Wading River fishes with his father Mark on the town’s floating dock during the 15th annual Riverhead Snapper Tournament in 2012. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

During the run up to Fathers’ Day, outdoor publications fill up with stories and pieces like “Take a Boy Hunting (Fishing)” or republish old chestnuts such as the “The Old Man and the Boy” tales from Field & Stream. Often essays or short stories deal with the coming of age of a young man and border on fantasy: an adolescent winds up either catching the salmon of a lifetime on the Margaree River (Cape Breton) on an heirloom Hardy Bros. bamboo fly rod or shoots his first pheasant and subsequently receives granddad’s priceless Parker DHE 20-gauge side-by-side.  (more…)

05/25/14 9:00am
05/25/2014 9:00 AM
A tackle box. (Credit: Flickr/Viewoftheworld)

A tackle box. (Credit: Flickr/Viewoftheworld)

A few weeks ago we got a call from an editor to write a piece on scup, our favorite saltwater panfish, maybe our favorite fish, period. But the angle our friend wanted was not the typical one, e.g. porgies in the spring, porgies in the Peconics, etc. No, this was to be all about porgies on ultralight tackle.

What is really meant by “ultralight” tackle? What, in fact, distinguishes “ultralight” tackle from “light” tackle or “heavy” tackle, for that matter?  (more…)

04/13/14 8:05am
04/13/2014 8:05 AM

WaterBottles

In our throwaway world, early spring can be depressing.

When we travel the highways of the Northeast, the snow-covered winter trash emerges in ugly profusion as the snow recedes. Where trash containers are ample, where pickups are frequent, as is the case in many interstate rest areas, you hardly notice the stuff. Where some officials closed rest areas and pulled collection bins out of parking areas along Route 81, by contrast, the scene resembles a Mumbai dumping area from Katherine Boo’s “Behind the Beautiful Forevers.”  (more…)