Comedian Henny Youngman once said, “A self-taught man usually has a poor teacher and worse student.” After fly-fishing with a local guide, I would have to agree.
I have always described myself as self-taught fly fisherman. It was through trial and error that I learned how to tie a blood knot, cast a line and convince a trout to take my fly. Somehow, I managed to catch my fair share of fish over the years.
As it turns out, I have been doing a lot of things wrong. Read More
Sunset on the White River near Kennebec, SD
Wide skies. Spectacular sunsets. Miles away from somewhere and right next to nowhere. From a bluff overlooking the White River, you can hear the hum of life—insects, birds, and animals thriving in a diverse prairie ecosystem. This is what it’s like to live in South Dakota. There is no place I would rather be.
Platte, South Dakota: I was hoping to capture a typical South Dakota summer sunset–the kind where bright pinks and blues flow over an endless skyline. Looking for a place to point my camera, I found a lone birdhouse sitting on fence post. A splash of… Read More
The distance between Sioux Falls and Arches National Park on a map is only about nine inches. In reality, the distance is over 1,000 miles, which translates into almost 17 hours of hard road time—one way. When I was planning a trip to Utah’s most… Read More
Every camping trip I take with my son begins with the same question. “Where should we go?” His reply has been the same since he was 6 years old. “I don’t care.” This response doesn’t mean he is disinterested. It genuinely means he doesn’t mind… Read More
I was scrolling through Facebook a few weeks ago trying to catch up on a backlog of cat videos, political rants and vacation pictures from my friends. Then I came across something interesting from Thea Miller Ryan, director of the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls.… Read More
I want to ride to heaven on a trout—just like the one at the Great Northern Carousel in Helena, Montana. I know this may seem like an odd request, but let me explain. The Great Northern Carousel isn’t just a ride; it is a revolving… Read More
Palisades State Park near Garretson, SD
With every new year, the calendar resets and gives us 365 more opportunities to be outside—hiking, hunting, fishing, camping or whatever it is we enjoy doing in our free time. If your calendar is like mine, most of those 365 days are already accounted for.
Between work obligations, family responsibilities and one or two unexpected home repair projects that demand attention, I estimate the average sportsman has approximately 21 good days to enjoy the outdoors. And that is if the weather decides to cooperate.
So, before my calendar is filled with commitments, I resolve to make a few of my own for 2015. Read More
View of the Cathedral Spires from Little Devil’s Tower
“It’s too hot to hunt.”
I never thought I would be saying these words two weeks into a pheasant season. But when the weather forecast called for highs in the upper-70s, I decided not to risk overheating my dogs. It would be smarter to wait until the temps returned to something resembling fall.
However, I wasn’t about to forgo a weekend of hunting just so I could stay home and work on the yard. I believe the good Lord frowns on people who waste perfectly good days raking leaves. Read More
Rare sunset over Ketchikan Harbor
I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, fly-fishing for cutthroat trout in Alaska would undoubtedly be near the top. But even as I write the words, it seems like something I would expect to read in a travel brochure and not something I would actually do.
It is too incredible to be real.
To be honest, the idea of taking a weeklong trip to Alaska never seemed plausible—especially when my old college buddy, Brant, half-jokingly suggested it nearly a year ago. I hadn’t seen Brant since we graduated from the University of South Dakota in the mid-80s. But there we were, thirty years later, waist deep in a remote Alaskan lake and casting our lines to rising trout. Read More