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Showing posts from March, 2018

The Woods Are Lovely, But Also Dark and Deep

The majority of us who spend time in nature do so to at least some extent for its physically and mentally regenerative qualities. It's hard to be depressed, bored, tired or anxious on a clear mountain peak at daybreak or along a secluded river bank building a fire to cook the day's catch. Hard, but not impossible. Stress, failure, depression; they find us all, whether we live in an uptown condo, a suburban enclave or a cabin deep in the woods. Steelhead Joe Randolph was a well-respected fishing guide on the Deschutes River, A lean and youthful 48 years old, he had the windblown good looks of a 70's cigarette ad model. I would guess that when he walked into a bar, any unattached female over the age of 40 -- and likely a few younger and/or attached ones -- took notice. His fellow guides generally respected him as someone with unorthodox, but highly effective skills, and even those who criticized some of his methods grudgingly had to admit he was great with the paying cust

Safety First for Early Season Paddling

As the weather warms up this spring, paddlers across the Piedmont will be getting their boats out of storage and heading back out onto the water. While spring is a great time for kayak and canoe fishing, photography and sightseeing, it also offers some specific challenges. The first of these challenges has nothing to do with your boat. Even the most experienced kayaker may not be in shape physically for extended trips after a long winter indoors, so you may want to take advantage of cold or rainy days to hit the gym before heading out, and build back up to longer excursions with a shorter trip or two early in the season. Of course, you also need to make sure your boat is "in shape" too. Today's rotomolded hulls typically require very little maintenance, but should still be looked over thoroughly before the first trip of the season. Inspect the hull for cracks, deep gashes and weak spots caused by friction or impact. If there is any question about the integrity of your

Book Review: Crazy Mountain Kiss by Keith McCafferty

Crazy Mountain Kiss, the 4th book in Keith McCafferty's eclectic western mystery series, starts with the protagonist, Sean Stranahan... nowhere to be found. In an interesting literary choice, the Montana private investigator, artist and fly fishing guide doesn't appear until 30 pages into the story, by which time the central mystery has been investigated by series regulars Martha Ettinger and Harold Little Feather. While Sean is helping friend, cohort and fellow guide Sam Meslik start a winter fly fishing service in Florida, the body of a young girl is found lodged in the chimney of a Forest Service cabin in the Crazy Mountains. The mystery deepens upon his return when the body is identified as Cinderella "Cindy" Huntington, missing daughter of a local woman famous as the spokesperson for a fictional brand of trucks, and it is determined that she was 5 months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. The investigation takes an even oddER turn when Martha and Sean l