The Lonely Land

The Lonely Land

We linger right now in the dog days of summer, but make no mistake winter will come. And when it does there will be ample reason to park yourself in a fat easychair and read a good book.

If you love the outdoors, let me suggest an author for your winter’s rest. Sigurd F. Olson 1899-1982. Residing most of his years in Ely, Minnesota, Sigurd was an authentic outdoorsman as well as an educated man, a fine writer, and a conservationist. He is the author of 12 books, perhaps the best known being The Singing Wilderness.

The Lonely Land

While unpacking boxes after my trip back north, I came across a copy of Sigurd Olson’s The Lonely Land. Written in 1961, this book reports on Sigurd’s 500 mile canoe journey down the remote Churchill River from Hudson Bay to the Mackenzie. If you study the map below you will find the Churchill tucked in the upper right.

Map of the Lonely Land

In 272 pages, Sigurd and crew follow in the footsteps and campfires of the famous  “voyageurs”. The French-Canadian trappers who from approximately 1650 to 1850, wandered the darkest wilds of northern Canada,  often traveling by canoe. They endured great hardship and physical danger, but were relentless explorers, made of the toughest fiber. Sigurd describes them as follows:

“These wiry little men-seldom more than five feet four or five- dressed in breech cloth, moccasins and leather leggings reaching to thighs, a belted shirt with its inevitable colored pouch for tobacco and a pipe, topped off with a red cap and feather. They were a breed apart. From dawn until dark they paddled their great canoes and packed enormous loads facing storms, wild uncharted rivers, hostile Indians and ruthless rivals with a joy and abandon that possibly has never been equaled in man’s conquest and exploration of a new country.”

Back Cover

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Steelhead on the Cowlitz River

Steelhead on the Cowlitz River:

A tributary of the Columbia River, the Cowlitz River runs 105 miles through scenic areas of Washington state,and is a popular recreational destination.

During its journey it offers over 50 miles of steelhead fishing, with both a winter and a summer run. The winter steelhead  arrive in November and lasts into early December. The summer steelhead come upriver starting in late May ready to battle through August. They are terrific fighters and  willing biters as well. Please note, it is illegal to keep wild steelhead in the state of Washington although hatchery raised fish may be harvested.

Big Steelhead from the Cowlitz

My friend, Pete sent me this picture of his friend Larry Greenlund, who recently caught a 37 1/4 inch steelhead on the Cowlitz.  Larry’s guide says this is the biggest steelhead he has seen all year. Good going Larry. Larry was drift fishing with a spinning rod and shrimp. But intrepid anglers will want to work the Cowlitz with a fly.

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Phil’s Lucky Hat

Phil’s Lucky Hat

Phil’s Lucky Hat

Launched out of Niantic yesterday, and spent an afternoon on the water. It was fine weather with a little bit of wind.

Everywhere we went we marked a lot of small bait. Yet we couldn’t raise a single fish? Believe me we covered a wide swath; nothing doing. Zilch. Zero.

How can that be? Phil was wearing his lucky hat from our Martha’s Vineyard days!

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A Day on Block Island

A Day on Block Island

Now that I’m back in the Northeast I can visit places I truly miss. And one of them is Block Island. Sitting 10 miles off Point Judith, Rhode Island, this picturesque  chunk of land is pure terminal moraine, born in the dying days of the Late Wisconsin Ice Age. Cliffs, dunes, hills, ponds and beaches out at sea. Little wonder the Nature Conservancy calls it one of the last 10 great places on earth.

Main Street Block Island

Here’s a look at Crescent Beach at the north end of Main

Block Island

I haven’t been here since July 2016. Did a post on sight-fishing in the salt pond back then. This time around no fly-fishing, unfortunately; just sight-seeing. Still it was a great day to be alive. And a great day to park your butt at the Beach House Bar and suck down a beer or two. Couple of cold Narragansetts for me; hey we’re in Rhode Island!

The Beach House Bar

 

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Dave gets another nice Redfish

Dave gets another nice Redfish

Dave gets a nice Red on a fly

My friend Dave down Florida way sent me this picture of him holding a nice redfish. Sweet bronze beast on a fly. Reds have been scarce along the southwest Florida coast,  but Dave is so good at what he does, it doesn’t seem to matter. He knows how to find and hook them up regardless. Dave is amazing.

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