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Matt Dickerson: Following a beeline through snowy woods

Posted on December 1, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Just 40 yards from my stand, the tracks cut across the lumber trail I was walking along. They were too big to miss even in the dim light of dawn.

Bee thief. Honey stealer.

Black bear.

The tracks, left in three inches of heavy wet snow, were still distinct and fresh. Probably less than an hour old, I thought.

Five subsequent thoughts then crossed my mind, in the following order, I think.

Thought No. 1: This is really cool. It would be even cooler to actually see a bear. I hadn’t seen a bear in Vermont in two years.

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Matt Dickerson: Taking to the woods; reflections on the morning after

Posted on November 16, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Last weekend I took to the woods.

Ever since I was a child, the woods have been my retreat. If I had a bad day at school, I’d get off the bus, trudge the quarter mile up our quiet road, drop my books in the house, and head out the back door over the hill to a quiet ledge beneath the trees. There I would let the solitude — the majesty of a grove of old oak trees, the playfulness of the squirrels, the carefree singing of chickadees and nuthatches, and maybe just the life of the soil beneath my back — seep into me and refresh my spirit.

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Matt Dickerson: A lot of work for one trout

Posted on October 27, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



It started in Indiana in February. Friday afternoon speaking at one university, and Monday morning at another. It made little sense to come home in between, so I spent Saturday trying to get caught up on work and writing. And on Sunday I found a guide to take me steelhead fishing on a small tributary to Lake Michigan.

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Matt Dickerson: Of fishing, walking, reading and writing

Posted on October 13, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Every once in a while, several stray strands of thought wind together in my mind — like fur, feathers, thread and a sharp metal hook that turn into a fly.

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Matt Dickerson: Redemption at Brighton State Park

Posted on September 29, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



The last time I was in the town of Island Pond, Vt., my car fell into a ditch.

It was not the kind of ditch that runs beside the road. It was the sort that runs straight across a gravel road after a bad flood: a washout, about four feet across and two and a half feet deep with vertical sides. It crossed the road at the top of the rise in a saddle of land, which also made it the sort of ditch you don’t see until your car is almost on top of it, when it is already too late to stop.

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Matt Dickerson: On trout, new students and old memories

Posted on September 15, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Thirty-five years ago this month, I headed off to college in a small, rural, New Hampshire town. I didn’t own a car and would go through my college career and most of my graduate school career without one. I didn’t even own a good bike until I purchased one before senior year so that I could participate in a 10-day, 500-mile bike trip to Nova Scotia with the college’s outing club.

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Matt Dickerson: Low, warm water and bad karma

Posted on August 31, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



I’ve been spending a lot of time this summer driving over my favorite local trout rivers, looking down into the water, and shaking my head in dismay at the low water levels. And my next thought is that I probably shouldn’t go fishing.

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Matt Dickerson: State parks and other outdoor activities for summer

Posted on August 18, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



We arose early to beat the oppressive August heat and humidity, strapped on our bike helmets, and headed out for a quick loop before breakfast. As it turned out, the early morning departure wasn’t necessary to beat the heat. Though only an hour and a half away from our house in Middlebury, the temperature on Grand Isle was 7 or 8 degrees cooler and the breeze coming off the lake wonderfully pleasant.

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Matt Dickerson: Reflections on catching native and invasive trout

Posted on August 3, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Matt Dickerson DSC02630 (1).JPG

There I was again, having spent three days traveling along beautiful Wyoming trout water without a chance to actually wet my line, just as I had the previous week (and in my previous column). Only this time it was in the Shoshone National Forest and Yellowstone National Park, rather than the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

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Matt Dickerson: Wild Wyoming cutthroat trout

Posted on July 21, 2016 |
By Matt Dickerson



Matt Dickerson col Cutthroat trout in Wyoming_4864.JPG

I’d been in Wyoming six days with barely a chance to wet my line. It was not for a lack of good-looking water. With the exception of a six-hour trip across a flat roasting high-altitude desert, I’d been crossing or driving alongside one beautiful river after another. Lovely. Enticing. And a bit frustrating since I was looking at them through a car window and not in my waders.

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