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Matt Dickerson: Coping strategies in the changing natural world

Posted on July 12, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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My wife and I often laugh when folks who have moved to Vermont or come here to college from places like Florida, Texas and southern California start complaining about how cold it is, and it’s still early October. The temperature will have dropped down into the 40s, or maybe we’ll even have seen our first frost, and they will be all bundled up in heavy winter coats shivering and wondering how we can stand the bitter cold weather. “You haven’t seen anything yet,” we want to warn them, though we try to do so gently.

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Matt Dickerson: Important goals when fishing with friends

Posted on June 28, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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This past week I had a chance to take two friends fly fishing. When I take somebody fishing, especially somebody new to the sport, I have multiple goals. I want to be safe. I want to practice and model good conservation ethic while enjoying the outdoors. I want to teach something about fly fishing, including both the mechanics of fly casting and also the strategies for reading a river. Most importantly, I want to enjoy company with friends.

I also want my guests to catch fish. The last point isn’t necessary for the enjoyable time, but it does help.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia National Park 3: The Gorham Loop

Posted on June 14, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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We pulled off the famous Loop Road to park at the trailhead to hike the Gorham Mountain Loop trail. Or, rather, we tried to park. Unfortunately, Memorial Day weekend had turned Acadia National Park into Acadia National Park-ing Lot. Not only did we find every lot full, but the right lane of the one-way, two-lane Loop Road had also been turned into additional parking, and for more than a mile in each direction every foot of pavement was taken by a car.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia part 2: Of salters, alewives and estuaries

Posted on May 31, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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We parked the Outback at a little dirt pull-off by a highway bridge. Based on several different guides and personal recommendations, this tidal marsh was high on my list of paddling destinations during my three-week residency at Acadia National Park, and the bridge at the outlet of the marsh where it flowed out into a harbor was the recommended put-in. My wife and I arrived about three hours before high tide in hopes of riding the incoming tide all the way upriver to the very start of the marsh — the estuary where several cold water streams flowed into the brackish saltwater.

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Matt Dickerson: Acadia National Park from a lightweight canoe

Posted on May 17, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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“We should have done this 10 years ago.”

That was the day’s refrain. The third of four times my wife, Deborah, or I repeated it was the third or fourth times we lifted our new ultralight Wenonah kevlar canoe off of or onto the roof of our car, with barely more effort than it takes to lift a mug of coffee to our lips.

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Matt Dickerson: Short sleeves, spring snow and sweetness

Posted on April 5, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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Matt Dickerson: Haunted fishing memories

Posted on March 22, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



I had just finished my best ever day of steelhead fishing and I was in the pickup truck with my guide Ryan driving back to town. I commented that days like I’d just had must get him a lot of repeat clients. It wasn’t idle banter. I was already trying to figure out when and how I might get back to that river, and I knew that Rain Coast Guides had already nearly booked most of March of 2019 more than a year in advance.

Ryan laughed. No, he said. It isn’t necessarily the great days that bring clients back. Often, it’s the lousy days.

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Matt Dickerson: Steelhead fishing and the Olympics

Posted on March 8, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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A brisk wind blew off the Puget Sound. I stood on the third deck of a state-run ferry, looking west at distant snow-covered peaks of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Shades not unlike those of an October sugar maple accented the backdrop as the sun fell into the Pacific. Then my shivering got the better of me. I stepped out of the wind and into the warmth of the ferry’s enclosed deck to enjoy the view through a thick glass.

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Alaska fishing guide returns to become a Vermont game warden

Posted on February 22, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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One of the things Asa Sargent had to learn when he left the Green Mountain State to spend four years as a guide in Alaska, was how to know when a charging brown bear was just bluffing.

It’s not a lesson one learns growing up in Ripton, Vt., so Sargent, now 26 years old, had to trust the wisdom of the experienced guide who trained him.

It also isn’t a skill that is likely to prove useful in his new career, as a Vermont State Game Warden. However other skills from his years guiding did transfer.

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Matt Dickerson: Returning to fish in the Trinity National Forest

Posted on February 1, 2018 |
By Matt Dickerson



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