The fly that catches big fish, but no men.

Salmon caught with Rodney on the Maramichi River, New Brunswick, Canada

Fly for a lifetime, by Dennis L. Smith In the early 1970’s I had the good fortune to learn fly-casting and fly-tying. My teacher and mentor, G. M. Haskell, who also happened to be my dentist, knew I fished and introduced me to fly-fishing. When I was in his chair and completely under his power […]

Yellow or white, this is the time for perch.

white and yellow perch caught under the ice

You can catch perch in the warm seasons, but it is now, when they have been living in icy water, that they are at their peak. The flesh is firm, and very mild. It is a beginner’s fish. If you are new to ice fishing, it will probably be one of your first catches. Pickerel […]

Simple pleasures: Selections from my bookshelf

Life can get complicated pretty easily. I have a few things that ground me. Two of them are daily sunrise salutations, however brief, and the world’s best commute, where the landscape is different every day. I also have a few go-to books that bring me right back to seeing the joy that is here, free, […]

Maple syruping for beginners

glass bottles and jars for syrup

Like many hobbies, maple syruping can be done very simply and inexpensively, or you can have equipment lust. There are plenty of tempting syrup accessories out there, from felts and filters to stainless evaporators. We have upscaled with a handmade evaporator replacing the lobster pot, and felts replacing the cheesecloth, but backyard syruping is easy […]

The fifth season: syrup season

Sap boiling on the firepit

Boots and shovels then tee shirts and rakes, stoke the stove and open the window, freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw, spring, winter, winter, spring—March in Maine is neither fish nor fowl. “I’m ready for spring,” even the devoted winter fans have been heard to say as March shifts from cold to warm and back. Spring is […]

In which we almost lose our identities and lay a couple of eggs

Entrance to the historic Auberge St.Antoine.

We were about thirty miles from the border when I remembered we had left our passports in the hotel. “Crap,” I exclaimed, or perhaps shouted. My almost dozing husband asked sleepily what was up. I told him, and he bolted upright. We were in Canada, returning to Maine from Quebec, and neither one of us […]