My most recent story for USA Today/Travel.
America’s natural treasures: Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Ft. Niagara was established nearly 300 years ago at the mouth of the Niagara River. France, Great Britain (twice) and the United States have claimed ownership. The 22-acre site is soaked in history. It’s worth a visit.
Schedule an extra day because the fishing on the Niagara River is fantastic. Contact Capt. Frank Campbell. Capt. Frank will put you on fish.
From USA Today https://usat.ly/2H1vnZu
Recently had an opportunity to tour the Wonders of Wildlife museum and aquarium in Springfield, Mo. It’s an impressive and educational facility and worth a visit. My report for USA Today: https://usat.ly/2oqtryc
I will occasionally profile state parks and other public use areas for USA Today. Here’s a glimpse of a hidden jewel: Kentucky’s Columbus-Belmont State Park. https://usat.ly/2oekF5p
Today (4/11) at 6 p.m., Murray State University will host a minor literary event in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center. For those unfamiliar with the Murray State campus the CFSB Center is the basketball arena. It’s located near the intersection of highways 641 and 121 in Murray, Ky.
I say a minor literary event because of the venue and probable local and regional attendance. The work being released is anything but minor.
Monday night marks the release of Dr. Duane Bolin’s new book Home and Away: A Professor’s Journal. It’s being published by Acclaim Press www.acclaimpress.com.
I’ll tell you a bit about the work and its author.
Home and Away is a collection of essays that grew from Bolin’s weekly newspaper column. The book has been more than a decade in the writing. I know from my friendship with the author that it has been a struggle at times, a frustration at others, but mostly, a joy. The tone is homespun, but in a quiet, polished sort of way. The essay is one of my favorite literary forms and done correctly, it is akin to a small pebble tossed into a still pond on a summer evening: not much plunk but far reaching ripples. These stories ripple.
Most impressive, however, is what you won’t find in Home and Away. You won’t find sarcasm, cynicism or profanity; hate, bitterness or ugliness; jealousy, resentment or revenge. The stories are about family and friends and places and the things that get us from here to there. In many of these essays the people and places are local; the themes are universal.
Duane is a husband, father, brother and friend. He’s also a scholar, a gifted teacher, and a skilled writer. He talks about Home and Away with his local public radio station, WKMS, here. It’s worth a listen.
See for yourself Monday night. Come if you can. Check out the book if you can’t.
I’m happy to say that I am now blogging for Outdoor Life. If you want to get closer to more fish read this: Fishing Tips: Get Closer with Float Tubes | Outdoor Life.
Tyson Peterson caught more than two dozen bass on Kentucky Lake Saturday and Sunday, most off ledge cover in the 15 to 18 foot range.
He couldn’t keep any. That was against the rules. But he measured and recorded his six longest (three each day), caulking up a total length of 116 inches, or about 19.3 inches per fish. It was enough to win the 2015 Hobie Bass Open on Kentucky Lake and earn the Lexington, Ky., man a spot in the 2015 Hobie Worlds Championship later this year in China.
The Hobie Bass Open was a CPR (catch, photograph and release) tournament. Anglers could fish from a kayak or paddle board. The field included 73 adults and six youth anglers.
Peterson began kayaking about five years ago and soon started fishing from the versatile boats.
“It was a different way to get on the water,” said Peterson, recalling his early kayaking days “And it’s a lot more relaxing way to be on the water. Then it became a fishing sport so I grasp it. I’m an avid fisherman. I like the peace that it brings. It’s always a good time out on the water.”
Peterson beat second place finisher Tom Michael by 6 1/4 inches. Michael, who is from New Jersey, won the event last year.
The victory qualifies Peterson for the Hobie Worlds 2015 Championship in November in China and earned him a spot on Team USA.
“I’m going,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
Last December a conservation officer for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources www.fw.ky.gov answered a call about a reported mountain lion. What followed sparked an avalanche of public outrage.
Read my take on it in the March issue of Kentucky Monthly. http://www.kentuckymonthly.com/explore/field-notes/mountain-lion-kentucky/.
I arrived around mid afternoon and the stocking truck had come and gone, leaving behind – according to the state game agency website – “1,000, 9 to 11 inch rainbow trout.”
I knew this because seven cars had crowded the small parking area and a couple more had squeezed onto a gravel bar flanking the small stream.
The highway bridge serves as the stocking site. On stocking day this is where you’ll find the fish and the fishermen. The trout that survive the stocking day angling onslaught eventually disperse and a couple of miles of the spring-fed creek, which winds through the heart of largemouth bass country, holds trout year round and is a surprisingly good fishery.
I walked toward the bridge. The creek became dark with trout, which were crowded into the deeper water that pools against the far bank. A guy dressed in tan shorts and a golf shirt, fly vest, wide-brimmed hat and oversized net was casting a chunk of shrimp into the pod of trout. He hooked three and landed one, adding it to the four he had clipped onto a metal stringer. Three other fishermen stood shoulder to shoulder. An older man was sitting on a step stool he’s positioned under the bridge. Two guys were on the downstream side of the stocking site but all were within casting distance of each other.
I walked back to the parking area. Two more cars had arrived. A red Jeep pulled in and parked beside me.
“Do any good?” the driver asked.
“Not fishing today.”
“They dump some fish?”
“I think so.”