Last Best Streams: 1545.
Halfway to the North Pole, and I could use a diversion. Couple miles off the highway is one of the Last Best Streams, through a derelict Northwoods lumber town, down a gravel road. Some of these streams I’m able to find a fair bit of information on beforehand. Others are mostly blank pages, a couple…
Last Best Streams: #797
I’ve spent the last three days thrashing through Devil’s Club and Johnsongrass only to posthole through sand and silt and muck, looking for smallmouth bass and pike. Devil’s Club is as bad as it sounds, Johnsongrass cuts at your legs. But here the old-growth whitecedar and birch shade out everything except waist-high ostrich fern and…
Last Best Streams: #1353.
How on earth did that one make the list? I thought to myself, when its number came up. I’d never seen it before, although I’d visited streams in the area, and knew something of its character. Best case scenario, it was a pretty little prairie stream out in the middle of nowhere. But, I could…
Last Best Streams: End of the water year.
Folks who study these things designate September 30th as the end of the annual water year, logic being it’s likely as low as streams will get until another trip around the sun. Perhaps incidentally, it’s the end of the federal budget cycle. At any rate, it sees a fitting if arbitrary annual cutoff for my…
Last Best Streams: #759 (˸).
Forty miles down a gravel road is enough to give one the smug sense of satisfaction that they’re seeing somewhere even natives rarely visit. Out past the prairie, past the Front Range, past the trucks and trailers and campers and ATVS, shiny new Jeeps, anglers, kayakers, rafters, photographers, Influencers®, hikers, climbers, birdwatchers, yoga enthusiasts…out past…
Last Best Streams: #612.
March only felt like it crawled by. Now we’re halfway through turkey season, better than halfway through the white bass run, smallmouth are spawning. Another month, six weeks from now and it’ll be too hot to chase muskies. Things are still happening, even if we’re stuck inside. I picked up a copy of Blue Highways…
Last Best Streams: #1172.
Bicolored snipe lift off vertically from wet willow thickets and I’m reading a sign in the middle of nowhere lauding native species and I turn thirty-seven degrees and watch black cattle wear out wet willow thickets where bicolored snipe lift off vertically and I wonder how we define value.
Last Best Streams: #2225.
I should’ve brought the wall tent, century-old canvas and varnished wood poles that would’ve been loaded on a flat-bottomed jon boat with a couple sports from Saint Louis or Kansas City, maybe Omaha or Chicago, and sent down the river to catch black bass and walleye. I sped down paved two-lane past the derelict depot…
In this part of the world there’s two classes of public campground. There’s the squeaky-clean state parks where four hundred weekend warriors haul in trailers and RVs, where cicadas and katydids compete with the drone of generators powering air conditioners and Bachelorette reruns. Nature will be presented on plastic interpretive signs or during evening lectures…