Snow Day with Angling Books

Snowed in. Closing the laptop, making a sandwich, and going to catch-up on my reading.

I’ve been reading The Eastern Trail all weekend now since picking it up at an antique mall in Savage, MD. Its a great primer on hunting (upland, deer), and angling in the Northeast with a special focus on Pennsylvania and New York. Bashline was a great Pennsylvanian outdoor writer who wrote a definitive book on Night Fishing for Trout (which I have yet to pick up). The selected writers in Trail have a wonderful style– evocative of hunters who grew up in the 50s, plain-spoken, advocates for conservation, instructive, just a bit obstinate, and deeply passionate.

This introduction by Bashline just about says it all…

“Like the prophets of old, today’s outdoor writers are a strange breed- a motley group of characters whose message to humanity is often one of nonconformity. The men and women who write, talk, photograph, or illustrate the news of the outdoors cannot be stereo-typed. More often than not, the outdoor writer will be the man down the street who works each day for a local business or industrial firm. Some are with government agencies….while others can be found in the high-pressure commercial world of the public relations and advertising agencies…for once the necessities of their vocations are overcome, these people turn to their compelling avocation of telling others about their first love- the fields and forests, the oceans and brooks, the mountains and lake shores, for it is the world of nature that gives real meaning to their lives in which they find the true quality of their living.”

There are lovely illustrations by famed wildlife illustrator and Pennsylvanian, Ned Smith.

"Sting of the Hook" Image by Ned Smith, all rights reserved by artist

Good sources for books on angling or hunting include:

Fireside Angler

Anglers Book Supply

Angling Bookstore





First Hunt and Shadow Lake

My brother-in-law is taking me hunting this Thanksgiving down south, just outside of Atlanta on some private grounds (whitetail not turkey). I’ve never hunted before but I’m looking forward to it. I don’t expect to do any shooting, just watching. Once when I was about 10 or 12, I was out with my brothers and sisters getting lost in the wilderness around Shadow Lake (just outside Cleveland in rural Ohio), and I got a bit lost. I was on this long grassy road surrounded by a cathedral of trees.

Occasionally, the light broke through sending rays down on the path ahead. As I searched for my brother Blake, maybe 100 yards in front of me, a few deer emerged from the shadows to nibble on the path. I froze, can’t say how long I stood there watching. Finally, I heard my brother approaching from behind and I turned to him to shush him, when I turned back, the deer were gone… My siblings and I spent many years wandering the more than 100 miles of Cuyahoga’s connected Metropark system, 20k acres of land, from the lakefront to the Rocky River gorge. We used to climb the rocky shale bluffs and wade through the streams and rivers. In the urban areas–we played tennis in the National Junior Tennis League, and we would go to the zoo several times a year. Though Shadow Lake wasn’t part of the Metropark system, both parks enabled five boisterous, adventurous kids to go wild when necessary and grow up with grass between our toes.

I expect that the Thanksgiving hunt will be a long slow process. Lots of stretches of sitting still and waiting. But its fall and the colors should be spectacular. The time spent with my brother-in-law will be good enough for me. I really love venison though, so fingers crossed.

Recently came across this great post reminding hunters how to get home safe…