“You’d better be careful what you wish for,” proclaimed Jim Balzer as he squinted from beneath his tightly cinched parka’s hood, snow, ice pellets and sleet stinging his face.               Indeed, this had been what I’d wished for. After several trips to the wilds of Saskatchewan we’d never experienced one of those nasty, wind-howling…

            I caught my first trout on a fly when I was six years old and started tying flies when I was about 10. My Mom and Dad helped me get a vise, hackle pliers, bobbin and the other tools I needed to get started. Because we lived out in the country, there wasn’t much…

In the hands of an accomplished angler, in–line spinners can be a deadly lure for trout of all species, regardless of the time of year. But to be successful using hardware involves much more than just chucking and winding.   As with any type of river fishing, anglers using spinners need to know how to…

Just about anyone can catch panfish on first ice. But as winter deepens, the ice thickens, oxygen levels become depleted and more snow piles up on the ice the panfish bite shuts down. They’re still there, somewhere, but as their metabolism slows and they become more indolent they get increasingly tougher to catch. Consistently taking…

Birthdays happen once a year. First hunts happen once in a lifetime. Most states have age restrictions on when a youngster can legally hunt. Ideally, the young hunter’s birthday falls early in the year when preparations and plans can be made well in advance of the season to ensure a good experience and a memorable…

Think about the best pheasant hunting states in America and you naturally think of North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas. That’s why Retriever Journal editor Jake Smith was a little apprehensive when I suggested a story about pheasant hunting in Colorado. “Are you sure?” questioned Jake. “Have you hunted there before?” “Dozens of times,” I…

  Opening-day pheasants can be ridiculously easy. Just about anyone with a shotgun and a pair of boots can kill a limit in good pheasant country. But the game changes drastically after opening day. Pheasants wise up fast or get dead and learn or recall that the sounds of slamming truck doors and dog whistles…