Commentary

Commentary / 06.10.2015

The presence of cows only made the experience more surreal. But I suppose one should expect nothing less while fishing along the banks of a Wisconsin trout stream. On the last day of the season in 2015 my friend and guide Craig Amacker deftly cast his line over a narrow bend of the Blue River. It was a Wednesday morning in September and we each relished our good fortune to have chosen professions that encouraged us to play in the middle of the work week. As the river curved...

Commentary, Destinations, Diversity, Fly Fishing, Kids in Nature, National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Social Media / 02.09.2015

As summer draws to a close across North America I have noticed something most profound. After more than 20 years as a professional in the outdoor recreation industry I’ve begun to see more people of color than ever before venturing out into the natural world. This is of course an anecdotal observation base not in fact. But the depth and volume of stories and photographs posted to social media reveals to me that things have indeed changed. I am both encouraged and inspired by the bold exciting ways...

#ORShow, #ORSummer, Commentary, Diversity / 10.08.2015

On the last day of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market I received a message on Facebook. Walking briskly down one of bustling aisles of the Salt Palace I paused for a moment to read this text. “Anything interesting come out of the diversity conversation?” The question came from my friend and colleague Teresa Baker, founder of the African-American National Parks Event and an advocate for bringing more people of color into the world of outdoor recreation and environmental conservation. Without breaking stride I rattled off a quick reply. “Only that smart...

Adventure Activism, Commentary, Diversity, Outdoor Retailer / 03.08.2015

[caption id="attachment_2063178" align="aligncenter" width="489"] photo by John Maniaci[/caption]   Today is the launch of my first television commercial. I say first as if this will be the beginning in a procession of broadcast appearances, but as I indeed have a face for radio this could possibly be my last. So it goes. As it happens this week could actually mark instead the next phase of my rather sordid career. Through much of my life as The Outdoor Professional I’ve tried to stay pretty much invisible. My own story I prefer to...

Commentary, Fly Fishing / 31.05.2015

The strike took me by surprise. As the fish tugged on the line beneath the brackish water I was slow at first to set the hook and draw my quarry from the lake into the warm evening air. Its green/yellow scales flashed in the low angle light of the setting sun as I gently removed the fly from its mouth. With a sharp snap of its tail the first bluegill of the season slapped the palm of my hand as I released it back into the rippling pool....

Commentary, Diversity / 13.05.2015

An awkward silence quickly grew to fill an interminable moment of sheer agony. The thunderous clicks of my own eyelids boomed in my ears as I stood there blinking back at her. There in the crowded lounge amongst the sounds of clinking glasses and casual conversation I sighed quietly in frustration. Through clinched teeth I forced a smile and searched my mind for a politic answer to her question. As the seconds ticked past without a reply it’s possible she thought I hadn’t heard her. She asked again,...