Author Archives: rivertoprambles

About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!

Climbing

Our muscles tighten and our lungs adjust, whether we seek the headwaters for trout because the lowlands have been flooded, or whether we lift our feet and pull with our arms along a skyline scramble for a special view that … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Squaretails, Shenandoah

I was well beyond my usual angling haunts in northern Appalachia. I was well beyond some recent and surprisingly pleasant hikes with family through Baltimore and Prince William Forest Park in metro Washington, D.C.. My placement may have been influenced … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Zoar Valley Meditation

My son and I visited Zoar Valley in western New York, a canyonland near the village of Gowanda, once the biggest glue producer in the world. This area is a blend of posted property, state forestland and designated nature preserves. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Three Branches, Opening Day

Opening day for trout in northern Pennsylvania offered excellent weather and an opportunity to reacquaint myself with the headwaters. For 35 years I’ve fished three branches of the Genesee (the East, Middle, and West) on the April opener for the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

A Good Day For It

The sunlit day was beautiful. I found myself fishing in the cold water (35 degrees F.) of a Pennsylvania river where the trout seemed few and far between. I did manage to capture and release a first brown trout of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Spring/ Sprung!

I love all four seasons in New York, but spring… ah…. Two days ago I stepped out into the gray and misted dawn and listened to the first real song of the American robin. I accepted what I heard as … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The Pulse of the Run

The deep woods hike in middle March was a tough climb through the melting snow, two miles up the Pennsylvania tributary, and back. I wrote of this mountain hollow in Beautiful Like a Mayfly, 2015: “The tributary flows through the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Pine Creek Anticipation

Suddenly the sky was clear, and the temperature rose well above the freezing mark. Although the ice on local streams and rivers was only now beginning to crack and drift away, I drove to Pennsylvania eager to prepare for a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Winter Break

The nasally, low-pitched notes of the nuthatch enter through my bedroom window (open even in winter and appreciated from beneath the comforters) and I sense my own reawakening. The white-breasted’s wha-wha-wha notes enter non-committedly, sliding in softly from the maples … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

The Phantom Bus and Other Observations

So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left with…  From the stunning piece, “The Hill We Climb,” by Inaugural Poet, Amanda Gorman, 1/20/21. Amen. Walking slowly up the hill, I had the best chance … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments