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!

Black Stones and Zonker Pie

Adam Russo, from Lancaster PA, introduced himself by email, thanking Rivertop Rambles for being an interesting and informative blog. The young fly-fisherman offered to tie a few of his Zonker specimens that he’s found to be especially effective in north-central … Continue reading

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Providence

Providence, Rhode Island, founded in 1636 by religious exile Roger Williams, is one of the oldest cities in America. I recently got an introduction to this coastal city that is slowly shifting from industrialism to the service sector with a … Continue reading

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I Love/Hate Investigations

I love investigations, especially when they involve fish, birds, and wildflowers. Investigations involving politics, economics, or health– not so much. Returning to familiar Pennsylvania headwaters for a second consecutive weekend, I began to ponder the presence of brown trout in … Continue reading

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Stream of Dreams #500

I don’t know where I’m going with this. In a cold pre-dawn morning I need some kind of lift, a shot of warmth perhaps, another cup of coffee, another word to type on this computer. Do you ever feel that … Continue reading

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On Skis, an Open Letter, 1989

[ I recently found a copy of a letter to a friend with whom I used to correspond, a friend who wouldn’t mind this link to the present time…] Dear C., Last night we had our first significant snowfall of … Continue reading

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“Truly Gone Fishing”

Recently my son asked, “Where does an old fisherman go when it’s just too cold to fly-fish?” Good question. Lately, with daytime temperatures peaking near the single-digits (Fahrenheit), it’s a little too cold to be standing in water or falling … Continue reading

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Old Woodenhead Skates on Thin Ice

Old Woodenhead was on the Allegheny River by noon. The weather had become more seasonal, turning sharply colder, with air temperatures peaking at less than the freezing mark. Winter fly-fishing is an exercise in patience and layered clothing, he thought. … Continue reading

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Heading Off, December

I revisited a favorite salmon creek on a chilly Saturday morning and warmed up slowly to a good day of casting with an 8-weight rod. I finally found a stretch of water where, surprisingly enough, the landlocks were as busy … Continue reading

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Blue Ridge Bound

Day 1: I began the day by scraping frost off the windshield, but then enjoyed the sun rising over the mountains and the North Fork Moormans.  It was surprising to find this trout stream in Shenandoah National Park as low … Continue reading

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A Different Kind of Fish

I’m gonna keep this short because I’m on the road to Virginia. My title for the post does not refer to a species other than the usual salmonid that you might encounter here, but to a wild brown trout, modest … Continue reading

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