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!

On a Small Island

Small islands have been inspirational for me since my long-gone days of bumming through the quiet waters of the blue Aegean. Most recently, I helped my daughter move from Providence, Rhode Island to neighboring Warwick, on the west side of … Continue reading

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“Walt’s Lure” (Rangeley)

One allure of Rangeley camp in northwestern Maine was bird life. The wild shrieking of loons at night brought vivid images from lakeside to the closeness of the tent. It was often accompanied by hoots and chortling of various owls, … Continue reading

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Shadow of Katahdin

Preparing for Maine, my wife and I spent several pleasant days with our daughter near coastal Rhode Island. Moving into Baxter State Park in northern Maine, we escaped the noise and madness of the world by settling into a lean-to … Continue reading

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Indian Pipe (World Among Many)

With roots set deep, with leaves translucent, the plant’s waxy fingers pull death from the ground. The Corpse Plant, epiparasitic, is a smoky spirit of the dark woods, of fecund banks near rotting beech or pine trees, nodding its head … Continue reading

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Lil’ Dorothy’s Riffle

1.  Late morning on a wild trout stream flowing through old farmland. The sky sun-bright and cloudless; the air getting warm. The water summer low and tight with vegetation, not exactly promising for the fisherman… And the brown trout? Spooky … Continue reading

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A Purple Haze

The evening’s Genesee was too warm (72 degrees F.) to fish at Shongo so I drove upstream and found safer water (68 degrees) for trout, in case the dry fly action turned out to be good. It turned out to … Continue reading

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The Home Stretch

I was fishing the home stretch of a local river, a favorite section of the headwaters, a place where I could hang my fishing hat, or fly rod, on an aging log and feel as comfortable as a dog beside … Continue reading

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Ephemera: the Eco-Myths

1/   From mayfly egg to molting nymph, from deep channel into warming shallows, from the underwater shuck into floating dun’s regalia– the two-tailed fly… A few escape the charge of hungry trout, ascend into willows for the garb of … Continue reading

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Angling With Angels

The inclement weather of late (an overdose of rains) has kept me from the lawnmower and the fly rod more than I prefer, so I’ve had some time to figure things out. I’ve decided (after a little research) that fishing … Continue reading

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Salty Undercurrents

With a couple more fly rod outings at Narragansett Bay, I continue my perfect .ooo percentage while casting in the salt. I’m doing worse than the Baltimore Orioles at their game, currently batting .302 in the American League. Although it’s … Continue reading

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