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 / Travel & Outdoor
Field & Stream

Field & Stream April/May 2019

"The World's Leading Outdoor Magazine." devoted to the complete outdoor experience and lifestyle.

United States
Bonnier Corporation
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9 Issues


2 min.
make a (spring) break for it

A COUPLE OF THINGS came to mind as I read Will Brantley’s feature in this issue, “The Turkey Truants” (p. 70). First, Brantley is a hell of a lot of fun to chase gobblers with. A few springs back, I traveled to his Kentucky home and enjoyed some of the most exciting turkey hunting of my life. I filled my first of two tags by fanning a gobbler that came to within 10 yards of flogging us. As thrilling as that hunt was, the next day was even better. After some early-morning running-and-gunning, Brantley and I doubled on a pair of Eastern longbeards. Years later, I can still hear their gobbles thundering in the hardwoods. And when we weren’t hunting, there was plenty of catfishing, cussing, fried food, and all…

3 min.

F&S: Given how much time you’ve spent with bass pros, have you started to think like one when you’re on the water? PR: I think that my overall skill set has improved, but I’m too mentally conservative to be a successful bass pro. I’ve always said that the ones who succeed are the ones who cannot get a single bite one day, let alone catch a fish, and they head out the next day expecting to catch a monster limit. It’s why so many of them are day traders, poker players, or former bull riders. They have no fear. Or it’ll be 38 degrees and blowing 40 mph on Lake Erie, kicking up 6- or 8-foot waves—when any sane person would head to the Waffle House and then back to bed,…

4 min.
hidden jewels

• THE SEASON • THE TOTAL OUTDOORSMAN • FISHING • SHOTGUNS • RIFLES • THE WILD CHEF • HUNTING ONE DAY, MY FRIEND PETE Fleischman was driving in the sand country of central Wisconsin when a couple of Huck Finn lookalikes popped out of the trees. They were carrying fishing rods and something else: a stringer of glistening brook trout. Pete deduced that the kids were dressed the way they were—dark pants, long-sleeved shirts, broad-brimmed hats—because they were Amish. The sand country is checkerboarded with Amish farms, and to see the men working the fields with horses is to be transported in imagination to the 19th century. Pete got out of his truck and hailed the muddy-footed youngsters. “Those are some nice trout,” he said. “Mind telling me where you caught them?” One of the kids jerked a thumb…

1 min.
gear tip five flies and a float

With 35 years on the spring ponds of Wisconsin under his belt, Jim Hauer, founder of Blue Sky Furled Leaders (blue sky fly.com), says to keep it simple when it comes to fly selection. “Don’t worry about matching the hatch, and remember that stealth is important.” Hauer’s go-to spring-pond flies are: a Royal Coachman wet, a Woolly Bugger, a Prince nymph, a Hare’s Ear nymph, and scuds. He carries a range of sizes, but 12s and 14s are his bread and butter. While Hauer still uses a canoe on occasion, he’s become a huge fan of the SuperCat inflatable pontoon (supercat.us). “The design is elegantly simple, and even with the rowing frame attached, it weighs less than 15 pounds.”…

5 min.
sense of place

WHEN I PULLED UP TO THE end of the farm path by Dead Dog Field, I checked the map on my cellphone before turning toward Stillwater—and that’s when I realized this had gotten out of hand. I knew to turn left to get to my deer camp; I had driven out from Dead Dog a million times. But there it was, in my hand, my cellphone with the little blue blip that marked my location on a digitized satellite image. I had checked it without even thinking. This time of year finds me in the deer and duck woods almost as often as during deer and duck season, because it’s a great time to scout with the leaves still off the trees. I had spent the morning stomping up and down…

6 min.
smashed, trashed, and hammered

THE FIRST TIME I ever fished a Drunk & Disorderly, I hated the fly. A friend had given the streamer to me in 2015, swearing it was a next-level ringer. All I knew about it was that the unique head, made of packed deer-body hair and shaved into a steep doorstop wedge, was modeled after the lip of an Original Rapala Floater. Armed with that minimal information, what I expected that wedge to do was make the fly dive and wobble like a lipped hard bait. All I saw was a mess of hair spinning and twisting on the surface. After a few casts, I put it back in my box and practically erased it from memory. What I didn’t learn until the following season was that the Drunk & Disorderly—more…