Bountiful World Blog

LAKE SQUALL, 1967: WHEN SALMON ANGLERS ENCOUNTERED THE POWER OF LAKE MICHIGAN

09/22/2017  0 Comments

WHEN I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD I was eager for adventure. My family lived on Long Lake, where any ordinary day offered opportunities for exploration and discovery. But ordinary days bored me. I longed for uncommon experience. When storms chased the summer people inside their cottages, I wanted to be on the shore of Lake […]

FISHING THE JAM: A DESCENT INTO THE DARK SIDE OF SALMON FISHING

09/21/2017  1 Comment

When the urge to spawn came over them, salmon ran up the rivers by the hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands. They also ran up any creek, slough, channel, and ditch they could squeeze into. My friends and I used to stalk them in rivulets so shallow the fish were virtually stranded, and still they shimmied […]

A SPORT OF KINGS: THE SALMON OF ICELAND

09/20/2017  0 Comments

When you mention salmon in many parts of the world, from the northeastern U.S. and Canada across northern Europe and the remote nether reaches of Russia, everyone assumes you mean Atlantic salmon. Although they are a close relative of coho, Chinook, pink and other Pacific salmons, there are differences. The most significant of them biologically […]

LITTLE GIANTS: THE UNLIKELY JOURNEY OF PINK SALMON IN THE GREAT LAKES

09/19/2017  2 Comments

Biologists and anglers had attempted to plant salmon in the Great Lakes for more than a century before the spectacular success of the coho and Chinook programs of the late 1960s. Those earlier attempts had always failed, with one notable exception: the accidental release of a species that established itself in all five Great Lakes […]

A BOLT OF BLUE: Coming Down with a Case of Coho Fever

09/18/2017  0 Comments

Fifty years ago the biggest story in the history of freshwater fisheries was unfolding in northern Michigan. Vast numbers of coho salmon had returned, were feeding rapaciously, and anyone who cast a lure into the water could catch them. “Coho fever” went rampant. Anglers from across the country hurried to Frankfort and Platte Bay, launched […]

“That Wild Flash…That Lightning Crack”: Writers on Writing.1

09/13/2017  6 Comments

IT’S A LONELY BUSINESS, being a writer. Little wonder we’re hungry for words of advice and encouragement. I’ve collected those words for more than thirty years, writing many of them in longhand on the inside covers of my journals and adding others to digital files. I go to them sometimes when I need a chuckle […]

My Bay Life

08/17/2017  0 Comments

SO I’VE BECOME a homebody. Nobody is more surprised than I. But if you saw my home, you’d understand. You’d understand especially in summer, for everyone wants to be in Traverse City in the sweet season. Can you blame them? Days on the bay and the inland lakes, evenings downtown at theaters, breweries, bookstores, and […]

SANDBLASTED

06/09/2017  2 Comments

WE SPENT THE NIGHT with our friends Betsy and Eric in a cottage they had rented on the shore of Lake Michigan near Point Betsie. The cottage was a 1950’s-era Cape Cod perched on a dune a pebble toss from the waves breaking on the beach. The lap siding was sandblasted smooth and worn to […]

YELLOWTHROATS AND AGATES

04/11/2017  6 Comments

IN MAY Gail and I like to go to the eastern Upper Peninsula to watch birds. We do a sort of Grand Tour, from Mackinac State Park to the Seney Wildlife Refuge to Whitefish Point. Whitefish Point is a funnel for migrants, and on some days you can see hundreds of raptors soaring in “kettles” […]

Quiet Hours

02/28/2017  4 Comments

YEARS AGO, when my wife and young sons and I lived in the Old Town neighborhood of Traverse City, we often walked to the Carnegie Library on Sixth Street. On winter evenings we would bundle up in coats, boots, hats, and mittens and set out through the snow. If it was very cold and much […]




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