With some tweaks, the colorful minnow and feathered lures would make pretty cute earrings, I thought, or great Christmas tree ornaments.
Spread across a table, the lures were bright and arresting — and would be to crappies, muskies and smallmouth bass as well, as a half-dozen other female students and I learned from the biologist teaching our Advanced Fishing class. She said that many fish species see other spoon-shaped lures, called spinners, as a “shiny, fun thing that’s going to get my attention and I can’t resist it.”
A classmate exclaimed, “Spinners are my favorite!”
Advanced Fishing was my final class in the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, a two-and-a-half-day workshop offered to women to promote interest and ease in the great outdoors. In this workshop, hosted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and held in Davis, a town partly surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest, I learned not only how to lure a fish, prepare wild game, back a boat trailer down a ramp and shoot a handgun, but also the ins and outs of stream ecology.
While I love the great outdoors, I am not a hunter, an ecologist or an advanced angler — in fact, I had only fished in fresh water twice before the program. Once in 2014, for rainbow trout in Sun Valley, Idaho, and before that, on June 10, 1987, with my grandfather at East Fork Lake in Batavia Township, Ohio. I caught a bluegill that I brought home in a bucket. I remember these details because they are preserved in a letter 7-year-old me wrote my grandfather that we found tacked to the inside of his closet door after his death. (This testament to my first fish and my grandfather is now framed on my living room wall.)
Some 36 years later, after spending my adulthood in the country’s largest cities, I have surprised those who know me, and to some extent myself, by deciding to build what will be my first house on a five-acre parcel in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. Exploring my new backyard by getting to know its people and attractions — and favorite pastimes — was my next step.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman, or BOW, workshops have been around since 1991, and West Virginia hosted its first one in 1997. Conceived during a conference in 1990 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on “Breaking Down Barriers to Participation of Women in Angling and Hunting,” they aim to close the gender gap by offering women a chance to learn outdoors activities from and alongside other women. Peggy Farrell, currently the director of the international BOW program and coordinator of workshops held in Wisconsin, said that one of the standout takeaways was that women wanted to learn how to fish and hunt; they just wanted to do it on their terms.
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Sun Valley, Idaho is practically synonymous with winter sports—and for good reason. Not only is the Valley home to some of the country’s best skiing, but it has one of the sport’s oldest histories in America too. Inspired by the great ski resorts in Switzerland, Austria, and other parts of Europe, Union Pacific Railroad company built the world’s first ski chairlift here in the 1930s as a way to transform the area from a sleepy valley of sheepherders into America’s inaugural ski resort destination.
The Mount Hood stratovolcano, around two hour’s drive east of Portland, Oregon, is the most transfixing ski destination you’re ever likely to lay eyes on. It’s a perfect snow-topped pyramid, pushing high through the clouds, with a belt of fir trees and pistes that crisscross the forest like strands of a spider’s web. Get closer and you’ll see the pattern is the result of several exciting ski areas: Timberline, Mount Hood Skibowl, Mount Hood Meadows, Summit Ski Area and Cooper Spur. For those who love winter sports, this region always offers another reason to stay longer.
The festival of lights is almost here and it’s time to celebrate accordingly in New York City. With food, of course. And Hanukkah’s all about the fried treats — latkes, stuffed doughnuts and more will pop up on menus around the city to celebrate the eight night holiday.
Many bypass Arnside and Silverdale, touching Morecambe Bay to the west and the Lake District to the north, on their journey along the M6 motorway. Detour to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AOBN) — one of the smallest in the UK — and you’re in for a surprise. The region spans just 29sq miles, but its diversity belies its humble size, with woodland, limestone hills and a coastal area all linked by a network of paths. Trails start right from Arnside station, which has direct rail connections to Lancaster and Manchester and e-bikes available for rental at Ease E Ride.
With wild safari experiences, grasslands, rainforests, woodlands and savannah plains in abundance, Tanzania has a lot of different landscapes to explore. And perhaps the best way to get around is by car.
A pre-Thanksgiving storm that may bring severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain and snow as it tracks from the central to the eastern United States early this week could disrupt holiday travel, forecasters said.
With just under 40 million inhabitants across more than nine million square kilometers of land, it’s no secret that Canada is one of the least-densely populated nations on the planet—yet it’s not just humans that call this vast expanse home. From the shores of Vancouver Island to the coast of Newfoundland, this sprawling country is absolutely brimming with birds, with no shortage of dazzling passerines, waterfowl, and raptors thriving across its borders. And for any seasoned birders hoping to add another species to their life list, the following Canadian birding festivals offer a truly unforgettable experience in the heart of one of North America’s most charming countries.
Air travel generates a lot of carbon pollution, contributing to a climate crisis whose worsening weather also makes air travel more turbulent and unpleasant. As those conditions intensify in the years ahead, research suggests high-speed trains — which don’t exist in the U.S. — would be a resilient alternative.
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