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Ryan Sparks

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Hidden Honey Holes: How to Hunt and Fish the Margins

Freshwater

Hidden Honey Holes: How to Hunt and Fish the Margins

“You can’t understand wilderness unless you’re familiar with the 40-acre wood lot.” -Jim Harrison Marginal, small, under-the-radar patches of habitat offering fantastic hunting and fishing opportunities exist across the continent. These places often go unnoticed, hidden in plain sight. Hunters and...
How to be a Fish Bum: Lessons from the Best

Freshwater

How to be a Fish Bum: Lessons from the Best

“If you’re too successful to fish whenever you want, one could argue that you’re not really a success.”  -John Gierach John Gierach coined the term “trout bum” in his 1986 book of the same name. He used the phrase to affectionately refer to hardcore anglers who devoted all their time and money to...
The Future of Mom-and-Pop Fishing Shops

Freshwater

The Future of Mom-and-Pop Fishing Shops

I’ve always loved hometown tackle stores. The kind of places with “Beer, Bait, Ammo” advertised in neon out front. Some of them stick to the basics: hooks, sinkers, bait, and licenses. Others are highly specialized tackle warehouses with unique lures for local waters and up-to-date intel on what’s...
Make Your Own Damn Lures

Freshwater

Make Your Own Damn Lures

When I moved to Ontario, our neighbor’s teenage son helped us unload boxes. Spying copious boxes labeled “fishing,” the boy looked at me with excitement. He said he had been fishing almost every day that summer, and I told him to pick out something as a gift for helping us. He was a little confused...
MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part Three, Eating Carp

Carp

MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part Three, Eating Carp

This is the third installment in a three-part series asking readers to take a fresh look at carp despite their lowly reputation. Part One covered the history of carp in North America. Part Two explained how to find and catch carp using a variety of methods. This installment describes several ways to...
MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part Two, Subduing the Suburban Salmon

Carp

MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part Two, Subduing the Suburban Salmon

Bugle-mouth, scaled whale, golden bonefish, mud marlin, river Roomba, suburban salmon—those in the know have a variety of colorful names for carp. As more people come to the realization that carp are a plentiful and challenging gamefish, they are challenging the widely-held perception that carp are...
MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part One, An Unlikely Fish

Carp

MeatEater’s Guide to Carp: Part One, An Unlikely Fish

In the spring of 2007, I accidentally hooked a carp while bass fishing in a Nebraska farm pond. It fought hard, peeling line and bending my rod deeper than any bass I’d ever caught. When I drug it to the bank, I had no idea it would inspire a personal investigation that would lead me from the farm...