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The Sporting Life

When Dogs Are a Passion

The difference between a profession and a passion is often a matter of money. Sally Downer made her living as a registered nurse, but if she had her way about it, she’d have spent her career raising English setters.

North Country Trail Association Director Finds Her Footing in the Midwest

As a child, Andrea Ketchmark spent more time on the water than in the woods. She got her first taste of hiking at Wildwood Preserve, a crown jewel of Toledo, Ohio’s, Metroparks system, but it wasn’t until she moved to Colorado for college that she discovered a love for the trails themselves.

Trout at Night

Fly fishing for trout is a dramatically visual sport. Watching a faux mayfly made of feathers and thread as it drifts downstream and disappears into a swirl on the surface is exactly what flips many an angler’s switch.
Karen Eppinger remains committed to making Eppinger lures in the United States.

Keeping Family in the Business

At 77, Karen Eppinger doesn’t fish as much as she used to, which used to be as much as just about anyone.
Terry McBurney’s Michigan-Made Fishing Lure and Gear Collection

A Collector of Tackle

Terry McBurney is a collector. And a historian. And because of that, he also is a storyteller. For the last 16 years, McBurney has written a monthly column for Woods-N-Water News, an outdoors publication out of Imlay City that is largely hunting- and fishing-oriented.
Cozy up by the Fire

Finding Hygge (Coziness) in Winter

There’s a kind of contentment in accepting a harsh climate, and it’s one of the things I think best sums up the Danish concept of hygge. Hygge can be loosely translated to mean a coziness or contentment and often includes warm touches like candles and comfort food, but it’s more than that. Hygge is the idea of being happy with what you have and finding the joy in simple things.
Sunfish Woodworks Bob Batchik

Carving a Niche

The way Bob Batchik tells it, it all started when he and his wife moved into a home with a wood-burning fireplace. He’d sit by the hearth carving wood shavings from kindling to get the fire going, and once it was burning well, he’d continue carving the sticks into small figures — often fish — that eventually went into the fire, too.
Kayak on rocky shore

In Search of Calm Waters

Solo kayak journey 1,000 miles along Lake Superior’s shore.
The Motor City Dragons

Paddling at a Dragon’s Pace

At modern-day dragon boat festivals, it’s common to paddle casually out on the water and scatter flowers on the surface to honor those whose...
Josh Greenberg paddles an Au Sable riverboat

Au Sable River Dream

Josh Greenberg, author and owner of Gates Au Sable Lodge, one of Michigan’s iconic trout fishing outfitters.