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Favorite Outdoor Writers

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Not too long ago someone posted a list of their favorite outdoor media personalities. I was wondering who your favorite writers were

I like:

John Geirach

Zane Grey

Nash Buckingham

Gordon McQuarrie (sp?)

There are plenty more but that is a good handful off the top of my head

Locally I read




I will read just about anything locally but I usually enjoy those daily/weekly outdoor writers consistently. I'm sure there are some other local treasures that could be listed, maybe even hometown guys (think boilerguy in Windom smile.gif)

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Burton Spiller

John Geirach

Datus Proper

Steve Grooms - Minnesotan

Larry Brown - Iowan

Bob Brister

Gene Hill

William Harnden Foster

Michael McIntosh

Ted Lundrigan - Minnesotan

Stephen Bodio

Ernest Hemmingway

Peter Capstick

The Local newspaper guys are hit and miss with me.

Doug Smith I like the best.

Anderson - sometimes okay, sometimes not

Niskanen is okay

The rest are also rans for me and there are a couple that I just can't stand, one of which is a revered writer.

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I have to consider myself as lucky or fortunate to have met so many outdoor communicator's over the years. "All" of which have left a lasting impression with me. One however stands out more than all the others. He's a great man, one who I consider a true friend, he is England's very own "Fred J. Taylor". To learn more about Fred J., simply query his name on Google.

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Have to agree with the authors so far...

Far and away, MacQuarrie

There's a couple writing for Gray's, Terry Wieland I believe is one, that are consistently spot on.

From my youth, Patrick McManus always gave me a reason to read.

More currently, I like the direction, I believe his name is James Swain, has take discussion into the philisophical in the modern twist. Lots of good tie backs, but very timely to the reasons for what we do in the modern day.

Work a-day types I'd throw in Shawn Perich.

Minnesota historic, Sigurd Olson, when he was an active game taker.

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Okay...I need specifics (I'm not that huge of a reader, more-so lately).

What's your favorite Hemmingway? I've read some; thinking about trying "Two Hearted River"(sp?).

I like Perich's articles (one of my favorite columnists); never read his books.

I, too, was disappointed Olson was not an active game taker at some point. I read "Runes of the North" and "The Singing Wilderness" (side note: I enjoy the Jaques and Kouba illustrations). "Listening Point" is on my to do list.

Trueblood, Swain, Niskanen, and Grooms are not familiar to me.

I've read various short stories for many of the others. Anyone have novels/collections you recommend.

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Rob Kimm! When he doesn't write about muskies. tongue.gif

Best outdoors oriented book I have ever read was "The Last River Rat". It's a journal of time that author Scott Bestul spent with river rat Kenny Salwey.

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Hiya -

Thanks Ray - you're too kind - heh.

If I have free time (all to rare these days) I usually have my nose in a book. Lots of writers I enjoy, but some stand out, either for bodies fo work, or individual titles...

Thomas McGuane is one of my favorites, either fiction (Nobody's Angel, The Sporting Club) or non-fiction. "The Longest Silence" is one of the best fishing books ever written, IMHO.

The late Roderick Haig Brown is required reading to me. Fascinating guy and an amazing writer. He could have written a manual for a can opener and made it too good to put down.

Rick Bass - Great fiction and non-fiction. Read "Winter: Notes from Montana" and "The Deer Pasture"

Barry Lopez - Again, both fiction and non-fiction. "Arctic Dreams" and "Of Wolves and Men" are both fantastic.

"The Hungry Ocean" by Linda Greenlaw is a great book. Greenlaw was the captain of a commercial longline swordfish boat on the Grand Banks. her boat, the Hannah Boden, was the sister ship of the Andrea Gail, the boat that "The Perfect Storm" was written about. This book made the rounds with a lot of my fishing friends. The details of swordfishing (running lines 3 miles long, etc., ) are fascinating, and the stories she has are pretty amazing.

Stephen Jay Gould - not a fishing writer at all, but a great science/Natural History writer. "Ever Since Darwin" is a great one.

Someone asked about Hemingway... I studied Hemingway for my thesis in English Lit., and have read about everything he wrote. Here's my fairly biased Hemingway reading list:

The first thing to read is the Scribner's collection of "The Nick Adams" stories. To me, they're his best work. Some of the most timeless short stories are in this collection - "The Killers," "Big Two-Hearted River," "The Battler," "The Three-Day Blow," and others. The Nick Adams stories are the bedrock of Hemingway's work I think.

From there, most of the short story collections are good, and of the novels and novellas, the must-reads are "The Old Man and the Sea," "A Farewell to Arms," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," and "To Have and Have Not." "Islands in the Stream" is average at best, and "Across the River and into the Trees" is just plain dreadful.

His war correspont work and other 'journalism' is interesting if you're a Hemingway buff, but beyond that, skip it. There's a reason why Ernie Pyle's war corrspondent dispatches are still ready today and Hemingway's isn't. he was too self-absorbed to be a credible reporter.

Anyhow - Just a couple ideas...


Rob Kimm

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he was too self-absorbed to be a credible reporter.

I read "The Green Hills of Africa" by Hemmingway, and thought the same, but still enjoyed the book for various reasons.

Thanks for all the info; I'm taking notes.

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RK listed some good ones:

I second

McGuane (add Ninety-Two in the Shade)

Bass (add Nine-mile Wolves and Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had)

Lopez (Arctic Dreams)


Jim Harrison (Just After Dark)

David James Duncan (River Why)

Some oldies

Dana Lamb very hard to find! (Green Highlanders and Pink Ladies, and The Fishing's Only Part Of It)

John Taintor Foote (Dumb-Bell of Brookfield, Pocono Shot, and Other Great Dog Stories, The Wedding Gift, Anglers All)


I’d have to say I enjoy Sam Cook's columns.

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Havent seen my favs " A river runs through it" Norman McClean.

What about jack frost?

In school we had to read a bunch of Sigurd olson( he was a famour outdoor author and a resident/ former dean of vermilion college in Ely, MN where i go. Our teacher personally knew him too so it was an obvious choice.

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I like the locals like Dennis Anderson, Gary Clancy, Rob Drieslien, Tom Fellegy, Steve Carney....most Minnesota ODN writers do a good job.

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I totally forgot one of the classics:

Robert Ruark "The Old Man and the Boy"

I bet I page through that at least once a year.

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  • 2 years later...

Gotta dredge this thread up. I had "The Longest Silence" sitting on my bookshelf from Christmas 4-5 years ago and finally read it during the 20 hour round trip to central Indiana. I had to search to see if anyone had mentioned him on FM, and I gotta agree with RK, now one of my favorite fishing books of all time.

Thomas McGuane is one of my favorites, either fiction (Nobody's Angel, The Sporting Club) or non-fiction. "The Longest Silence" is one of the best fishing books ever written, IMHO.

I have dog eared pages to come back to quotes that are so, for lack of a better term or phrase, amazing. Amazing that they fit so well and are so true. McGuane makes other outdoor writers' prose seem like Kindergarten scribble; he's highly intelligent, he's observant, and he reads so fluidly smooth. A wordsmith of the highest order, he understands the universal language and order among fisherman and fish. He makes descriptions and similes that keep the mind engaged and sprinting to the next paragraph. McGuane is the definition of eloquent writing.

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Locally, I really enjoy Gary Clancy of the Outdoor News. My Dad used to duck hunt side by side with him out on Bear Lake and I grew up fishing and hunting the same areas he writes about so often. He has a great personal touch to most of his articles.

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I liked "A Sand County Almanac" by Aldo Leopold

Great outdoor book should be read by all that enjoy the outdoors.

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Check out Steve Heiting with Musky Hunter.

I took a college class called American Nature Writers. Sig, Aldo and all the save the world types who I can't remember. We read a book a week for three months. It was brutal. One Day at Teton Marsh was one of my favorites from the class.

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To show my age: Corey Ford: The Lower Forty stories in the F&Stream issues of my youth. Of the MN writers, Gary Clancy has never let me down.

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How about Pat McManus! I don't think, if Hemingway is here, that another heavy-hitter like Jack London is a stretch, either. Granted, Hemingway was a lot more fishing/hunting oriented in his prose, but London had an immaculate grasp of creating vivid outdoor scenes... Living in MN, we should all appreciate a tale like "To Build a Fire."

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