Contributing editor Ian Frazier is the author of 12 books, including Travels in Siberia and Great Plains. His 2002 Outside story Terminal Ice was nominated for a National Magazine Award, and his 2013 story The Last Days of Steelhead Joe was included in The Best American Sports Writing anthology.
As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19, travel for many is still a faraway dream. But Ian Frazier reminds us that there’s no more promising feeling than hitting the road, windows down, hair blowing, full speed ahead.
At the planet's biggest ice-fishing tournament, held every January in Brainerd, Minnesota, 10,000 contestants battle 20-below temperatures for a $150,000 purse. Ian Frazier slips and slides among wily fish, cheese curds, and some of the greatest nearly frozen anglers he's ever seen.
In South Florida, cane toads are so numerous that they seem to be dropping from the sky. They're overtaking parking lots and backyards, can weigh almost six pounds, and pack enough poison to kill pets. Why the surge?
John Muir rhapsodizing about Yosemite is one thing, but Ian Frazier has had it with people calling their favorite outdoor spots “cathedrals,” “shrines,” and “sacred spaces.” The false piety detracts from the real task at hand: seeing these places as they actually are.
The marine biologist has done things in the ocean that would scare most people senseless. She's been alone in total darkness thousands of feet down, hovered under a Russian ship as it pinged her submarine, and been charged by huge sharks. But one thing does frighten her: the dire state of our overfished and polluted seas, something she spends every waking hour trying to change.
The Deschutes River fly-fishing guide called Stealhead Joe was an angling master with a long list of devoted clients. But as Ian Frazier, who fished with Joe last fall, learned, off the water, Joe’s life was a tangle of troubles that ultimately overwhelmed him.
In the unlikeliest of places, in the waters off JFK airport in New York, IAN FRAZIER lands a few big fish with Captain Frank, a guide who matches his passion striper for striper and knows why fishing is connected to everything