Ragsdale's death puts focus on safety, communication

Brian Johnson had a break between his massage-therapy clients Monday when the trail-running jones sent him to Roxy Ann Peak to get in some mileage.

Impromptu solo runs on outlying trails are standard for distance runners who can become slaves to their training schedules, but Monday's run brought a new caveat into this equation for Johnson.

"This time, I texted my girlfriend and said, 'I'm going up Roxy for an hour, I'll text you when I get down,' " says Johnson, 39, of Central...

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Iffy ice: If you're going ice fishing, here's what you need to know

Iffy ice: If you're going ice fishing, here's what you need to know

It's a tragedy that Jackson County Sheriff's Sgt. Shawn Richards and his search-and-rescue staff train for regularly but haven't had to face in recent years — a winter angler falling through the ice.

"Knock on wood," Richards says from the Search and Rescue office in White City. "We train on ice rescues. However, it's a long way from the valley to high-mountain lakes."

Oregon's new streamlined angling regulations mean Hyatt and Howard Prairie now join Fish Lake,...

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Tiger trout to battle chubs in Diamond Lake

Tiger trout to battle chubs in Diamond Lake

Oh, what a difference a tui chub makes.

The discovery of a single tui chub in Diamond Lake in October — nine years after a $5.6 million eradication effort — has state fish managers going all in on an effort to keep history from repeating itself.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife plans to stock as many as 25,000 fish-eating tiger trout in the eastern Douglas County lake this spring, and it will follow up with a crew literally working day and night next...

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Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

ASHLAND — Mountain bikers barreling down legit trails built for hikers and horseback riders were already causing headaches for Ashland watershed managers in 2011, but then things began to get egregious on a little stretch of hiking heaven called Marty's Trail.

Someone drove a backhoe around a trail gate and dug in a series of bumps and jumps for "downhiller" cyclists, much to the chagrin of darn near everyone else.  

"That was a bold move," says Jeffrey...

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Kicking and gliding

Kicking and gliding

FISH LAKE — As he's about to ski a Nordic run called Lollipop on Wednesday, Bruce Evatt can't help but feel like a kid in cross-country skiing's candy store.

"You know what's great?" Evatt says. "We have some of the best skiing in the United States, and you look around and there's nobody here. I don't know why it hasn't caught on.

"But it is a Wednesday," he laughs.

With snow plentiful for the first time in a couple of years, Southern Oregon's Nordic community...

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Gear and Beer

Gear and Beer

You can now pick up a pint while you shop for outdoors gear
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Ski swap goes 4 seasons

Ski swap goes 4 seasons

ASHLAND — When Alan Anderson wanted to unload 18 of his unused Loon Outdoors fly rods, he naturally thought ... Ashland Ski Swap?

"Yeah, kind of ironic," says Anderson, president of the Ashland-based outdoor company.

But irony is only in the title these days, as the historically winter-only Ashland Ski Swap has gone four seasons.

The 41st annual swap at Stevenson Union on the SOU campus will expand beyond matching sellers with gear-poor winter-sports...

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5 ways to say 'NO' to Black Friday

5 ways to say 'NO' to Black Friday

Outrunning someone's grandmother to the tube-sock bin at dawn this morning does not qualify as post-Thanksgiving exercise, regardless of how good that Black Friday sale is.

Oregon Outdoors is designed to help Rogue Valley residents to get outside and enjoy Southern Oregon's unique outdoor world, and that's never more important than today for those looking to opt out of Black Friday and get into the outdoors.

Here are five things Rogue Valley residents who are trying to think...

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Wetsuited swimmers perplex Chetco River anglers

BROOKINGS — Guide Andy Martin's clients had just cast their roe and bobbers into a prime Chetco River fishing hole trying to catch fall chinook salmon, but the baits lured the some of the strangest critters the Oregon anglers have seen.

A man and woman, clad in wetsuits and snorkels, jumped into the hole and began swimming circles around Martin's boat and their bobbers, spooking the chinook and flummoxing Martin and his clients. 

"They were so close I could have.....

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An upgrade will improve access at Expo Pond, but it comes with a price

An upgrade will improve access at Expo Pond, but it comes with a price

CENTRAL POINT — After pushing her mother Irene Corethers in a wheelchair over a 100-yard dirt patch from a nearby parking lot, Teri Cope had to catch her breath along the bank of Expo Pond before she could catch a trout.

While a concrete walkway would have made life much easier, Cope and Corethers aren't interested in improving access to the Rogue Valley floor's only trout-fishing option, no matter how dusty and garbage-strewn it is.

But the deal-breaker to Cope is the $4.....

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The Weyerhaeuser Experiment

The Weyerhaeuser Experiment

It's being called the Weyerhaeuser Experiment, and whether it's greeted with a sullen sigh or the gnashing of teeth, it's getting more face time every day with Oregon hunters.

After decades of offering public access to its highly managed commercial tree farms — often loaded with deer and elk — the private timberland giant slapped the gates closed on huge swaths of its Western Oregon holdings and put up a "for rent" sign just before last year's controlled-hunt...

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Del Rio offers a wine walk and talk during harvest time

Del Rio offers a wine walk and talk during harvest time

GOLD HILL — Courtney Thomas strolls past row after row of meticulously manicured grapes before stopping in front of bright green grapes glistening in the morning sun, and two dozen armchair oenophiles follow suit.

These are muscat grapes, the anchor of Del Rio Vineyards' signature Rose Jolee wine, Thomas tells the crowd. They're exceptionally sweet and almost ready for picking.

"These ones," Thomas says, "are like candy."

With that, group members summarily sample the....

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Halibut in the Hood

Halibut in the Hood

BROOKINGS — Larry Hood had already caught three halibut and released a smallish one when his lead weight and herring bait stopped bouncing along the ocean's sandy bottom near the California border.

"The halibut jerk on the line a few times, but this time there was no jerking," says Hood, 76. "This one felt more like a skate, which is a trash fish."

Several minutes later, the trash turned to treasure when Hood gaffed and boated son-in-law Mike Morroll's 84-pound Pacific...

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Spring chinook might benefit from new boundary

GOLD HILL — The upper Rogue River's once productive fall chinook salmon fishery will close again Monday evening without really getting going, the latest opportunity lost to the conundrum of choosing good fish health over good fishing.

But when it comes to wild spring chinook protection and extending fishing on a vibrant fall chinook run, it's possible that one day we can have both.

Anglers are now shooed away from catching chinook upstream of Fishers Ferry boat ramp in...

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5 summer-end adventures

5 summer-end adventures

1. Crater Lake plunge

After a long, hot day of work, Shawn Reinhardt likes nothing better than a 20-foot jump off a rocky cliff into his favorite swimming hole, butterflies in his belly and all.

"No matter how many times I've done it, there's always a little anxiety," Reinhardt says. "It definitely takes a little bit of courage.

"But you don't have to worry about hitting the bottom," he says.

Hitting bottom is never a concern when you're swimming in...

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Hunt fit: New endurance sport mixes bowhunting with extreme cross training

Hunt fit: New endurance sport mixes bowhunting with extreme cross training

ASHLAND — Trever Niestrath hurtles the 70-pound sandbag he's carried along a trail, then bursts into a quick quarter-mile run before dropping his bow and breaking into a series of pushups and jumps that send his heart rate through the roof.

Niestrath then grabs his bow and steadies his breathing before letting loose an arrow that hits the kill zone on a 3-D deer target 45 yards away. He immediately dashes off to the next station in this ultimate workout for bowhunting junkies...

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Fly-fishing fanatics turn 50

Fly-fishing fanatics turn 50

Fresh off a 13-month stint in Vietnam, Dave Roberts had a 30-day leave in which he unknowingly took part in a sliver of history for all those who see feathers and fur as a medium of functional art.
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Heat may overcook chinook

GOLD BEACH — Seeing the seining crew nab 15 wild fall chinook salmon from the Rogue River Wednesday at Huntley Park east of town should be a good sign for inland anglers with chinook on their minds.

These big fish in the survey net are the first real shot of prized chinook this season to head out of the Rogue bay toward the middle Rogue, where hordes of anglers await them in the most popular Grants Pass-area fishery of the year.

But with triple-digit air temperatures...

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From predator to prey in the surf

This week's viral video of a professional surfer's all-too-close encounter with a great white shark during a competition in South Africa is an all-too-clear reminder of how anyone stepping into the ocean can end up nose to knees with a deadly denizen of the deep.

It wasn't surfing for me, but surfperch fishing with a fly that unexpectedly found me fencing with a pinniped while wishing I had brought a much bigger rod to the beach.

Until that day nearly 30 years ago, fly-fishing...

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Lingcod rebound

Lingcod rebound

BROOKINGS — Don Stroh dropped a large herring over the side of the boat and let it strut its stuff along the ocean bottom, but when his rod doubled over he had no idea what big bottom-dweller had swallowed his bait.

"We didn't know what the hell we had on," says Stroh, 66, of Central Point.

Eventually the enormous head of a big lingcod broke the surface, with all 28 pounds of ugliness eventually flopping into guide Andy Martin's boat for the catch of the...

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June 05, 2015

Trout Drought

May 29, 2015

Cocktail Hour

May 08, 2015

Bloom hunters

February 27, 2015

Winging it

February 20, 2015

Trail to Charismatic Conifers

February 13, 2015

Surf City

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