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Not So Trashy After All: Now Reviewing American Boardgames For German Publications

Not So Trashy After All: Now Reviewing American Boardgames For German Publications
Long gone are those days when American designed boardgames were nothing more than “Ameritrash;” cheaply produced games with clunky mechanics. Nowadays everyone with an interest in boardgames would agree that some of the best and most innovative games are being designed in the U.S., often funded through Kickstarter. Some of these great games don’t get a lot of coverage in Europe. But that may change now, as I recently became the “North America guy” for Reich der Spiele. Online since 2001, Reich der Spiele is one of Germany’s largest and most well established gaming...
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The Ottawa River Musky Factory: Return To The River Of Big Fish

The Ottawa River Musky Factory: Return To The River Of Big Fish
It has been two and a half years since my last visit to The Ottawa River Musky Factory, John Anderson’s guiding operation, located just east of Ottawa – so it was about time to get back to the river of big fish! Having fished the Ottawa River only in November before, to me it was particularly exciting to join John and his friends for the season’s opening weekend in mid-June. You will be able to read all about this two and a half day fishing trip in an upcoming feature in Germany’s ESOX fishing magazine. For now, check out a few images below and stay tuned for the magazine...
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Visiting A Nice Little Danish Town… While On A Californian Road Trip

Visiting A Nice Little Danish Town… While On A Californian Road Trip
Denmark is only 90 minutes away from Hamburg, so for me visiting that country has never been much of a big deal. If you are travelling the Californian coast, however, driving into a Danish village certainly gets really exciting. While in Santa Barbara, I first heard of Solvang or, in destination marketing speak: “California’s Little Denmark.” Solvang was founded in the early twentieth century by Danes with the vision of establishing a “Danish village, where the arts, crafts and customs of their homeland could be created anew.” Also, they wanted to build a Danish folk...
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Crayfish Flies For Great Lakes Carp: What I Found Online (And What I Was Looking For)

Crayfish Flies For Great Lakes Carp: What I Found Online (And What I Was Looking For)
You’d think that the shores of top carp waters such as Lake Ontario would be jam packed with fly anglers, given all the media coverage fly fishing for carp has been receiving in the past years. Yet I hardly ever run into anyone else casting their flies at carp. The only person I meet on a regular basis when wading the shallow bays of Lake Ontario near Toronto is Gildo, who, admittedly, is out there way more often than I am and who knows a thousand times more about carp behavior than I do. Gildo is also responsible for getting me my very first carp on the fly. Only an hour or so after he...
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2012 In Review: Calgary Stampede, Edge Walk, Reindeer Lake, And… King Of Tokyo?

2012 In Review: Calgary Stampede, Edge Walk, Reindeer Lake, And… King Of Tokyo?
2012 has been an interesting year for my writing business, and I am happy to report that my stories ran in more newspapers, magazines and online outlets than ever. As usual, most stories were travel features. Particularly popular were two topics: the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede and the Edge Walk at the CN Tower in Toronto. Stories about these two happenings have each been published in five major German and Swiss newspapers. (Among them, by the way, were two great new clients of mine: Mannheimer Morgen and Die Rheinpfalz.) The most challenging trip of 2012 took me to Reindeer Lake in...
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128 Pages! Online Magazine Launches Special “Carp On The Fly” Issue

128 Pages! Online Magazine Launches Special “Carp On The Fly” Issue
For the past three years I have been fly fishing for carp, and I still think it’s a super exciting way to catch fish. This is particularly true when you live close to the Great Lakes where a lot of carp grow into the 30+ pound monster category. Every now and then I’ve written about this relatively new, yet fast growing branch of the sport. The posts aren’t so much about my own fishing experiences, but about linking to others’ great content that helps us understand how carp tick. (For the European readers, here is a post in German.) Now however something new is online: CarpPro...
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Fly Fishing In Ontario: New YouTube Channel Shows Province’s Top Spots

Fly Fishing In Ontario: New YouTube Channel Shows Province’s Top Spots
Earlier this year The New Fly Fisher, one of Canada’s best fly fishing TV programs, launched a new YouTube channel designated to fishing hot spots in Ontario. In cooperation with the Go Fish In Ontario marketing initiative, Bill Spicer and other show hosts travel the province fishing for bass, trout, Atlantic salmon, pike and more. All that’s missing, for my liking, is some Southern Ontario carp fishing. However, with the growing popularity of that sport, I am sure they’ll add a show soon. For now, that leaves more carp for me! Winter is coming, and it’s the best time of the...
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From Landungsbrücken To Finkenwerder: Taking A Public Transit Trip In Hamburg!

From Landungsbrücken To Finkenwerder: Taking A Public Transit Trip In Hamburg!
To me one of the highlights of each trip home to Hamburg is the harbor cruise from bustling St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken, the tourist hub of Europe’s second largest port (after Rotterdam), to sleepy Finkenwerder, located at the south side of Elbe River. If you buy a transit day pass, the 30 minutes boat ride is free because HADAG Hafenfähren, the small ferries cruising the harbor, are part of the city’s public transit system. Annually, 22 boats (running on six routes) transport almost eight million passengers around the port. It’s the perfect way to discover the city. The ferries stop...
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Hipsters In Their Natural Habitat: The Junction Flea Market In Toronto

Hipsters In Their Natural Habitat: The Junction Flea Market In Toronto
In 2012 the Junction, a fairly hip Toronto west neighborhood, has seen the opening of a number of trendy stores and cool bars. Of course, a craft brewery will open fairly soon as well. However, one of the most interesting and, in my opinion, most successful additions to the area in 2012 has been Junction Flea, an open air flea market held each second Sunday during the summer months. The last flea market before winter break will happen on October 14, 2012. Junction Flea features a mix of select independent vendors selling antiques, handmade craft and design, food, vintage clothing, records and more....
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Board Gaming And Fly Fishing (Sort Of) Meet In This Kickstarter Project

Board Gaming And Fly Fishing (Sort Of) Meet In This Kickstarter Project
Read a bestselling novel about salmon fishing in the Yemen. Saw the movie with Ewan McGregor. Went on fishing trips to BC and the east coast. And, just yesterday, came across a board game about a salmon river! Naturally, I was intrigued by “Salmon Run” when I stumbled upon that project on Kickstarter, the crowd funding website that has become so popular with aspiring game designers. If nothing else, “Salmon Run” combines two of my favorite hobbies: fly fishing and board gaming. “Salmon Run” is a board game, designed by Jesse Catron (here is his campaign video),...
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And Now For Something Completely Different: Southern Ontario’s Great Lakes Beaches

And Now For Something Completely Different: Southern Ontario’s Great Lakes Beaches
Wasaga Beach, Southampton Beach, Sauble Beach, MacGregor Point Beach, Inverhuron Beach, Port Burwell Beach, Long Point Beach… The Great Lakes have some excellent beaches, and many of them earned their blue flag designation in recent years. So when the helpful folks at Ontario Parks offered to put together an itinerary for me to check out a few Lake Erie and Lake Huron beaches, I was ready for a little road trip. None of these destinations are more than a 2.5 hour drive away. Most of the beaches are part of a Provincial Park, and park staff do a great job maintaining these precious natural...
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The Sea Was Angry Those Days, My Friends: June Fishing In Northern Saskatchewan

The Sea Was Angry Those Days, My Friends: June Fishing In Northern Saskatchewan
It takes two and a half sun-less days, zero degrees in mid June, and six soaked layers of outdoor “performance” clothing to paraphrase George Costanza for the very first time on this blog. His marine biologist monologue rather nicely describes last week’s trip to Arctic Lodges at Reindeer Lake in Northern Saskatchewan: The sea was angry those days, my friends, like an old man trying to send back soup at a deli!  Reindeer Lake measures more than ten times Germany’s Bodensee (a.k.a. Lake Constance) and is dotted by an estimate of 5,000 islands – this literally means...
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A Bird’s Eye View Of The City: Edge Walk At The CN Tower In Toronto

A Bird’s Eye View Of The City: Edge Walk At The CN Tower In Toronto
One of the first things you learn about in travel writing classes is that your hometown may very well be someone else’s vacation destination. You then realize that you don’t have to travel much to write travel features. That’s a valuable insight offering you an opportunity to build a portfolio without breaking the bank. I still like writing about Toronto, particularly when reporting on something truly exciting like the Edge Walk at the CN Tower. At a height of 356 meters you can walk around the roof of the main pod of the tower. It is the world’s highest full-circle, hands-free...
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Going Cardboard, A Board Game Documentary: My Review On SPIEGEL ONLINE (With Translation)

Going Cardboard, A Board Game Documentary: My Review On SPIEGEL ONLINE (With Translation)
This Wednesday my first feature for SPIEGEL ONLINE was published. In that article, I am reviewing Lorien Green’s really interesting film “Going Cardboard, A Board Game Documentary.” The documentary is about the growing popularity of strategic board games in the US. These games are often referred to as Euro games or German-style games, and Green tracks how they have become more and more popular in the US over the course of the last 15 years. If you have a chance and like board games, I recommend getting a copy of this documentary. SPIEGEL ONLINE is arguably Germany’s most...
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Outdoor Writers of Canada (OWC): Sound Advice From Seasoned Magazine Editors

Outdoor Writers of Canada (OWC): Sound Advice From Seasoned Magazine Editors
This Saturday Ontario members of the Outdoor Writers of Canada (OWC), which I joined in 2006, met for the annual spring get-together at the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show. Since 1957 OWC has been the premier Canadian industry association for “professional communicators specializing in the outdoor field.” These, however, are not your grandfather’s days. Times are changing. With so much information for writers on the internet, social media and other channels of communication, why should anyone be a member of an industry association anymore? Because the OWC, I would think, is still the...
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2,208 Games And Counting: Snakes & Lattes, Toronto’s Board Game Café

2,208 Games And Counting: Snakes & Lattes, Toronto’s Board Game Café
In a city like Toronto where you can basically do anything, what kind of people would spend their Saturday nights in a board game café? All kinds of people, it seems, from the nerdiest nerd to the trendiest hipster – people who don’t mind waiting for hours to get one of the much sought after tables in this not even fully licenced place. Snakes & Lattes, Toronto’s first board game café and probably North America’s only successful one of its kind, has become a place for everyone to wine (on some tables), dine and play. I guess it’s a great starting point for my...
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Fishing Lodges in Newfoundland & Labrador: Extensive Video Collection Now Available Online

Fishing Lodges in Newfoundland & Labrador: Extensive Video Collection Now Available Online
If you are planning to visit the Canadian east coast to go brook trout or Atlantic salmon fishing, you may now be better equipped than ever when it comes to deciding which lodge to pick. The New Fly Fisher, an iconic Canadian TV show, has recently visited over ten lodges in Newfoundland and Labrador and dedicated an episode to each lodge. The professionally edited and narrated videos are now available online. You can watch the shows on The New Fly Fisher‘s YouTube channel. To my knowledge this is the most extensive video database about fishing lodges in any region of the world. Kudos to The...
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Fliegenfischen im TV: The New Fly Fisher Besucht Mayflower Outfitters auf Neufundland

Fliegenfischen im TV: The New Fly Fisher Besucht Mayflower Outfitters auf Neufundland
Warum gibt es im deutschen Fernsehen eigentlich keine Sendung für Fliegenfischer? Es dürfte doch mittlerweile genügend Spartenkanäle geben, sodass sich bestimmt ein Sendeplatz fände. Übertrieben teuer dürften die Produktionskosten auch nicht sein. In Kanada sagte mir ein Produzent, dass er mit $50.000 zwölf Folgen finanzieren könne. Das sollte doch auch in Europa hinzubekommen sein. Warum ich ausgerechnet jetzt auf dieses Thema komme? The New Fly Fisher, eine kanadische, völlig unaufgeregte Sendung für Fliegenfischer, hat kürzlich die Mayflower Lodge auf Neufundland besucht und...
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Winter In Ontario: Fly Fishing Videos That Will Take You Somewhere Warm

Winter In Ontario: Fly Fishing Videos That Will Take You Somewhere Warm
Traditionally the first day of winter steelhead fishing feels cold. So I wasn’t that surprised when I was shivering for most of the two hours I spent wading the Humber River this Saturday. Not getting any bites doesn’t help keep you warm either. Although I am looking forward to getting some more winter steelheading done between now and April, it would be nice to snowbird and spend the winter months fishing in warmer areas. Check out these five guys in the fantastic films below. Enjoy a 32-minute winter get-away with videos from Australia, the Christmas Islands, the Seychelles, Louisiana and...
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Coast To Coast: 12 Features About Canada

Coast To Coast: 12 Features About Canada
This week Toronto members of TMAC (Travel Media Association of Canada) and SATW (Society of American Travel Writers) met at Google’s Canadian headquarters at Dundas Square to attend a PD session titled “Google for Journalists: Getting the Most from the Web.” The session was excellent, and I believe each attendee learned dozens of research tricks and tips to present their findings. I was inspired to create more informative maps using free Google tools. Below, you can see the (totally self-centered) first map on my website. Coast to Coast, 12 selected features about Canada. Click on the markers for...
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