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Noted Outdoor Journalist Nelson Bryant Dies at 96

January 16, 2020 By: Marshall Cutchin

“The thought of fly casting for a fish that bears a superficial resemblance to a snake may be more than some purists can stomach. Trout are beautiful and wise, pickerel are neither. However, a man cannot always chase rainbows.”

That quote as much as any from Nelson Bryant’s long career as outdoor journalist sums up his approach to writing about fishing and hunting.  He was fascinated by nature, dedicated to his craft, and forever hopeful that others would share his enthusiasm for the thing that he said brought him the most joy.

After hopping from one writing job to another in his early career, in his early 40s, in 1967,  he landed a job as outdoor columnist for The New York Times.  It gave him a place to hone his talents as a writer who could successfully connect urbane business people and commuters to the wonders of fishing rods, duck blinds and camp cooking.

In his Times obituary, Robert D. McFadden refers to Bryant as “the dean of outdoor writers in America.”