Ever since he saw his older brother lose an enormous summer flounder off a dock at the New Jersey Shore when he was 12 years old, Stephen Sautner has been trying to catch fish. Any fish. In 2007, he edited Upriver and Downstream, an anthology of fishing stories from the “Outdoors” column of The New York Times, and has been an active contributor to the column since 1994. His stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Fly Rod & Reel, Wildlife Conservation, and Underwater Naturalist. Along with Sautner’s 15 years of contributing to the NY Times, he is also the director of communications for the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, where he publicizes the Society’s conservation programs. He lives in Scotch Plains, NJ.
The spot is full of poison ivy. And ticks. And timber rattlesnakes. So don’t go there. Ever. Plus, it’s not particularly fun to fish—a steep, uneven shoreline where you have to stand angularly, like you are wearing high heels instead of waders. One wrong step, and you are in cold river water up to your chin. But trout like to line up in the bubble...