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Member Spotlight Monday: Matthew Dickerson

As OWAA celebrates its 90th birthday in 2017, we’ve introduced the “Member Spotlight Monday,” a weekly feature that celebrates our present—the gift of our talented current members and their ongoing excellence in outdoor communications.  Today, we introduce Matthew Dickerson:

  1. Where were you born?
    Boston, MA.
  2. Where do you call home now?
    Middlebury, VT.
  3. What’s your nickname?
  4. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
    Fly fishing (while wading in a wilderness river).
  5. What is your profession/connection with outdoors communication?
    Writer (of books, newspaper articles, magazines). Occasional maker of videos, and website manager.
  6. Why did you choose to become an outdoor communicator?
    It is a wonderful combination of two passions: writing, and spending time outdoors.
  7. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
    Although they haven’t (yet) sold particularly well, I think my two books were very well done and are worthwhile: Trout in the Desert: on Fly Fishing, Human Habits, and the Cold Waters of the Arid Southwest and Downstream: Reflections on Brook Trout, Fly Fishing, and the Waters of Appalachia.
  8. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    Thoughtful. Fun.  Principled.
  9. What is the best piece of advice you have received as an outdoor communicator?
    Be attentive. Listen. Look. Watch.
  10. When you head for the Great Outdoors, what is the one thing you do not leave home without?
    My L.L.Bean 5-wt LL travel rod and reel (and a couple boxes of flies).
  11. What would you do if you won the lottery?
    That would be difficult because I plan never to buy a lottery ticket. But if I won without purchasing one, I’d give away quite a bit to charity, pay off my mortgage and my kids college loans, and then I’d take a trip to catch my 1st Atlantic salmon—to Iceland or the Canadian Maritimes. Hopefully the trip would also involve my 2nd and 3rd and maybe even 4th Atlantic salmon. But I have to catch my 1st one 1st.
  12. Who do you most admire in your life and why?
    Both of my parents were great role models. Both of them read books avidly and encouraged me to read as soon as I was old enough to. My father also passed on to me a love of the outdoors.
  13. What was the last movie you saw?
    Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them
  14. What are your top three favorite books?
    The Silmarillion
    A River Runs Through It
    The Lord of the Rings
  15. Can you juggle?
    No. But I play guitar and harmonica at the same time.
  16. What is your favorite dessert?
    My wife’s homemade apple pie, twenty-minutes out of the oven, with vanilla ice cream.
  17. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
    Teleporting. When I wasn’t using that superpower to save the world, I would use it to get myself to really good fishing locations.
  18. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    Pretty much where I already am: living in Vermont, teaching at Middlebury College, and writing—but also having caught trout in 40 states (I’m currently only at 30) and having caught my first few Atlantic Salmon. Hopefully I’m still fit enough to be fishing and camping.
  19. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
    “It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” – Gandalf, as recorded by J.R.R.Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings
  20. What do you like best about OWAA?
    The people I have gotten to know, including at my first OWAA meeting in 2016. This includes seeing the important and artistic work those people have done.

Thanks, Matthew, for not only your answers, but also for being valued part of “The Voice of the Outdoors.”

If you are an OWAA member and wish to be featured in a future Member Spotlight Monday, send your answers to the above questions and a photograph of yourself enjoying the outdoors (in JPG format sized for the web) to Colleen Miniuk-Sperry at

Not a member? Check us out at

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