I remember that warm summer morning heading to a small creek near Mount Hope, W.Va. with grandpa and my dad where they showed me the art of catching bluegill using a piece of worm and a cane pole. The excitement of that first little fish has never been forgotten. Memories of camping and fishing trips along the James river with my dad, grandpa, uncles and cousins instilled something in me that’s never left. Hunting fox squirrels in the West Virginia woods with the same crew molded fond memories. Years of wading in Back Bay while attending Kellam High School kept the love going.

I was lucky enough as an adult to turn that love of the outdoors into a 43-year career at The Virginian-Pilot, where I wrote about sports and all kinds of other stuff, always with a hint of the outdoors. I realized my dream world when I took over the outdoors writer position in 2000.

Now that my career at the paper is behind me, I realized quickly that there was going to be a big void of outdoors news and stories. Not that I was able to do that much of it my last several years at the paper, but at least it was something. Two months into unemployment, it became clear to me that the best thing for me to do was continue that coverage in a big way.

That’s what LeeTolliverOutdoors.com is all about – feature stories, memories, my two cents worth and, yes, The Fishing Forecast.

So join us as the journey continues. I’ll be looking forward to working with all of you.