TYPICALLY, with each issue of the digital magazine, we like to get creative with a unique theme—topics that no brand but Field & Stream could execute. Some standout issues that come to mind are DangerDriveClassics, and, most recently, Limits. This time around, though, we thought it best to keep things simple.

Welcome to the Fall Issue.

If there is one season that deserves its own dedicated issue of F&S, it’s autumn. From the first of September all the way to the end of November, the hunting and fishing opportunities only seem to multiply. Recently, I was chatting with members of the staff, asking them what they were most excited about in the upcoming fall. To my surprise, no two answers were the same. Ryan Chelius can’t wait for his first elk season in his newly adopted home state of Colorado. Derek Horner is looking forward to a spot-and-stalk mule deer hunt in South Dakota. Sage Marshall has his hopes set on a big Lahontan cutthroat trout from Pyramid Lake. Matthew Every is anxious to hunt rails in New Jersey, while Travis Hall is fired up to chase grouse in Montana. And Dave Hurteau couldn’t choose between the bluewing olive hatch and the early bow season for whitetails. The other great thing about fall—at least, as far as I’m concerned—is that because there’s so much to do outdoors at this time of year, there’ll never be a shortage of great stories to tell from the season.

As for my fall? Well, this one will be different. I won’t be able to attend our deer camp in the Adirondacks. I won’t be spending much time on the trout river. And I certainly won’t be traveling all the way to Cold Bay, Alaska, to hunt sea ducks (”In Living Color”). Because this fall, I’ll become a father for the first time, and I plan to spend most of the season at home, getting to know my son.

I know it’s entirely possible that he won’t care for fly fishing—but that hasn’t kept me from imagining what it’ll be like to take him trout fishing on my home river for the first time. In fact, he’s already been there. A few weeks ago, as my wife and I were driving to Maine to visit family, I made a spur-of-the-moment exit off the interstate. I parked near a one-lane bridge that crosses over some of my favorite pocket water on the river and held my wife’s hand as we walked halfway across it. Often, these days, he kicks at the sound of my voice, so I spoke to him. “This is my river, son,” I said. “One day, we’ll fish here together.”

And one day, I hope to write about that experience for an issue of Field & Stream. Till then, the stories in this one are pretty damn good. In fact, by the time you read this letter, I hope to be reading them to my son.

How to Read the Fall Issue