Embracing Autumn’s Changes

Curious In Spring, Wary By Autumn

I took a day away from the rivers yesterday and spent the day with my friend John in the eaves of Catskill Park. There was a tree stand to relocate, and a walking tour of some of the habitat improvements he worked on through the summer. We put our bird guns together and spent some happy time with his trap thrower, breaking clays and analyzing our misses in the wind and warm sunshine.

After the guns were cleaned and taken down I spent some time with my much neglected hunting bow, loosing a couple dozen arrows to see if my skills were still worthy of some time in the woods. Best of all we sat back on the deck in that Catskill sunshine and talked, something we have had too little chance to do thanks to this pandemic year. It was a good day for both of us.

We talked of fishing of course, as well as grouse and deer and family and all the things we both hope will be better soon in this world. We each have our little piece of it to enjoy, and willingly share it.

Since it is September, I remarked that he should be building another bamboo fly rod, and we should be gathered with the rod making class for an evening of grilled delicacies, assorted cold beverages, and a wealth of conversation. To be correct, that should have happened in the beginning of the month, but Covid cancelled the class this year, as it has cancelled far too much of what makes life meaningful for all of us.

Today I’ll grab another little piece of my world and share it with Mike. Finally able to visit and fish apart, we’ll do our best to avoid the high winds as autumn announces her presence and find a few trout rising. Everything is in transition with the sudden band of colder weather, and the river temperatures have dropped drastically. All are very low and clear and the mayflies of the season seem to be figuring out their agendas amid the rapid changes in their environment. Some are hatching, but where and when seems to change hourly. More than ever the trick is to find yourself at the right place at just the right moment.

In another week it will be time to split my days between glowing mountains and shining rivers. I must soon decide if I’ll take that bow and sit a morning or two in one of those treestands, before I take the Model 101 for a walk through the covers. If all goes well, crisp mornings will give way to sunny afternoons stalking trout in the gin clear flows, scanning carefully to spot subtle rises amid the phalanx of leaves adrift on the surface. October is a blessed month indeed!

Bamboo and brook trout simply define autumn…

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