The Joy of the Outdoors

The glimmer of springtime in the halls of winter…

The last day of our reluctant Indian Summer is at hand, one last afternoon of warmth and beauty to enjoy the outdoors before winter weather comes calling.

I walked the banks of the wide Delaware yesterday afternoon, soaking in the sunshine and marveling at the simple, spare beauty of the November landscape. It was windless, and the river’s expanse reflected the reddish glow of the dying vegetation along its bank as the sun neared the ridgetop to the west: simply beautiful.

The last blush of October’s color along the Delaware. It’s beauty is quieter now, the trees bare, and the red glow of its banks is reflected in late afternoon: farewell until springtime!

I had hoped the river’s rainbows would provide some sport, but it was not to be. A few boats passed, but I was the only wading angler, the lone walker on this hauntingly gorgeous afternoon. A time for reflection, a time to savor the simplest gifts of the angling lifestyle: time on the water, solitude, and the last blush of the gentle season along the rivers of my heart. I will walk again today, for I cannot stay away.

I am resigned; I know there will be no last chance encounter with rising trout, no memorable battle with some heavily muscled finned warrior. This last week has proven it is not to be. Though my heart longed for just one more epic battle, a few hours of delicate dueling with some leviathan sipping tiny flies in the film, I would not trade the quiet time I have had on these rivers. Fishing is after all about much more than fish.

Amid the quiet of the lowering sun, and the song of the bright water I saw one titanic rise and my heart leapt: a fountain in the fast water, with spray lifting two feet above the roiled surface. I peppered the area with casts, but there was no repeat performance. A salute I think, a wave goodbye rather than an invitation to engage; and the fisherman in me misread the sign.

One last day of bright sunshine upon bright water. I believe I will tie a fly to take along…

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