Ok so many of you out there will be lamenting the last few remaining warm weekends of summer, now that September is upon us and the kids are back in school. You’ll be kicking back in your lawn chairs after work, trying desperately to preserve those warm evenings of beer on the patio and glasses of red wine keeping the blood warm. But not me.
Now I would be remiss to say that I don’t enjoy the summer time. Of course, who doesn’t enjoy the sunshine, swimming, cold beer with warm sun, and camping without the use of a complicated overhead canopy of tarps and ropes. But as the days begin to shorten and the morning dew gets a little heavier each day, I get just a little more excited about my absolute favourite time of year..Fall.
Growing up in the Maritimes, the arrival of Fall meant the coming of vibrant colours as the maples, aspens, and other deciduous trees put on their display of stunning reds, golds and oranges. The smell of the quietly rotting leaves in the woods, and the sounds of them fluttering down with the fall breeze brings so many rich memories back to me of family and fall trips with friends. And who hasn’t had the childish pleasure of heaping them up in a pile just to jump in them! But that’s not the only reason Fall is my favourite.
Fall brings fish into the rivers. Lots, and lots of fish. And with those fish come bears, eagles, otters, and all other kinds of wildlife (including the often seen but not appreciated “googan” fisherman, happily snagging fish with their illegal gear while claiming what great sports they are). When the salmon are in and spawning complete, they are followed by the king of fish, the Steelhead. It it is that which I am most excited about, and why Fall to me is the very best time of the year.
Many have said, myself included, that Steelheaders are a bit nutty. We like cold, dark mornings when it’s raining and crappy. We enjoy getting up early on our days off. And if we should happen to fall into the river during an epic fish battle (or just crossing the river) we wear it like a badge of honour. We enjoy the hardships because we know that the rewards are sweet, and no matter what happens there is nothing more exciting than the notion that today one might be granted an encounter with a Steelhead. So yes summer is
fading into the distance now and the morning commutes to work are now clogged with school traffic and cooler temperatures, but I for one welcome the crisp air, the cooler rainy days, and the promise of fish in the river. And with winter comes nights at the fly tying bench too, to replenish stock and try new creations, which is always fun.
For the past month I’ve been looking at the calendar, counting down the days until my next fishing trip. Now I won’t give away the location yet, as I will be writing the story when I get back, but I will say that it’s on the North West coast of Vancouver Island, on a river I have never fished, and it’s coming up real soon. So stay tuned, there’s an adventure in the works!!
As for Rocket the Wonder Dog, he continues to grow and make us laugh, he’s almost 5 months old now and getting to be a real sweetheart. He’s checked off a few things on the list of accomplishments such as his first boat ride, first swim, and puppy obedience classes, and had lost just about all of his needle like baby teeth. Thank god for that!