Monday, September 22, 2008
An Angler in Autumn
I used to love the fall. Fall is a time of movement change and preparation. The waterfowl heading for warmer climates and of course the return of the fall salmon.
I loved that crispness in the air and the fall colors that make the trees look like they are ablaze.
There was the hint of the winter ahead and also the winter steelhead that would soon be in my favorite rivers. I braved the cold and ice in my younger days when these great ocean going rainbow trout were plentiful and worth the chill of a winter morning.
So what changed you might ask? Why does autumn no longer hold the affection it once did?
I think it has a lot to do with getting older and getting slower. The cool mornings seem to chill me more than they once did and the spectre of winter is looming larger than it once did for me.
There is still the waning days of coastal cutthroat fly fishing but I fish with a sadness in knowing that it will never be the same after the decision the was made to allow the killing of these precious fish.
Oh I will still pursue them but the thought that somewhere along the coast someone will be fishing for the trout with killing on their minds.
I no longer hunt for waterfowl or deer and elk hunt. I do not pursue fall salmon any longer either but still enjoy observing their annual spawning ritual. Maybe that is part of my melancholy towards fall. The salmon runs are a mere ghost of their former selves and the constant bickering between greedy user groups has turned me off.
I still come back to the reality of knowing my best years are behind me and the springs and summers of my life are limited. The fall might be a time of change but as I get older I think that I wish it would remain spring and summer forever.