Monday, October 31, 2011

The End of the Season

I wasn't even going to fish the last day of the coastal trout season when I got up this morning. I concluded that it had been a good late season for me and my fly rod and the last day wouldn't matter.
I ended up going anyway, leaving two hours later than I usually leave. As I made my way down Highway 6 all the signs of fall were there. The garishly colored fall maple leaves pirouetted down on the road as they fell from the trees like a sad ballet dancer. The fir and hemlock trees stood tall, like giant sentinels standing vigilant above the lush Pacific Northwest rain forest.Yes indeed fall has fell!
I visited my usual haunts with little success now that the bait anglers had descended upon nearly every one of my favorite trout runs. With an array of salmon eggs, sand shrimp and God know what other bait concoctions polluting the water of my trout hangouts there was little chnace that a willing trout could be dissuaded into anything artificial.
The earliest arriving Chinook and coho salmon rolled in the slower water of the Wilson river as they neared their destiny of procreation and then death. Their once chrome bright vestiges had given way mottled browns, greys and even the white of a leprous like fungus.
This was Halloween and the sidewalks of Tillamook was filled with pint-sized ninjas, princesses, goblins and ghouls plying for the sugary handouts the local merchants were supplying. It slowed my progress to one last trout hole on the upper Trask but I didn't mind watching the children do what I had done some fifty years prior and that was to score some candy.
Dusk was quickly drawing closed the curtain of the 2011 season as I made it to the upper Trask to fish one final hole. I made my way through the ever damp ferns and moss to the river and was rewarded with one last bright coastal cutthroat trout on the very first cast.Further attempts to catch one last bit of magic of the dying season proved fruitless and so I decided it was time to go home.
As I travelled eastward along the lumbering evergreens along Highway 6 toward my home I was kind of sad that the season was done. Seven months seems like a very long way off and who knows what will take happens in my life during those seven months. A long,wet and cold winter lay ahead of me and winters are getting to be more of a struggle the older I get. Yes I will take out my Spey rods and pursue the ever fleeting winter steelhead on a swung fly but the lazy days of summer and fall are gone like the baseball season that had just ended. I will revel in my triumphs of the season just past and second guess myself at the failure of poor knots and too many lost fish.  Oh there will be a time in the dark of winter when I take my bamboo fly rod out and give it another coat of wax as I dream of the warm days of spring yet to come.
Have a good winter everyone

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