I love the smell of the forest after a fall rain don't you?
There is a cleanness and purity in the way the woods smell after a rainfall.
Autumn is my favorite time of year and I look forward to it every year. It is a season of change and movement. The great Pacific Flyway is full of eager waterfowl making their way to their winter feeding grounds. The mighty Chinook salmon and the sleek Coho salmon are making their ultimate and only trip back to the waters of their birth. The fall leaves are an explosion of color.
I especially like the turning leaves. On some of the maples it looks like the tree is on fire with the brightness of the red leaves that will soon drop.
I often can be found along my favorite cutthroat trout stream at this time of year before the Halloween closing. The urgency of a cutthroat taking a fly is magnified this time of year as is my own urgency to squeeze in one last trip before putting my rods away.
I have no interest in taking one of these wonderful little ambush/predators home for dinner. Killing wild fish holds no interest for me whatsoever these days.
I am in the fall of my life and it shows as I amble and sometimes stumble my way along the riverbank looking for a likely spot to cast my fly. I wonder how many more falls I have left. Did I spend this fall foolishly or was this fall well spent?
I think a lot about my cutthroat trout mentor Pete, who passed away last year. I wonder what he thought as he fished for his beloved trout in the fall. I wonder......
Fishing in the winter does not hold the attraction for me it once did and it's mostly because the desire to catch a steelhead no longer makes me forget about the cold and rain and lack of sleep. Every once in awhile it's fun to rise in the wee hours of morning when the only people on the road are like minded anglers such as myself. Those times are becoming less and less attractive though and I would just as soon sleep.
In my angling life I have taken many things for granted and now that my time on the river is at a premium do I regret it all? Not hardly! I have had a wonderful life on the river. I've seen many wonderful things and even a very few not so wonderful things. It all been good and the fish I encountered have been worth it. Lot of memories to keep me warm when the winter of my life is upon me. Fish hooked and fish lost, friends long since gone and the memories....oh the memories
I wonder if I will be a part of someone's pleasant memories of their time on the river....I wonder.