Already leaves are turning colors letting us know autumn will soon be here, the best time of year for many of us. The cool nights are welcome and the last couple of days I donned clothing more substantial than shorts and a tee. This morning I killed a few training birds for the dogs in a last ditch tune-up effort before grouse season opens in a week. Then I scouted potential fox and coyote trapping sites and while out there enjoying the absolutely beautiful day I saw and heard geese and sandhill cranes overhead. The other day I stopped for a brood of ten young grouse on the road, all old enough to fly but still not adult size, about to get some tough lessons come Saturday. The Fall season is fast approaching and we'll do all we can to relish it, 'cause you know what comes after that! Even though I’m more than eager to grab a shotgun and follow a bird dog, I can’t help but feel like these last days of summer are slipping away quicker than dollar bills in a strip joint. I’d certainly like to spend some more time in waders waving a fly rod, and the regular stream trout seasons closes in a week so I need to get to it. I’d be happy to make one more trip and fry up some fresh trout in sight of the river they came from. It only takes a few minutes to throw my camp gear and rod and waders in the truck…
I have a small collection of poetry that I dug into a little bit the other night; kind of curious ‘cause it’s been a while since I’ve seen any of it and I wondered how my perceptions might have changed. Not surprisingly, in my often esoteric way of thinking, most themes around nature and outdoors, from Emerson’s deep transcendental essays, Thoreau’s woodsy philosophy, to the rhyming tales of the Klondike by Robert Service. Some is classic. Some is more contemporary, written by mostly unheard of authors. Of what I read, and with fishing still on my mind, there were a couple of poems I liked a lot. Here’s one that seems right:
Sometimes a guide, he knows the water well.
You can see his place from the river, unpainted
kind of rough looking.
On the screened porch fly rods stand
in a milk can.
There's hardly any furniture
but a hell of a stereo.
The gray in his three-day beard makes
him look older, although
he is not a young man anymore.
His right hand is wrapped around
a whiskey glass, his left is on
the shoulder of a very pretty woman.
Someone asks him what's it all about?
And with a soft grin he answers
"trout," quickly looks at her and winks.
Fishing, of course, is only part of it.