It was only a week or so ago I was fitting a new camo cover to my canoe. I envisioned flocks of migrating waterfowl dropping into the rice lake near here and I wanted to be ready. Sometimes the anticipation is almost as fun as the doing and making the preparations adds to the confidence level. So if the ducks don't show, at least my canoe was camo'd.
Almost everyday my setter Gabby and I get out for some bird hunting. There were days when we hunted the cool mornings and took it easy the warm afternoons. Other days we were out all day. Just the other day we were out until dark finding and shooting grouse and woodcock in a huge just-the-right-age aspen cover. Pulling off the boots after a day of wing-shooting is the best kind of tired.
Yesterday Scotty and I met up and floated a section of one of our favorite rivers, casting big flies and expecting heavy strikes from the muskies we know live there. A couple of northern pike were landed but the big muskies evaded us. It was a neat autumn day on the river, however, and we watched eagles, swans, geese, and even saw a nice buck deer trotting back and forth on an island perhaps to impress the doe that was with him. Most of the leaves are down, leaving the kind of brown and gray landscape we outdoor folks appreciate, and the bright red winter berries and highbush cranberries stood out like decorations. We talked a little about the predicted winter storm coming and joked some about how today's weather-casters seemed to blow things out of proportion. On my drive home I hit rain north of Duluth and a few flurries were falling by the time I reached home. I crawled in the sack wondering if it would amount to anything.
This morning it looked like winter hit for real. A blanket of heavy wet snow covering everything. We all hope it will melt off but the forecast looks like it might be here awhile. I've been looking at the duck boat for a week procrastinating about putting it away before the snows came. Hhmmm.
– When I got to town last night I stopped for a beer and to hear a good northland musician play a couple of songs before completing the drive home. I didn't stay long and a hard working friend asked why I was leaving so soon. I explained I was real tired from being up hours before dawn and driving a long way to go fishing all day. “Gee,” she said, “that sounds rough, I feel sorry for you.” Her sarcasm was understandably thick. Why do I tell people this stuff?