Thursday, October 22, 2009

De"peche" Mood

These past days, I have longed for solace through casting a line on the open water in search of a strike, a pull, and the glorifying feeling of catching and releasing a scale-covered cronie. A few weeks ago, I was at a lake doing just that. "The fish are down deeper as the weather gets colder," the man says. Out of the corner of my eye, I catch a glimpse of an older man behind a tree, clad in fly-fishing gear. Yet another longing soul in search of this find that the surface of the water does not serve as the platform for displaying the tantalizing specimens so sought after by most fish.

In autumn, fishing is quite different than in other months throughout the year. The fish are typically more vivacious and lively, an uncommon occurrence in the middle of July when the temperature of the surface water is far more tepid. Perch prey and trout dine in the fall, whereas bass strike in the summer, striving north from their cooler, lower environs, often a far journey to the warm surfaces that cover their world.

The fall brings the crackle of leaves underfoot and the woodsy smell of fireplaces nearby. Lower, less-intensive light and colder water make wading a choice, not a mandate. Sweaters instead of short-sleeves. Spinning lures instead of poppers. Cotton and wool-clipped gloves rather than bare hands. Sunscreen on exposed areas rather than the entire body.

Autumnal fishing is truly a spiritual experience, as the light and warmth often comes from inside through the opportunity of experiencing the resulting gratitude of such an awakening joy. Appreciating nature, light, and the abundant glories of the fall can be yours, too, if you are in the mood.

As for me, I am newly intrigued with the notion of a strike, a pull, and the uncertainty of it all.

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