October 31st, 2004

By James Castwell

I needed a small bolt from the hardware store in town today and as I was sauntering through the isles trying to find my item I noticed the displays of Christmas lights. This is always a nice signal that Thanksgiving is only a short time away. This is a lovely time of year, even some of the leaves have fallen from my backyard trees, not all, but some. It seems that Christmas lights used to show up after Thanksgiving, but maybe my memory is fuzzy. Does seem like the logical way things should be though.

Finding what I needed, I drove across the parking lot to a chain drug store. Had need for some flying insect spray for inside house plants. Not troubled with any bugs right now. But the one plant my wife had groomed outside all summer and then brought in for the winter had a few bugs eating the leaves so I sprayed it with some stuff I found in the garage. It killed the bugs. It also killed the plant. I have never seen a plant react so fast. Just dropped it's three foot high head and drooped to the floor. I took it out and salvaged the dirt. Well, she still has not replaced it, can't until next year, but I have the right spray for it now anyhow, I think.

The drug store had Halloween candy and trimmings on display, no Christmas lights yet. Probably wait until after Halloween for that. Where the hell did summer go.

I am not at all sure I fully understand or appreciate fall. Oh, alright, it does have a lot to offer; holidays, hunting, harvest, the eclipse of the moon was fantastic, a change of seasons, fishing and I suppose many wonderful things I forgot. But, I mean, when Spring is on the way, I kinda hold my breath and look forward to charging out into the fresh green world. Wet and new.

In the fall I just drop my shoulders and exhale. Yes, the leaves are a brilliant color, and they are ankle deep on my yard too. My rain gutters are full again, and need to be cleaned by guess who. Spiders and other minor nasties decide to try to establish residence on my house. I set a mouse trap today, no I have no idea how he got in, where he came from or why the dog did not see him rip across the living room last night.

My backyard should have a turnstile and I should be charging admission. In the last twelve days I have trapped five racoons of varying sizes and five opossum, again of varying sizes. I take these for a ride over a long bridge about four miles from here. They must like it over there, none has returned that I know of. I use a Havaheart trap, doesn't hurt them, only annoys and embarrasses them.

I suppose many of the fish are spawning now or will soon be. Some live through it, some don't. So be it. Seem's to work. Sometimes I get tangled up in whether it is proper to fish for anything when it is on a spawning run. With some fish that's the only time they are even evident. But then again, We are us and they are fish. We win. But, exactly why is it wrong to tease a steelhead with a fly when she is on a redd, but if she is not on one, or two feet away, she is fair game?

But enough. Fish your fish, tie your flies, read your books, clean your gear, stoke the fireplace, pat the dogs head and kiss your wife. The season is here for indoor recreation. Besides, it's time to start planning your vacation time for next year, seeing if you and the wife can get off at the same time, where you are going to take the family on part of your time off, what you will need for opening day on the stream, how to save enough 'mad- money' without the little woman, knowing about it. Ordering just a 'few' things from Cabala's and Orvis, considering selling a few things to pay for some of the things that you are getting to replace the things you are getting rid of.

And then it will be winter. Relax, exhale, take a break; you, me and the fish. We all need one. That is what winter is really for. I understand winter. ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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