I’ve said before that I think fly fishing is timeless to the sphere of a lifetime. It never goes away, but it is not without its sunsets. In this part of the country, and in this time of the year, fly fishing endures a sunset. I am no ecologist but it seems the cold mid-western climate knocks out the bugs weeks before the bugs of the mountain streams are gone. Its a lonely feeling no longer seeing the trout rise to the surface like clockwork to take down the hatches. I proceed to stare at my dry-fly box knowing the prettiest of the flies are no longer needed. Pressing on, I crack open the nymph and streamer box and try to hit that brook trout spawn. Nymph fishing is growing on me but once you see your #18 dry get hammered by a sizeable fish, it’s hard to tie on any other fly besides a dry. But I just have to remind myself that this is all part of the process, as I crawl on my knees to the river run twenty feet ahead where I can hear a brook trout splashing intermittently.
The landscape surrounding me this time of year is experiencing a sunset too. The wild sunflower stalks no longer glide past my shoulders in a comforting way as I zig-zag through them. Instead they paw and scratch at me as walk straight through them. I hear less birds, too, for the music has gotten in the way of their winter prepping. The trees drop their leaves to prepare for the winter beating. Everything is in remission. Except for maybe the cottontail rabbits, but it could be that I just couldn’t see them due to the plant life that is now gone, in appearance. I’m probably taking all of this come and go a little too personal, but I’m slowly learning that spending time fly fishing means you spend time with everything else too. I can’t help but notice. I’ll fly fish off and on this winter, on the nicer days. I’m not enough of a fanatic yet to want to stand outside in ten degree weather with only the slight prospect of catching a fish. I’ll mostly spend the winter thinking how I’ll fish better in the summer of 2017, but when I get there none of my ideas will transfer. Fly fishing is like a baseball swing, the moment you quit practicing your swing is the moment you start to get worse. It seems to be a rhythm thing.
In conclusion, my fly fishing adventures for 2016 are experiencing a sunset and everything will become a little more dormant than usual.