“There she blows!” I exclaimed. Well, not exactly. Being as I was standing in a small creek that eventually feeds into the White River, and not on the forecastle of an 1800’s whaling ship, my words were probably closer to “That’s a nice one!”
The love of my life was several minutes into battling a quite respectable trout on an ultra-light St. Croix rod with Shimano reel.
The fish took no less than six of these twenty to twenty-five yard runs before finally becoming the first of a stringer that would average a little over three pounds per fish.
Judy’s first fish of the day would later weigh in at just a smidge over four-and-a-quarter pounds. Before evening she would add one just over three pounds and a couple just under the three-pound mark.
During the afternoon and early evening, we would also watch several large salmonids try jumping an old four-foot waterfall, some squirrels playing on overhanging limbs (perhaps checking out their own reflections in the crystalline stream?) and observing a committee of hundreds of buzzards break from a nearby ridge and momentarily almost blacken the clear blue Ozark sky as a kettle in flight.
I love this time of year and wonder why we all don’t take more advantage of all it has to offer. Outdoor chores are diminishing in some respects, fall gardens being about done and even lawn mowing haven taken a reprise.
It is a bit early for feeding to be much of an imposition and certainly there is yet to be any ice that needs cut or broken.
There are several opportunities to harvest game — dove, squirrel and deer all in season. Gigging is even at a point where one can venture out without worrying about ingesting a large quantity of bugs. And there is fishing!
Watching trout rise to a fly remains one of those iconic outdoor pleasures; as enjoyable today as when Izaak Walton praised the occurrence nearly four centuries past.