It is my great honor and a privilege to be surrounded by the anglers and outdoors people of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, on call 24/7, for six months of the year. Many of them approach their time here with high standards and certain expectations but, unfortunately, some of them were disappointed with the foliage this fall.
“Quill, we’re disappointed with the foliage this fall,” they said, as if I had something to do with it.
Nature can’t do anything right, in some people’s eyes, and I just don’t know what to say to people like them when the universe lets them down like this. It seems to happen a lot so I figure they must be used to it by now. Many of them are often disappointed with the fishing, too.
As the season winds down, those folks find plenty to be disappointed with, weatherwise, but apparently their martyrdom has its limits and most of them stay away after Columbus Day. Others are made of sturdier stuff and tough it out right through the last weekend of the season. Not only will they take their chances for one last day of fishing, they also come to work, pulling boats from the water and putting them away for the winter. No fair-weather anglers, these, and not an inappropriate shoe in the bunch.
They arrived on Thursday, just ahead of the snow, which by dark was coming down in globs.
If only all anglers were as dedicated to their fishing as some are to their food.
There is no point in firing up the grill in a blizzard for mere weenies.
Needless to say, with a giant pan of paella setting the tone, the last weekend of the season was guaranteed to be different than the first.
The next morning was sunny and bright. The inhabitants of the camps tried to be, but were not, as they borrowed shovels to clear their docks.
It takes more than just a few inches of water, ice and snow in a boat to keep the dedicated angler off the lake …
and by afternoon it looked like any other day on Fish in a Barrel Pond.
It was nice while it lasted, but the forecast called for even more snow and it was decided to cut the weekend short, pulling the boats a day early so everyone could get home before the storm. By early Saturday afternoon the camps were empty.
Just like that, the anglers are gone and the season is over.
I am sure I will miss them later.
The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society has 100 members and I am exposed to a pretty fair cross-section of the fly fishing community. Some of those members are hyper-aware of appearances, wearing only the finest fishing togs and flaunting their fancy ways. They have an image in their mind of the well-dressed angler and they imitate it, to the point where, when they gather in little groups, it looks like they are wearing uniforms. They are fine people, I know. Maybe they are even fashion trendsetters, but you can tell from a mile away they got their shirts from a certain outfitter whose name begins with “O”.
The “O” of course stands for Owl, as in Owl Jones, and the big surprise of my season was being presented with my very own “WTF (Where The Fish?)” T-shirt from OwlJones.com! Now, thanks to my friends, wherever I go, people will be able to tell from a distance just what sort of angler I am.
The anglers of the Connecticut Fly Fishing Association are welcome to come back to Fish in a Barrel Pond sometime, if they want to, I guess. Thanks, guys!