Posts Tagged With: fall

Lapse

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not but, for a frog, time’s fun when you’re having flies. And never forget that, while time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

The subject of time attracts hyperbole, as when things take “forever” or when someone is “always” doing something, which you and I both know is impossible (reflexive, unconscious activities like breathing excluded).

I spent more hours fishing this year than in any of the past several, which is interesting, having spent those years living less than 200 feet from a lovely lake stocked with trout. No matter how much I did or did not fish, I could never have spent as much time fishing as the legends suggest (all of it), especially considering how much time some tellers of tales spent on the same lake themselves (hardly any).

It has been said that the time one spends fishing is not deducted from the time one is allotted on this earthly plane so, if the legends are true, some of us must be nearly immortal. Time spent in the company of cigarettes and whisky and wild, wild women* may be another matter entirely, so some of us will probably have to just call it a wash.

No matter how one perceives the passage of time, whether an event is over in an instant or seems interminable, time is but an illusion, according to Einstein. To some it is like a chunk of amber, while to others it is like a river. Sometimes it is like both.

Somewhere between Buena Vista and Salida

I caught my first Arkansas River brown trout just upstream from there, many years ago. Standing there this summer, both feet planted firmly in the here and now, I was, for more than an instant, most certainly there and then.

Shenandoah River

Somehow, floating a stretch of the Shenandoah for the first time felt familiar, but there was also a sense the river was timeless and no one had ever been there before.

After a few more miles.

Other than a few forays further afield, across ancient hills I wandered this summer, close to home, poking around the upper reaches of two small watersheds folded into the Green Mountains, somewhere in Vermont. Dry spells and high temperatures meant finding secret places only brook trout know, knowing myself that when I found them it was probably best to leave them alone. Finding them would have to be enough.

Worth the walk.

But that was then and this is now. The whisper of a breeze has become the moan of the wind through bare branches as a raw October rain brings down the leaves. Maples, birches, and ash stand naked, their wet bark a dark backdrop for beeches and oak, still hanging chartreuse and mahogany with all shades in between. That brown leaves can glow still astounds me.

Beech

Leaves change color when they stop producing chlorophyl and cease to function and it is Vermont’s non-functioning leaves that draw people from all over the world each fall. Trees stop taking up water when their leaves cease to function and, as a result, runoff increases and seasonal rains get rills and brooks flowing as full as in spring. The brook trout begin to stir and gather, waiting for the signal it’s time to spawn.

I like to think that signal has something to do with tannins in the water, from all those non-functioning leaves finally giving up and letting go. There’s not much better for making leaves give up and let go than chilly rain so, while it may not be such a good day for group tours on buses, with palms and faces pressed against fogged-up, rain-streaked windows, a rainy October day is a darn good day for brook trout as far as I’m concerned.

Village Gazebo

So, why have I spent several hours in an effort to take up five minutes of your busy day with a ramble about fruit flies, Einstein, brook trout and trees?

After nearly five months, I figured it was about time.

 

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*THE ASTERISK

Regular readers of these irregular posts know that sometimes there are little treats at the end, inserted as a sort of reward for having slogged all the way through.

First up, Red Ingle and the boys with a little ditty about the dangers of John Barleycorn, Nicotine, and Women (wild, wild ones), a song my mother taught me:

Now, a time lapse video I made this summer of a datura bloom opening on the deck one evening (I also have lake ice and syrup making videos on YouTube):

Show’s over. Move along.

That’s all, folks!

 

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Categories: Humor, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Fall Color and a Few Things That Fell

The foliage this fall was lovely enough that some of the locals commented on it and a few of my photos even came out. Impatient people may scroll down to the slide show of pretty pictures any time they wish, but there is some important documentation to get out of the way first.

With a long, rich angling history, the shallows of Fish in a Barrel Pond were certain to reveal treasures as the level was drawn down this summer and I made sure to document them as they appeared. I’m afraid there was no bonanza of dropped reels or rods that had been thrown in frustration like 9-irons; nothing of much worth turned up in the muck, but that doesn’t mean it’s without value.

When someone hands me a drink and asks what the heck has to be done in order to catch a fish around here, I raise my glass and tell them I’m pretty sure that this ain’t it. As I have mentioned before, the situation is a little more complicated when that person is in their underwear, but my answer remains the same. Unless, of course, that person is fishing at the time. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Struck Dumb

Having spent countless hours watching others fly fish, I can say I’ve learned a thing or two from the anglers of Fish in a Barrel Pond. More than the same old tips, tricks and “wisdom” that most of us have heard a hundred times before, a lot of what I pick up is subtle and nuanced, yet profound, and a few of these gems go so far as to challenge some of my most cherished and long-held fly fishing assumptions.

For example, in my previous post, “Halfway Through the Season,” I stood firm in my belief that when a man hands me a highball glass and asks me what the heck a guy has to do to catch fish around here, the proper response is to declare myself no expert but suggest that it probably doesn’t involve highball glasses.

My position wavered not, even when the situation was complicated by the fact that the man in question was also in his underwear, but my stance has since softened. Sooner or later, one is bound to see it all and, thanks to a kindly proctologist from the Cape, I now know that a man drinking Scotch in his underwear is just as likely as the next guy to catch a fish, as long as there’s a rod in his hand and he’s got a fly on the water.

The anglers of Fish in a Barrel Pond are not the only things that leave me speechless. Here are this year’s Obligatory Vermont Fall Foliage Photos (click one to enlarge or view as a slide show):

 

 

 

Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Vermont Foliage: Taking My Own Advice, Part II

The fog and rain cleared out at the end of the second day as dry, chilly air moved in, and the hillsides lit up in the gloaming. Continue reading

Categories: nature | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Vermont Foliage: Taking My Own Advice, Part I

Some people could use a good knock-knock-knock on the forehead to get them to stop for a few minutes, take a good look around, and see what happens when nothing happens. They get so wrapped up in themselves and the things they consider important that they forget where they are and why they are there, missing the good stuff — those small, quiet moments of near-perfection and beauty that pass quickly, often un-noticed.

I nearly knocked myself silly, this past week, before finally picking up a camera and stepping out to enjoy my favorite time of year. Now, to tie myself to a chair and force myself to post some of the pictures I took …

Continue reading

Categories: nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The Fish are Easy

The members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society are wonderful people, each and every one a shining example of virtue and sportsmanship. Go ahead; ask them yourself. They’ll tell you. It’s those other guys that are the problem.

I don’t think the trout of Fish in a Barrel Pond really give a carp one way or the other. All men are equal before trout, as the saying goes, so as another season of fishing comes to an end, with the slopes of Nonesuch Mountain bathed a gaudy, autumnal glow, I take a moment to reflect on the ways of both people and fish, circa 2012. Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fall Rituals

Certain events mark the passing of the seasons here at Fish in a Barrel Pond, taking place year after year, but they are not dependent on calendars and clocks. Sure, I can tell you with some certainty that my annual ritual of draining and blowing out water lines in the camps will be done shortly before dark, on the last Sunday of October but after that all bets are off. Continue reading

Categories: Fly Fishing, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

The end of the season is nigh, here at Fish and a Barrel Pond, but it ain’t over yet and I should have known better than to write like it was as I did a couple of weeks ago when I got all sentimental and gooey in my post “Mostly Photos, from Somewhere in Vermont“. A string of sunny days full of blue skies and brook trout interspersed with starry nights scented of bourbon and wood smoke can do that to a guy.

It’s been almost six months since the 2010 fishing season began for the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society and it was nice to spend another Saturday night by the fire, sipping toddies and swapping stories with a swell bunch of fellows but on Sunday afternoon, as I stood in the road waving good-bye, a chill, northern breeze boxed my ears and tossed my hat in the ditch, reminding me it is the end of their season, not mine.

All week long that breeze blew. It took the sunshine away, replacing it with steady rain, and by Thursday afternoon the breeze was a flag-shredding gale and, after a brief lull, the rain became sleet.

You pay your money and you take your chances when you come to Fish in a Barrel Pond, especially in October. Some folks, with little apparent effort, have a fine time no matter the conditions, while others don’t try at all and are miserable, rain or shine. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor, nature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Mostly Photos, from Somewhere in Vermont

As much as I’d like to be fishing, there are things to do before I close the camps and pull the boats in 16 days. I’ll get out on the water soon enough but, in the meantime I am relegated to spectator status, watching other guys take advantage of the last few fine days of the season.

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Categories: nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tropical Rain, Then a Hard Frost

The season is coming to an end here at Fish in a Barrel Pond. Four more weeks before I drain the water lines, close the cottages and take one of my legendary end-of-season naps but, in the meantime, the members of the Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society are squeezing in as much time here as they can.

Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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