Time To Leave

Used to be I’d try and fish every month of the year, a chilling proposition in Montana. Now I don’t care anymore about such things. I’m no longer driven to fish 200 days a year or even 50. I fish when I want to, when everything feels right. The manic internal urge to be on the water whenever possible has passed and I’m grateful. The time spent flyfishing now seems better, distilled so that present time moments contain the spirit of youthful hours. I prefer warm, blue sky days with often fewer fish wading in cutoffs, light-weight shirt and sandals to cold, overcast, rowdy numbers that in the past led to many and often large trout. On outings when the fishing is extravagantly good, a half dozen browns or Yellowstone cutthroat or mountain whitefish is plenty. The remaining water is waded with few if any casts. Distant mountains, blue herons, rogue skunks, mule deer, ravens, sharptails, tall grass rustling like running water are plenty. And in early November when geese fly along the corridor of the Yellowstone then bank south towards a warmer, more generous place to spend the winter, I call it a day for another year’s fishing. Perhaps I’ll make it through another winter to chase the trout around the northern high plains once again. If I don’t, well, then I don’t….


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