Looking out the window at yet another cold, dreary grey sky, the other morning I found myself wondering just how long it’s going to be before winter comes and the ground is covered by a deep blanket of snow. I do know the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting an early winter. Now I can appreciate that there are a lot of people who look forward to the coming of winter. I am simply not one of them. Personally, I’d be quite content if it snowed about a week or so before Christmas and it was all gone by, let’s say, mid January. Who knows, maybe this will be the year that I finally drop a line through the ice and join the fraternity of ice-fishers. We’ll see. Anyways, as I stood there at the window, pondering winter, my thoughts drifted back to this past summer. The weather was not all that great. It seemed to rain every day that I had off, not to mention most evenings, but I did manage to get a couple of pretty good fishing trips in and I did catch a few fish.
I certainly enjoyed my annual sturgeon fishing trip on the Fraser. I also got to fish the St. Mary a couple of times and caught and release a number of nice cutthroat trout as well as some bull trout. All in all it wasn’t a bad summer.
This fall I had planned to cast my line to some of the rainbow trout in the Adams River that come to feed off the salmon eggs, but somehow I just couldn’t force myself to stand there on the banks of the river that once held the largest salmon run on the face of the planet. I used to just stand there and marvel at the sheer numbers of salmon the had come to spawn. Those numbers, however, are gone – perhaps gone for ever. No longer does the river turn red with spawning sockeye. No longer do I feel good about standing there casting my line. It’s all a little too depressing. I can only wonder if the day will come when the sockeye numbers return to what they once were – or anything close.
I know we cannot turn back the hands of time, but as I stood there at the window the other day, my mind drifted back to all the summers of my youth. Back then fishing was a lot simpler. It certainly wasn’t so high-tech. It was… well, it was fun – nothing more, nothing less.
As a kid, I always looked forward to the summer, when school was out and I was free to wander down to Ohman’s Creek, toss in a line, and while away the hours fishing without a worry. Those days, now long past, were indeed, much simpler and happier times.
I still look forward to the coming of each summer and the prospect of going fishing. I look forward to the simple pleasure of spending time at the cabin, sitting in my boat out on the lake, feeling the sun on my face, and letting my mind and imagination drift away on the water.
I sometimes think about how lucky I am to have been introduced to fishing. It has provided me with a few good meals and a lot of pleasant memories. I have no regrets about all the hours that I have squandered with a fishing rod in my hands.
Nor do I regret all the time I spent up at the cabins at Dee Lake. I have stood at the window up there too and watched as the morning mist rose from the water and looked out to see the surface of the lake broken by fish rising to feed off an early morning caddis hatch. Part of me would like to stay and live up there. Life sure would be a lot simpler. I could write my columns and just e-mail them down. I could fish when I wanted and not even bother getting dressed when I wanted – I could just stay in my pyjamas and housecoat reading all day. Maybe I could get a part-time job as a fishing guide at one of the small lodges in the area. Although most small fishing lodge operations are having a pretty rough time of it these days. More than one of the small fishing lodges where I have stayed in the past have been for sale for years. Maybe being a fishing guide isn’t such a good idea. Maybe living up at Dee Lake isn’t such a great idea neither, what with winter coming on and everything.
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to even bother looking out the window.