This is the time of year when I have to decide whether I am going to sample opportunities for brook trout, smallmouth bass, grouse, ducks, geese, bear, or woodcock.
Thus far, I’ve had a taste of the first three.
I started the month fishing a local lake and got into some great smallmouth action, including an honest four-pounder on a five-weight fly rod. That week saw me take a slew of nice bass in the three-pound range too.
I was finally into those aggressive fish of autumn – the ones that anglers speak of with great affection during the dog days of summer.
So, if all goes well, I’ll try to get my spaniel to put up a few local woodcock in a nearby cover I hunt early each autumn. And I won’t complain if my shotgun bead swings past a ruffed grouse, varying hare or wood duck somewhere during the course of the day.
When I’d had my fill, I took a trip with a friend to our favourite river in Algonquin Park. Our hope was to catch a few brook trout that were just taking on those wonderful spawning colours.
I was lucky enough to bring a few to hand too, thanks to a Cat’s Whisker streamer and a tiny pheasant tail nymph.
Then I spent a weekend in Gowganda, where I was reminded how wonderful it is to hunt ruffed and spruce grouse with good friends. A few came home with us, along with memories of those northern logging roads and ponds, where black ducks flush at the sound of a distant footfall.
Tomorrow, I’ve got a window of free time.
So, if all goes well, I’ll try to get my spaniel to put up a few woodcock in a nearby cover I hunt early each autumn. And I won’t complain if my shotgun bead swings past a ruffed grouse, varying hare or wood duck somewhere during the course of the day.
Thursday, I work, but come Friday I’ll join my brother, uncle, and cousins for a week of duck and goose hunting that will take us into October.
Somewhere in the margins of all that, I’ve got broadheads to sharpen, decoys to rig, flies to tie, and a few more arrows to make.
This is, after all, the busy season. And, you know, if I could do it 12 months a year, I surely would.