Sitting here in the hot, low country sun thinking back to the waters of my favorite haunts. I tried to force myself to pick a favorite trip but cannot. Even looking back through all of my journals, over all those many years, I was impartial. It is funny however that when I read back over the entries it becomes clear that the best times were in the autumn.
The fall has always been my favorite time of year. It could be because I grew up in a family who loved the outdoors. Mom and dad always had the family outside doing things like hunting, fishing, camping, etc. However, it was the archery hunting, small game and wing shooting and yes, the fishing in the mountains during the autumn that meant the most to me.All of the streams I fish during the early spring and summer are beautiful pieces of aquatic real estate. As Chap likes to say, “trout have the good sense to live in the most beautiful places”. Nevertheless, these same streams in the fall become mystical. I know the leaves are changing and the water is a little thinner but it is something more.
It is the smell of the dying leaves in the autumn sun. It is the cold breeze that suddenly catches you and lets you know winter will not be far away. Physically and emotionally, I become healthier. My breathing becomes slower and deeper; my heart rate normalizes and the stress is gone. What little stress that stubbornly lingers is easily washed away with the medicine in my flask. It is these small but wonderful occurrences that let me know I am truly alive, that everything is right in my little aquatic paradise. It is here that I feel I can live forever.
So for now while imprisoned in this subtropical heat and mundane existence of the nine to five, I am forced to be content with the planning of my autumn trips. Perhaps if fate is kind enough, I might just one-day plant roots in these hills and finally live life the way the good Lord intended…
As A.J. McClean eloquently wrote; …”I am haunted by water”.