Today is the first day of fall, which in central Texas means only another month of 90+ degree temps. The calendar says bow season for deer and trout fishing is just around the corner, but I am having a hard time getting ready.
Earlier in September we took our (almost) annual pilgrimage to southwest Colorado, in search of cooler temperatures and native trout. We found some of each, but now each seems mirage-like in my rear view mirror as thermometers here flirt with triple digits.
There is much preparation to do, but just like when high school term paper deadlines loomed, my mind is dull and unfocused. I am procrastinating; perhaps protesting.
The malaise has bled over into my writing. I find myself uninspired of late. Perhaps it is because life has been kind recently. I tend to be motivated to write as part of a cathartic process when life proves challenging.
So, I begin sorting my gear in the garage, even though the heat means I need to keep that activity to early morning or well after sundown. I haunt the flyshop more often, laying in new supplies of leader, tippet, and sundries.
Old gear is replaced if not serviceable. I have a friend who is very frugal. He would never throw away brittle tippet or unwound flies, or leaky waders. Why, maybe they can be salvaged! While I envy his fiscal focus, my time in field and on stream are too dear to me to trust to unreliable gear, especially consumables like flies, leaders and tippet. So out with the old.
Another friend works in the fly fishing industry. He always has the latest whiz bang fly rod, reel or fly line. He is young; I am not. Sometimes new things are unnecessary, and can actually be distractions to me. I am settling into that phase of life that rejoices in the familiar patina of old capital investments. I no longer need the newest space age material in my fly rod, or a drag that can stop a speeding motorcycle. The slow bend of fiberglass and a click pawl reel suits my pace these days.
In the moments before sleep finds me, my mind drifts to crisp fall mornings in a tree stand with my bow. In the pre-dawn before I am fully awake I see blue norther mornings. The familiar feel of my old flyrod, grip custom-worn to fit my hand. Daydreams invade more commercial thoughts as the faintest smell of fall in the air quickens my senses. Now I seek respite from the baking sun with companions who like a favorite pair of jeans are reliable, capable, and broken in.