The fishing the day before had been brutal. It was a good day, mind you…just tough on the body—like a good night drinking. But I don’t do that to myself anymore. The reward for surviving ones youth is to take better care of yourself, I suppose. So I slept in and did not pry myself out of bed until late morning. The lure of caffeine and the head was far too strong. I am getting old, I thought as I sat at the dining-room table with a mug of coffee and a laptop computer opened up in front of me. Yesterday’s fishing was more of an adventure than a fishing trip…very much deserving of a story. And my back still pained me because of it. But I could not concentrate on the keyboard. I sat, enjoying the peace and the warming effects of the coffee, and gazed out the big plate glass windows with a view up my steep side of the mountain as the parade of mule deer came down. It is fall up here in the canyon. It comes a bit earlier than down in the flat land. The mornings are frosty and the aspen leaves are turning yellow. The weirdo tourists will be coming soon.
This is the time of year I miss where I come from. Miss my first family. Because this is the time of year when we would set aside all of life’s nuisances in favor of real things. It was hunting season. The time to fill the freezer with meat. A time for some killing. I was reminded and sidetracked by this as I sat, alone, at the heavy wooden table and watched the deer. They were close…mere yards away. Only heavy glass and some tall grass separated us. I had to move the mouse and type slowly…as not to spook them. In my youth, on deer stand, I had to raise my bow slowly, take aim slowly…never had to worry about moving my bloody mouse slowly! This all made me feel a bit soft and pathetic. And hungry. But too lame to put food on my own table. So I got up off my ass (spooking all the deer) rounded up a six weight and a soft cooler and drove out of my canyon on a mission. I was in the mood for a good old fashioned fish killin’. I knew of a lake overcrowded with crappie and yellow perch—to the point that a little “thinning of the flock” would actually do its inhabitants some good. And that is the lake were I found my fresh fish sandwich…which I enjoyed hours later back at the heavy wooden dinner table!