Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Season Over, Fall Leaves, and Big Fish!

Well friends (both of you who read this!) it has been 12 days since my last post. My previous missives have explored the relationship between faith, baseball, fly fishing and optimism. All the usual that guides me through summer and (at least this year!) into the fall. The Brewers put up a good run and in the end were exposed for who they really are: a very good team who by the end of the year had a banged up pitching staff, a defensively weak right side of the infield, and only hit in streaks. No shame in losing in 5 to the Phillies and I took great pleasure in the fact that the Brewers season lasted a full day longer than the cursed Cubbies!

October in Wisconsin has been beyond beautiful with leaves providing us with their colorful last gasp that always seems to be painted against a big blue sky. I love Autumn in all its corny colorful glory. I love the whole pumpkins for sale on the side of the road (I confess to always wanting to plant a pumpkin patch at my mother-in-laws house in Jefferson County just to see how sales would go), going to our neighbors on Halloween to see the kids trick or treat, and eating fresh apples (plain and caramel). Above all the Fall season provides a chance for what is becoming an annual sneak away and fish trip to the Sheboygan River.

A recent outing on a bright blue sky day found nothing in the way of steelhead or even many big browns, but the river was full with plenty of Oncorhynchus tshawytscha - that would be Great Lakes Chinook or King Salmon to the rest of us. Heading up river to spawn and then to die - within a couple weeks of making the trip. Somehow I feel like an intruder as they make this final push for their own "circle of life" destiny. Then again; they are fun to catch. Since they really don't feed at this stage it seems presenting the fly enough times to get them to strike (out of irritation?) can do the trick. On this day I tallied one legit catch, one foul hooked, and one fresh fish who took my fly and shook me off after an all too brief (but exciting) hookup. Combine the beautiful day with a river full of huge fish and the catching becomes almost secondary (note I said "almost"). Once the photos are developed I will post the catch of the day! It seems that twice in one month - my faith has been rewarded. That is not too bad by any account.

Political Action? No - Just Very Cool Conservation

Not really a political action link this post but a very cool opportunity to support endangered resources in Wisconsin. While perusing to find a local cause to pub on the blog. I came across the Adopt an Eagle Nest Program from the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Endangered Resources. The Adopt an Eagle Nest Program is just that for $100.00 you can adopt a nest. Monies help provide funding to:
  • conduct aerial surveys to locate nest sites
  • rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned eagles
  • analyze feather, egg and blood samples for contaminants
  • work with landowners to protect and manage nest trees and winter roost sites
  • and promote awareness of Bald Eagles
How cool is that? If you adopt a nest you will get:
  • An adoption certificate with the name of your choice, certifying that you have adopted an eagle nest in the state of Wisconsin.
  • An educational pamphlet about eagles, including identification, diet, breeding, and their history in Wisconsin.
  • An activity/information booklet about eagles and a full-color eagle calendar
There is a wonderful Eagle nest just upstream from where I put my kayak in near Ferry Bluff on the Wisconsin River. A beautiful majestic eagle always seems to be overhead as I paddle to my favorite smallie spot. Sometimes the highlight of the day is drifting in the boat enjoying the quiet and watching him soar. Hmm - might just have to help cover the cost of that nest. I have easily gotten a C-notes worth of enjoyment from it already.

Enjoy the Fall,
Trout Buddha

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