Season’s end

Life gets in the way of so much, doesn’t it? One minute I was happily cruising along when an innocuous phone call turned everything upside down. The fishing has been forgotten about since then, not that I have been missing anything. No wind or rain has meany dreadful conditions for game fishing. Like me, the rest of my angling friends have put away their rods and reels for the rest of the season. A few die-hards will doubt keep casting until the light fades on the final day of the season but I won’t be one of them.

My retirement didn’t last long. That call was from a head hunter who lured me with smooth talk and blandishments. I rose to the bait like a great spotted trout and swallowed it all, hook, line and sinker. So off to the midlands I will go to ply my trade one more time. In fairness the job sounds interesting and since it will be for an initial three month period it means I will be working during the close season. Re-adjusting to the new reality is proving to be a bit of a head wrecker but I will have myself sorted out by Monday morning.

As I will be away for an extended period I took the opportunity today to check my boat up on lough Conn. The rains, while insufficient to raise water levels did half fill the old girl so I had to empty her out and adjust the tyres under the keel to keep her safe and stable while I am away. The cold water splashed me as I hurled bucket after bucket into the lough but I stuck at it and in no time at all she was more or less dry. A rod lurked in the car and I could have easily unlocked the chain, dipped the heavy oars in the water and gone for an hour or two’s fishing but something about the day told me to forego the angling. So instead I walked along the lake shore for a bit once the work was done, taking in the views and breathing in the last of the fresh lough side air.

As I walked I thought about the coming winter. The disturbing lack of flies in my boxes this past season cannot be ignored any longer, so a concerted plan to dress lots of patterns is slowly evolving. My new job requires me to be away from home all week but if I put together a small kit of tools and materials my evenings could be gainfully spent manufacturing flies. So many different new ideas also have to be fully explored and transferred from my grey matter to the fly boxes.

The reeds are dying back and the ground has its first light dusting of leaves. Trees and hedges which only day ago were alive with songbirds are now silent. The swifts and swallows are long gone and the first whoopers will be showing up very soon. That sadness for the lost summer hangs in the air under the trees, washing over me. Small waves broke against the pebbles near the point and I gazed across to the far shore where I fished during the mayfly. I needed this time today to say goodbye to the lough for now. With luck and a fair wind I will be back here next spring, pushing the boat out into rough waves and biting easterlies, hoping for that first tug on the line. For now though I have other priorities to take care of.

Later……. I have made a start to the fly tying and have the first 100 flies tied already. That is not as impressive as it sounds because most of them were very simple patterns such as Diawl Bach, goldheads and deer hair mayflies. At least it is a start though and if I keep up this level of interest in making flies over the winter I will have a great stock to work with next season.


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