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Gary Shaw: Heading into the sunset of another fishing season

Walk on the Wild Side
Walk on the Wild Side - SaltWire Network

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

LABRADOR CITY, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

It seemed just a short time ago so many of us were filled with the excitement at the beginning of yet another new fishing season.

We had so many plans in place, trips discussed with our families and buddies that would see us hit the water; both close by and out into the country.

We were going to give the waterways a real tanning, fish like crazy at every opportunity. We had a whole season there for the taking.

We were packed and had all the new gear in with the old gear, ready to go with no lake, no river, or pool too far away or too much trouble to get to that would get in the way of fishing there.

By the time the calendar finds us sliding into the twilight of this year’s season, we find ourselves facing the harsh reality of yet another season that has somehow slipped through our fingers with more than one of great fishing trip unrealized.

It’s shocking how life seems to get in the way of the best-laid plans.

This season in general terms will be remembered by most of us as the year of fishing the alder beds.

Many among us can hardly remember a season when the water levels were as high. And they stayed at these historically high levels all season.

It was one of my buddies, who spends a great deal of time fishing the brooks and rivers a lot, named this season ‘the season of fishing in the Alders’. He said jokingly that any pan full of those tasty pan-sized speckles that we would want to enjoy couldn’t help but taste like Alder buds; it was, after all, where the fish were living.

Many of the bigger lakes and rivers that we troll for lakers were also compromised.

The much higher water had the traditional food source, the whitefish, living in different places, hence, driving us to different locations to find success. The lakers, after all, are going to hang out with their food source.

At the end of it all, every day that we had, that we spent on the water, and the little bit of remaining time in our season that is left, no one can take it away from us.

High water, low water, lots of fish, hardly any fish; how much does all of this really matter? For those of us who simply fish, we will have had another day on the water in places that matter, with folks that matter, doing things that also matter.

When we find ourselves enjoying the company of our favourite old iron frying pan and a few speckles that are fresh out of the water and just the perfect fit for our pan, the water level, the alder beds and the bugs and rain don’t matter. We had a day on the water with the reward of a taste of one of Mother Nature’s greatest creations.

Really, who could ask for anything more.

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