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By peetso
#419393


Soon enough there will be snow on the ground. You can feel it in the evening air, see it on your breath and when you wake in the morning, there's frost on the ground. Winter's coming, it always does, bringing an end to summer always sooner than you expect. You feel the urge to fish every spare moment until the water turns solid.

You pack up and head out. Hoping for decent weather and willing fish.

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The numerous seismic lines and lease roads all provide good access to the river, but you prefer the tracks. There is something retro about walking the tracks and you're a sucker for the nostalgic.

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You reach the river just as the morning sun burns off the remaining fog. The first few frosts of fall have left the air smelling of wild mint and high-bush cranberry. How a trendy soap shop would smell, if it were owned by a woman with a good rosehip jelly recipe and a knack for cleaning walleye.

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By noon the sun is high and winter's chill has given way to summer's warmth.

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The grayling are stacked up in the holes waiting for winter, but still readily hitting hoppers. They strike any piece of foam you cast on the water.

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You don't keep count, but if you did you would have lost it.


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By early evening the clouds roll in. This time of year you can't tell if they're packing rain or snow. The new chill in the air leaves the grayling no longer wanting hoppers, a hatch of blue-winged olives are what they are keyed on.

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You tie on feathers and catch a few more.

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But you want something more substantial, something with a bit more heft.

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You replace the feathers with fur and make another cast. The serious strike and stronger pull let you know that this isn't another grayling.

With the skies growing darker and the thunder coming nearer you leave the river for the warmth and safety of camp.
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You sit by the fire watching the skies and listening to thunder.

As the skies finally open up you make a hasty retreat to shelter and crawl into your sleeping bag. That night you sleep with woodsmoke in your hair and the smell of Thymallus on your hands. The sound of heavy, cold rain outside.

You dream of grayling and a never-ending September.
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Last edited by peetso on Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:42 pm, edited 17 times in total.
User avatar
By Walter
#419398
F-n-A! I love the fall. Gonna be downright cold this weekend here in the northeast - and I'm pumped. Thanks for sharing.
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By castingoutloud
#419412
SOBF wrote:That did not sukk !!
X2
BTW I will have something for you in a week or so hold onto your pussy. K.
User avatar
By BearsFan
#419414
Top shelf all the way!
User avatar
By FredA
#419422
peetso man, you've quickly become a must-read for me every time i see one of your new threads.

well done. fuckin tease you are with that bull.

:cool
#419689
[report]




For the first time in as long as I can remember, there will be no Sharp-tailed Grouse season around here this year.



Zero limit.



Their numbers have been declining for some time due to numerous factors. The most detrimental though is the perceived need to cultivate every square inch of every square mile of every single field. If it isn't listed on the commodities market, it gets plowed under in favour of something that is. There's no money in willows or young poplar or native grasses. The windbreaks and fence line thickets of the past are gone and with it most of the good Sharp-tailed cover. These agricultural practices combined with a long hard winter and a cold wet spring has left their population a mere shadow of what it used to be.



So this year we will not hunt the scrub brush alongside the fields or walk the tall grasses. It will only be the dense aspen thickets and coniferous stands we search, looking for Ruffed and Spruce Grouse.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010105.jpg[/img]

The leaves are still on and most of the birds are still on the skinny side but it was time to walk the woods and see if we could kick up any birds. Time to see what the rest of fall's prospects would look like.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010084.jpg[/img]

She won't be winning any field trials but she's got a good nose, works close and if I down one she won't comeback without a mouthful of feathers.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010101.jpg[/img]

She's already in mid-season form and flushes one out instantly but I'm slow to mount and don't even get off a passing shot. I say it every year but next summer I'm going to work on my shooting before the season starts.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010077.jpg[/img]



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010096.jpg[/img]

She works tirelessly, busting cover. Nose going constantly. She lives for this. I'm sure she enjoys the walks, hikes, petting and fetching of tennis balls. But this. Walking the bush, smelling the ground, looking for birds. You can tell this is her heaven.



In all honesty if I couldn't hunt with dogs anymore I'd most likely quit the whole business. It's the dogs that make hunting birds so rewarding.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010093.jpg[/img]

She kicks out a ruffed grouse from some deadfall overgrown with willows. The bird flushes almost vertical and it makes for an easy shot. I mount and pull the trigger, the bird drops and is quickly retrieved. The first of the year is a smaller young bird but it feels good to have some weight in the game bag.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010100.jpg[/img]



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010089.jpg[/img]

She flushes out a few more out in thick cover that afternoon but with the leaves still on the trees I don't get good looks at any of them.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010090.jpg[/img]

Once again the clouds start to loom and they look like they're packing moisture so we walk back to the truck and head for home.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010102.jpg[/img]

There are years you go out and walk for miles between birds but it doesn't look like it will be that way this year. In just over a couple hours we flush out four and while there will be no sharp-tailed season, at least it appears there will be a decent crop of ruffed grouse to hunt.



[img]http://i1198.photobucket.com/albums/aa452/peetso1/P1010109.jpg[/img]

Grilled bacon wrapped grouse breast. There are few things tastier.[/report]
Last edited by peetso on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.
User avatar
By mrl0004
#419690
Awesome report. One of these days I would like to try bird hunting. Doesn't really matter what kind. So far turkey is as close as I've got. Here's to you! :cool
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