Thursday, September 1, 2011

It's safe to go back in the woods

Summer is on the wane and the campgrounds will soon be deserted. While some lament the passing of summer, I don't. And it really hasn't ended, it's just that Labor Day for many means its time to head back to school, and shut down the summer cottage. This is the time between summer and fall, and I start coming alive, after suffering through the heat of July and August. It's time to take up the fly rod again to pack in as many fishing days as possible to sustain me through the chill of winter. Michigan poet Mike Delp calls going fly-fishing "pulling the rip cord." I'm headed to what I call my lost rivers, ones that for some reason or another I haven't fished in a decade or so. I'm going through old sets of county maps looking for the makes I've made on them for the last 30 years, looking for my old access sites. The coffee-stained maps, perhaps five or six sets, many of them with missing pages, lost years ago. I worry that those pages are my lost rivers, pages that were so well-used that they fell out of the book. They contain notations of places to fish and what flies worked. Perhaps I'll just have to work from memory, and that's often the best way because then you prompt yourself to remember just the good times.

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