Our days days are numbered.
Partially in an eternal sense but also in a closer sense of shorter days, plastic holiday trimmings in the fishing isle and the specter of purchasing gifts for people you haven’t seen in years but your wife insists really are close friends. But fall is for fixing, stowing, remembering and if the wallet allows, travelling before the weather closes us in. Better days and better fishing is supposed to be just a car or plane ride away and we are fortunate to have several places and events on the fall calendar to keep us informed and happy, you’ll just have to travel a bit.
Travelling to fish or hunt helps keep our perspective in line about how the world looks beyond the Bitter Ocean State and how our freedoms and open spaces compare.
Welcome to Rhode Island.
Rhode Works logo from a current administration supported means of collecting tolls on commercial vehicles to pay for deficient bridges, which prior administrations allowed to crumble, now used on all major roadway rebuilding projects to deceive drivers into thinking toll money is already hard as work. It’s not.
All travel involves risk, like delays, lost baggage or worse. Cramped into a seat the width of a runway model, comparing bald spots on heads in front of you, including that guy in First Class who just had to have a vodka cranberry before you could even enter the cabin, you listen to a safety talk where flight attendants mime those specific actions you will need to take in the event of a water landing, like it’s a casual affair, an option airlines offer instead of legroom and real snacks. Knowing there’s a flotation device with handy straps under my cramped behind affords me no real comfort; having the drink cart locked and loaded next to me when the captain lights the “buckle up sailors” sign would.
In the event of my demise while away, my ultimate fear is that my wife will sell my guns and rods for what I said I paid for them.
In South County, those who appreciate our natural environment can join the amazing Kira Stillwell at the RI Natural History Survey for tea on Wednesday afternoon’s. The Survey is located in URI’s East Farm and 4-5pm each Wednesday they open their doors for a discussion on the state of our environmental affairs, dates of interest, nature news and any observations you might have.
The Survey catalogs physical members of our local world; adding you to the mix gives them perspective on how we are interacting or being affected by the same. And in a busy world, a cup of tea with some very cool people just might help keep us in balance.
Also, registration is now open for Peace Dale Shooting Preserve’s winter league
Travelling early helps; what’s more special than waiting to check into an airline at 4:45am behind a chunky woman in her daughter’s sorority sweatpants and fur-lined moccasins who’s complaining to someone via cell phone who apparently doesn’t understand English unless it’s spoken at Motorhead level? Then you form another sad line as the nice TSA lady reminds us to empty pockets, remove belts and be prepared for an impersonal but thoroughly intimate “patting down” if we don’t do exactly as she says. The Chinese philosopher Laozi wrote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” but I’ll bet it was not in tattered tie-dye socks, struggling to hold up relaxed fit jeans with arms above your head, clenching a boarding pass while developing mental excuses for not removing your watch.
Around the Capital City, the Providence River should start turning on again as stripers head up for winter depths. Productive spots like the Gano Street boat ramp and the Pawtucket Boat Launch on the Seekonk River are good places to start a hunt for fall bass. Falling fall water temperatures spur their desire to feed before most forage fishes have migrated south so there’s plenty of time to catch the occasional stubborn bluefish or keeper sized bass while crowds have generally dispersed. Squid are still feeding along our inshore waters and if there are squid then you know there’ll be bass.
Sitting upright for 4 hours is an exercise in minimalism, of muscular efficiency. To avoid nudging the businessman in a stained charcoal suit which fit him last year or the darling precocious young boy two seats over who, for now, is calm, each reach or page turn must be silent and without error. Once situated, everything I own eventually drops out of reach. On several occasions the sacred beverage cart passed me by as I had no means to pay for my wallet lay wedged between the fuselage and a boot I could not move. Flight attendants lingered with paying passengers in seats C and D. They sensed my helplessness.
In Boston, the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition will host their second Cold Water/Cold Beer, Trout In a Time of Drought event at the Patagonia retail store on Newbury Street. The night is co-sponsored by Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate, Patagonia and Ipswich Brewery and will feature several speakers. Adam Kautza, the new cold water biologist for Mass Wildlife, Wayne Castonguay, Executive Director, Ipswich River Watershed Association and Julia Blatt, Executive Director, Mass Rivers Alliance will all present conditions and ideas about our current drought and it’s persistent effects on cold water fishes like trout and salmon.
Ipswich Brewery will be pouring the beer while you listen learn and check out raffles from Patagonia and various other sponsors. It’s really important to note that part of this fun night is discussion on restoration successes. We are making progress opening waterways, preserving shorelines and river banks while continuing to understand how we learn from each weather or human event. Geoffrey Day, Executive Director of the Coalition, is a positive force whose dedication to preserving brook trout and their habitat will give you a real personal boost when you shake his hand and open the door to conversation about those magical and pressured cold water fishes. You can purchase tickets on a sliding scale at https://www.gofundme.com/trout-in-drought or check out their own website at www.searunbrookiw.org.
Ultimately, restricted arm room has improved my fly casting. For those many hours my elbows were tight to my torso, that page-turning precision and slow deliberate attempts to contort my upper body to retrieve my wallet made me, for the first time, graceful.
Travelling had transferred my seasonal angst to a place of Zen, so I closed my eyes to envision casting for steelhead on The Snake , just me and my seven weight, as my egg sucking leach made its final descent to the surface and spilled a Coke Zero all over the young boy.