My hands were numb and my core trembled, as I stood at the edge of the Peace River. Slogging up the muddy banks, casting streamers and searching for willing fish. Thinking that I should’ve worn a toque and warmer clothes.
Just yesterday we sat outside drinking a pint in the sunshine, formulating plans, just in shirtsleeves and thinking that the indian summer might last forever.
Today however, the threat of snow hung heavy in the air.
“This north wind can fuck right off”
I turned downstream to see Chauncey walking towards me, carrying beer, cursing the wind and reading my mind.
With the dog laid up and grouse on hold, the plan was to hit the big river for walleye. The river doesn’t really clear up during the summer. First muddied by spring runoff, then early summer rains, then dam releases, it stays that way for most of the year.
By fall however, the river is clear enough to fish properly and this time of year the walleye fishing can be phenomenal.
Today, however had been a bust. A late start, forgotten equipment, a lack of provisions, a bitter wind and walleye that would follow tight to the bank but never eat.
So we sat on the bank, drinking spiced ales, ruminating on winters passed and trying to find excuses to stay out, instead of cowering back to the heat of the truck.
I drank the last of my beer, clipped off the current fly and tied on a big articulated red and yellow streamer, hoping to salvage something.
Three casts and the line came tight. And by the singing of the reel, it was quite obviously not a walleye.
And as I sat crouched, watching the pike swim off, Chauncey had already packed up the gear and was headed downstream to the truck. He called over his shoulder
“Well, that’s a good place to end it. The heaters singing its song to the unacclimatized.”