My 10-year-old son and I each grumbled at least a dozen times when a floating leaf spoiled a lure presentation before it ever got started. To be honest, though, I don’t mind the line-fouling leaf litter that accompanies autumn trout fishing.
In a strange way, I even like the floating leaves—I suppose because they are so specific to the season. Sort of like those stupidly cold mid-winter days that have an odd romance for true ice fanatics and equally grueling scorchers on Southern reservoirs at the opposite end of the seasonal spectrum.
I’m not saying that I like discomfort, but I do like distinct seasons and ongoing change, and the extreme days and seasonal inconveniences come with that change. I enjoy shifts in how the air feels and how things around me look. I also like the seasonal changes in fish behavior and water conditions that allow me to fish many different ways.
It doesn’t seem like long ago that I was wading wet in a river and was comfortable thigh deep in the water. Next week’s fishing outings to Dale Hollow, a couple of streams and Illinois’ Rend Lake will seem like late fall, with bronzes having replaced bright colors in the trees and far more bite in the air. And strange as it seems, it really won’t be that long before folks in some areas will start testing early ice.
Of course, when I find my way north a little later and am out on the ice, trying to string line through a tiny ice-jig eye with frozen-feeling fingers, I’ll likely grumble a bit. I really don’t mind, though. It goes with the season.