Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Coliseum of Fall

It's mid-October in Delaware and the temperatures are still approaching the eighties on a daily basis. For the most part, the leaves are still green. As I entered my truck for the drive home, everything felt like summer and there wasn't a hint of Fall in the air. Two hours north, in the heart of Pennsylvania, the Fall season is nearing its peak. Leaves are yellow, orange, red, and every shade in between. When I exited my vehicle in Pennsylvania, my senses immediately registered everything there is to love about Fall, my favorite being the smell. Try as I might, it is hard to put into words how much I love the smell of dead leaves rustling through the wind. It ranks a close second to the smell of an old growth forest after a brief thunderstorm. There is also a slight chill in the air, something that is noticeably absent in Delaware. Fall is definitely here and the signs are everywhere.

Early the next morning, I headed into the Lehigh Gorge to try enticing a few brown trout on the swing. The gorge was a coliseum of Fall colors with a beautiful river careening through it. The walls of the gorge are a mix of coniferous evergreens intermixed with deciduous yellows. A perfect backdrop for the lone angler swinging in the mist. Leaves litter the ground, obscuring every boulder and sharp rock making an already sketchy hike and wade more dangerous. They are also being flushed downriver which interrupts most of my swings and entangles my running line as it tries to shoot across river. My goal was to swing the deep dark pools hoping to lure a large brown from his lair. It was not to be. The water temperature was still a little too warm due to the Lehigh's tragic flaw. However, the trout hunkered in the riffles, where I was able to entice a few on a swing and strip. As the morning progressed, the sun slowly overtook the fog that shrouded the Lehigh from the outside world. A large crowd arrived to hike and bike through the Fall scenery and that was my cue to leave. 

Fall has to be one of the best times of year to be an angler. Trout are on the feed preparing for the spawn and the coming difficulties of winter. They are more than eager to chase large streamers after the hot doldrums of summer. For the fish, their wardrobes change as they put on their spawning colors. This just happens to coincide with the changing of the seasons which provides the angler with a beautiful backdrop and a beautiful living thing to mine from the depths. 

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