The Season Fades

As the last light of each day fades, so too, the season itself. The sun glistens through the fragile willow leaves, as they hold on for dear life, paving the way for a hibernation, of sorts, a shut-down. A period of routine preventative maintenance. The water, noticeably cooler, is running higher than it was just a few weeks ago, prompting a school of galaxiids into spawning mode. They cling together tightly over the shallow edge, nervously making progress as the trout cruising the drop-off is well aware of their intentions. Like a disobedient child, several stray too close, gaining immediate attention. There is a spray of bait fish in all directions as they hungry trout, keen to pack on condition prior to its own spawning, interrupts their conga-line with ferocity, contorting his body as he goes in the hope that the tail might paralyze a few that missed his mouth. The school quickly reform and proceed as the last of their fallen comrades meet round two of Mr. Browns pump session. A lone willow leaf falls as the sun dips below the hill, bringing a brown trout to the surface to explore. Only then do you notice that it’s not after the leaf at all, but a late-season mayfly taking advantage of the still conditions to dip her eggs in the water. She succeeds several times before narrowly evading the jaws of Mr. Brown. Now it’s your turn to enter this foolish game of cat and mouse, except you are the cat and the trout, a mouse. Your cheesy little number is tied on in the form of a deer-haired F-Fly, pungent with purpose. Clearly in a trance due to the previous mayfly dance, should you attribute your success to that very chance? It matters not, as you hold the little brown in your hand, retrieve your fly and gently let it go. Another leaf falls as the boobook owl calls, signalling that you are well overdue to be within your four walls. But all is not lost as there are precious few weeks left, to explore and to fish until the season is no more.

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