Change by Mark Usyk
I don’t like change. For the most part it’s true. Why can’t everything be the way it was when I was a kid. Why does everything need to change? Sometimes it’s for better. You can dial 911 from just about anywhere now. I suppose that change is for the better. But it’s possible because of these things we carry around in our pockets all the time now, except they usually aren’t in your pocket. They’re always in your hand. Not for the better. Does everything have to change until the life you remember as a child is completely gone in the life you have as an adult?
I don’t like change. I guess I’m old now. But I suppose there’s one change I still look forward to. The changing of the seasons. Fall is on its way. It’s been a hot and wet summer. Heavy, consistent rains. Floods. Heat. Mosquitos. I like the summer, don’t get me wrong. I love kayaking across a lake, casting to lily pads in search of bass and bluegills, the sun beating down and reflecting on the movement of the water. It makes me feel as if I’m on a vacation even if it’s only a couple hours on the water in the middle of a busy day. I look forward to summer as I live through spring. And now I look forward to fall as summer winds down.
Fall means returning to the small streams I love so much up north. They hold brook trout and pocket water and river bottoms covered in stones that have been moving down stream for thousands of years little by little, shaped by time as much as by water and other rocks. The leaves will be changing, no more green besides the evergreens. Instead it’s oranges, yellows, reds, purples, the stuff that makes an artist’s head swim with emotion. And the brook trout will do their best to rival the leaves. Everything colors up in the fall as if it all knows what’s coming next, like a fair well party with fireworks and paper streamers.
As much as I love standing in a river in January or February in silence with a heavy snow coming down, as much as I love the first sight of insects hatching on a creek in the spring as the buds have just begun to turn into leaves no bigger than a squirrels ear, as much as I love bass fishing with a 7wt and a popper in the summer heat…I also love wandering upstream on an Adirondack brook trout stream as leaves fall and float on the current, the water logged leaves resting on the bottom of slow pools as more are just letting go of the trees. As they fall, other than the sound of the water, the only sounds are those of the leaves falling, light scraping sounds as they pass through the branches and the leaves still holding on.
On an overcast and cool day I’ll be comfortable in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt and ball cap. Much more under my waders and I’ll be too warm. Sweating is for the summer, which is now behind me. Now I want to see my breath early in the morning or in the evening as I sit by a small camp fire, but during the day it should be just about perfect. These are the perfect fall days. They don’t last long, so I get ready for them all year knowing if I’m not, I might miss them and then have to look forward to them all year once again.
Mark Usyk is the author of Reflections of a Fly Rod and Carp Are Jerks. Books full of stories about life where fishing happens. They’re available right here on jprossflyrods.com and on Amazon in e-book format. His third book, Not All Trout Are Geniuses, should be out in November. What’s rods has he been fishing lately? He’s had a JP Ross Peacemaker fused to his hand on most outings for three years now, but over the past couple months the new JP Ross S Glass has been bending to his will and he says it’s quickly becoming a go-to rod for him. Check out all our rods while you’re here, as well as our other products for the outdoors! Simply Fish! Or as Mark says… “Call in sick and go fishing.”