Dick Herfindahl: Hunting is just around the corner, but don’t put away the fishing tackle just yet

Published 9:43 pm Friday, August 18, 2017

Woods & Water by Dick Herfindahl

It just doesn’t seem possible that summer is slowly slipping away and I have not been able to get up to the cabin as much as I have in past years. I am hoping to find some time a little later in the fall to enjoy a few days there. The cool days and even cooler nights that we were experiencing the past couple of weeks gave me the distinct feeling that fall is just around the corner. There is that certain smell in the cool evening air that seems to send the message to my nostrils telling me that fall may be closer that I think.

As a lot of you folks know, my favorite season is definitely fall and I always seem to wish that season would last a lot longer. This is a season that is as unpredictable as the wind and I would always like to believe that we will have a normal fall. On the other hand, what really is normal when it comes to this very unpredictable season?

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I can look back and remember fondly the fall fishing trips that my old neighbor Gene and I would take to Spider Lake. In all honesty we never did catch a boatload of fish, although we did do quite well on northern and bass. The beauty of the lake coupled with the fall colors more than made fall fishing special. There were a few times when we were out on the lake and a squall with high winds and down pouring rains would seemingly come out of nowhere. On more than one occasion, as we would be crossing the mouth of Bass Bay and when I looked to the west there was a wall of water descending on us. I immediately headed for shore and the cover of a nearby cabin that sat on a point that was only accessible by water. As I pulled up to their dock we jumped out and headed to the woodshed which offered us just enough cover to stay out of the brunt of the storm.

One thing that that can be said about a fall storms is that they can be over about as fast as they start. It was kind of strange how one moment we were in the middle of a downpour and very strong winds and the next it would be sunny and relatively calm. It was not unusual to have as many as three or four of these squalls in a days worth of fishing. One thing about Gene and I was that we would spend very little time on land or in the camper because fishing was our mission and we wasted little or no daylight.

I can recall one particular trip we had taken that started in September and ended in first part of October. This was probably one of the most memorable trips when it comes to witnessing the sheer beauty of the fall. The leaves peaked in the middle of the week and by the time we were heading home it was past peak and a lot of the leaves that were glowing brightly when we first arrived had since fallen. One of the most memorable moments of this trip was the day that the lake was like glass and as the sun shone brightly over the forest and waters there appeared to be cobwebs descending from the tree tops all the way to the water. As Gene and I marveled at the unique beauty of the moment, he told me that he had heard about something like this before from his dad. His dad told him that the Indians believed that this was the sign of a true Indian summer. Hearing that just added a little mystique to the beauty of the whole event and it also etched the image of that beautiful trip forever in my memories.

Although we are just past the middle of August on the calendar, I find it hard to believe that it is already time to think about hunting. Early goose season starts on Sept. 9 and runs through the 18. The youth waterfowl day is on Sept. 9 and the archery season for deer opens on the 16 of September. The deadline for purchasing antlerless deer and special hunt permits is on Sept. 7.

It is hard to believe that I just said goodbye to my third oldest grandson Dylan, as he headed off to college this week. Last year my two oldest grandsons, Trevor and Taylor both started college and now this year Dylan is doing the same. The boys have always made me proud and just seeing what fine young men they have become makes my chest well with pride.

Until next time: take some time to sit by a lake just to enjoy a sunset. Or you can take a drive in the country with windows down to enjoy the feeling of the evening dew as it engulfs the foliage of the countryside.

Please take some time to honor those that have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today, also take a little extra time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.