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Last Day of the Season

It comes every year. Every fishing season has a closing day. Ok so it varies, it’s different on certain rivers, some lakes,  salmon vs trout, you can extend it out a little bit.

You have to accept the closing though and the last day of the fishing season is one that we have grown to mark.

The last day of September, when the majority of our rivers close to trout and salmon fishing and is the end date on one of my favourite rivers. 

It has become for us a special day. A day we sneak off work, take leave or just feel justified in not turning up. A duvet day on the river!

People have marked the Summer & Winter solstice for millennia, turning points in their year, these are celebrated markers in the annual cycle of light & heat.

So too is closing day a turning point in the year for us anglers.

We transition back into better partners, mams, dads, workers knowing that the pull of the water like a tide has pulled out and not to start to swell till opening day again approaches.

The last day of the season used to be a sad day in one sense as there is always more fishing to be done, flies, spots and techniques to try, yearning for that pull, take, or rise.

However with the passing seasons I have grown to cherish this last day and look forward to marking & enjoying it.

It’s a Wednesday this year, midweek.

Perfect in a way, the river will not be as busy as if it was a closing day at the weekend, more hardcore in a sense.

Company was going to be scarce. I called the Fishbum and it was a date, lunch was on me though. That was no problem, that was a bonus. 

The river and water looked beautiful. The banks were splendid with the autumnal hue well developed. We were full of hope & expectation. We fished hard, knowing we would not have this opportunity again until Spring. 

It wasn’t happening before lunch and we lingered over our second coffee a lot longer than normal, discussing the merits of calling it a day.

It was the last day, we had to see it out. 

We moved upriver, fresh beautiful enchanting water. We doubled down. Fishbum was casting beautifully, another season of conditioning honed into his muscle memory. It wasn’t happening for him.

In the last pool before we packed up, I put a heavier fly on, I hit him, or she hit me, a handshake, a parting. 

Just like the season, gone.

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