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- Category Hunting Stories
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- Prostaff Member Trout Whisperer
Every year I take the same ten days off from everything. It's called a vacation. I get a vacation from everything except paying my taxes. This vacation I wanted to find fall. I was looking for autumn. I was shall we say, kinda wore out from a bruising year.
So I’m up off the echo trail kayaking, jump shooting ducks whilst floating south in flad creek. From out of the tree tops roars a flock of popple and birch leaves. They swooped down over some sandbar willow skipped a few times off my woolen green watch cap and landed on the east shore. Right there in that Winnie the pooh moment, I was swept into the fall of 2009. One year, of all that work garbage, vanished.
First part of the week and after Three trips back at my cabin cutting firewood I felt like I was at the ninth grade dance just working up the nerve to ask someone. I was close, but it just didn't feel right. Leaves were all colored, I could smell fall but something wasn't quite right. It all looked good, but I wasn't feeling good about it.
Just south of Canada in the same week I was salmon fishing from river to river and catching one coaster brook trout after another. Coaster season closed in September, so they had to all go back. Great fishing, but it's like missing a turn on an old familiar road. I felt autumn was getting away from me. Then the wind sent falling leaves. Just leaves.
Flad creek is one of several back doors to a main basin on the vermillion river. You get to park on a non-descript piece of gravel. No parking lot. No one else around. It's me and the great north woods. I slowly wade into some of the thickest gooiest black muck left on earth. Then after paddling and crawling over countless beaver dams and every single beaver pond I flush wood ducks. They whistle, fly away, way away, down stream, I cuss.
Now with No more beaver bridges to navigate I’m back in the long currents this suddenly flowing black water slowly opens into a wild rice factory growing out from either shore. The current picks up, now I’m just steering quietly.
I put up forty triple curl mallards. These are the big ones that grew fat in Canadian grain fields and quack as they smash the waters surface as they rise to get away from some number four steel. Many did, two stayed behind.
The river got me here and the ducks, oh how we danced a day in the marshiest muckiest duckiest day a guy could have. Sometimes you just have to keep looking but its there. It wasn't in the wood shed this year, I couldn't find it in a north shore stream but low and behold just about the time I was gonna run out of October the leaves fell one last time, and I think it was perfect for me.