My final day of fishing with two good friends on the Arkansas River was humbling. We have a combined 100+ years of experience, but it didn’t matter. On a beautiful sunny, windless day with the river in great condition, we managed fewer than ten trout between us. The fish would bump a hopper once in a while, but I don’t think they meant to eat it. Dry/nymph droppers, double nymphs, streamers, attracter dries, nothing worked. There were no insects in the air and nothing rising. Still, no one fell in, and we thoroughly enjoyed being in good company on a gorgeous river with cottonwoods just beginning to turn. It sure beat what most folks were doing that day.
I want to follow up what I said in my previous post about bringing home useful reference even though the hunting or fishing might not have been that fruitful. Both photos shown there, the windmill and the sunflowers, are being incorporated into an oil painting I’m working on right now. Also being used as reference for this picture are other photos taken several years ago. So, in a way, I never get skunked!
It was a made-to-order dove opening weekend at our goose lease property. The record-setting relentless string of 90+ degree days gave way by Sunday, our first chance to hunt. It was sunny and breezy with a high of just 70. The doves weren’t plentiful, but enough for some good retrieving by our Labs and a chance to get some rust off our shooting. Tom provided a spacious new tent for his Pop and his father-in-law Dick for an overnighter nearby. We almost felt like kids again. Labor Day the shooting was slower, so we spent the middle of the day relocating to our traditional area near Last Chance. Again, the birds were sparse. We gave it a good try but decided not to see it through until sunset. Even on slow days I always find reference that can be put to use in a painting and this time was no exception. Regretfully,we won’t have another opportunity for doves this season. Interestingly, a third of our birds were Eurasian collard doves, a substantial increase over last year. After a couple of days of fishing still scheduled, ducks will be next. We did some blind maintenance while we were at the lease.