Autumn is the shortest season
I can't prove it, but, I do believe the Fall of the year passes more quickly then any other season. Some would say that Spring passes too quickly. Yet, I recall the first day of Spring this year I had three inches of snow on the ground before dark and it was the middle of May before the air conditioner kicked into overdrive. Chances are you won't see snow on the first day of Fall as it will more likely feel like Summer isn't over. Not least, winter is often well entrenched by Deer season and occasionally lingers on until Turkey season in mid April. In stark contrast, the Fall of the year can be gone in less then a week! One bright day somewhere in the middle of October you are looking at sunshine and mid eighties for temperatures. Every Maple tree is a glorious red and the hillsides are in the very prime of color. Overnight a rainstorm comes through, leaves are gone, and everyone is packing for deer camp! I stay just a bit on edge come September for very good reason. After all, I could blink and miss my favorite time of the year to be on the river. The Fall is so short, in fact, that I can hardly allow a day to go by without having a boat paddle in hand, quietly manuevering one of my canoes along a peaceful stretch of Ozark river. More often then not, I'm alone. I like it that way when the woods are silent. Somewhere in the middle of the summer, nesting was finished and the migratory birds left out, headed south. It just gets quiet out there. And, being alone, I get just that much more observant and connected to the outdoors. As one with nature, with wildlife as I can become. Normally, creek water is crystal clear at this time of the year and are at their lowest flow-rates. All of these conditions combined make for the very finest float trips. Not least, there is just something about moving along in a canoe at my own pace that can bring the very best of outdoor reward. I won't make as many casts with the fishing rod and by October, I'll have my turkey gun in the canoe for added dimension. Last year, I had a little flock of young birds fly across the creek in front of the canoe on Corps of Engineer property near mid day. I allowed the current to move me within range without sound or movement on my part. One of those special times, indeed. When I pulled the trigger my bird dropped and flopped in place. Then, when I eased up the bank to recover him I found that I had two birds. I had filled my limit with one shot. Did I mention big bass are on the move, too? As I said, I'll be making fewer casts; but, the targets are more obvious come Fall. When the water levels are low and the water is clear, I'm looking for the deepest, darkest water that I can find as I'm floating. A big topwater bait will be tied on and I'll be casting well ahead of the canoe because of the extreme water clarity. Almost without fail, I'll tie into a dandy bass or two during the day. It could be a Smallmouth, a Largemouth, or both. Naturally, all are released to be caught another day come next Fall. Make it a point this year to not miss a Fall float trip when the conditions are perfect. You will have to be quick though because it will winter all too quickly.