“This morning is one of the mysterious and bewitching days. Surely it is not that the summer is ended, the green year passing, the winter coming, that gives such peculiar influence to the days. Something has been poured out into the air from the land of magic. It has been steeped with atmospheric wine, and we drink by breathing a subtile and exhilarating elixir.” – Henry Ward Beecher, 1862
On the morning ride, we inhaled until we were gasping. The family took the drive to Houston on Wednesday to visit the grandparents, and to get Dad into a little fall fishing on the Parks. The scenes embodied the essence of living in Alaska, and reminded us of what we had to hold onto in the coming months. The hills were ablaze with birch yellows and tundra reds, the earth exhaling a benevolence that seemed to apologize for the rains that saturated late summer. Denali received the same transmission that Pioneer Peak did, and she unveiled herself for the entire drive to Talkeetna. Montana Creek was on board as well, and I fished in a t-shirt all day, though I brought the closet in anticipation of cold, steel rain. I didn’t have much success as far as fish went, but on a day like this, even I really didn’t care. I lost a real nice bow upriver, and managed to fool this aggressive grayling on a caddis. Fishing a dry fly in the bold autumn sun might have been a mistake. I now cannot think that any other kind of fishing exists, and if it does, that any other method or season is worth any effort. Sadly, in Alaska, that experience is more elusive than the aurora.
Pioneer Peak over the Knik River
Ahhhh! The payoff, caddis-style