If today is the last day of September, that means October, probably my favorite month of the whole year, starts tomorrow.
To be sure, October is my birth month, so what’s not to like?
Looking back, October has always been a good month for football. I played football in high school, though I wasn’t particularly good at it. Of course, one good thing about high school football is that you need a lot of people to come out for the team so, if nothing else, the good players have someone to practice against.
October was a good month for football because those two-a-day practices of August were a distant memory and in October we were in as good shape as we’d ever be. Also, as we usually played just an eight game schedule, we’d be done with football at the end of October.
This political year, I can also look back and blow some peoples’ minds by mentioning that the last time I put on cleats and pads, President Dwight Eisenhower was wrapping up his campaign for reelection. Yes, that part of my life was a long time ago.
September is a time of transition, as we move from late summer to early autumn. This week we have a friend coming from some distance for several days of fishing on area streams. The weather forecast looks pretty decent, so I suspect we’ll have a good time, and we’ll likely catch some fish, too.
After he moves on, however, I’ll most likely be done with fishing until early spring, as when October comes, my attention shifts, primarily, to hunting, especially after the pheasant season opens.
Grouse hunting should improve a bit in coming weeks as the aspens drop their leaves and visibility gets better. That doesn’t prove much, as on my last outing, Kiri, our black Lab, and I made a walk in the woods for grouse. We put up just one bird, and that flushed in an open spot and flew straight away, giving me an easy shot. It would have been easy, except that I was surprised when the bird took wing, and after I got over my surprise I fumbled with the safety on my gun, and by the time I had my act together, the bird had disappeared off into the trees. We tried to find it again for another flush, but it gave us the slip.
Fortunately, my fishing went better. In a couple hours on the Big Hole, I caught five fish, including a 15-inch brown trout that totally made my day. I was able to slip the hook from its jaw without actually touching the fish or taking it out of the water, so it’s still out there, hopefully none the worse for wear.
One thing I’ve been pleased about this September is that, once we got past that early snowfall and hard freeze, we’ve had relatively mild weather. I managed to keep my garden from freezing out in that early blast of winter, so I’m still harvesting tomatoes just about every day. It’ll soon be time to close out the gardening season and clean things up before winter begins, but I appreciate the extended growing season we’ve had to this point.
On a more personal note, I’ll also mention that this first week of October will mark 25 years since I entered the world of outdoor journalism.
It was quite a change going from my previous career as a government manager, living by rules and procedures, and working with a team of fellow workers to get things done.
Freelance writing, especially the framework of newspaper columns, was quite the change. Instead of working with a team of people, it’s basically just me, sitting in a home office, daring words to show up on a computer monitor.
Thankfully, the words keep coming. In fact, I’ll mention that in the next couple weeks I will have a new book out, titled, “Golden Years, Golden Hours; thoughts and reflections on fly-fishing, hunting and aging.”
Yes, October is a good month.