Fall Fishing, Bush Fatigue

What better time to wet your line than under cool skies backdropped by brilliant colors reflected in the glassy water surface? It’s New England at its finest; at least that’s how I view it, and judging from the annual fall tourism trade, outsiders concur.

From what I’ve seen thus far in the uplands, it looks like a brilliant foliage season is about to blossom. The sugar bush is already a mellow yellow, and soon, after the frosts, it’ll explode into near-florescent orange. Although I know of no foolproof formula, our soggy summer had to be beneficial. We’ll soon find out, but the harbingers of a brilliant fall are here. A tease at this point, a subtle hint of what’s to come, landscape euphoria, a spiritual updraft before the deep freeze and chimney smoke, remnant of hard-earned cash wafting to the heavens. It can be a dreadful sight these days, frightening, in fact, to some, lucrative, of course, to others. Count me among the former. Like other working slobs, I wonder where the money will come from. And as I ponder that dilemma, the reincarnation of Herbert Hoover and his cronies are on the boob-tube daily pleading with that proud lot who twice elected them to further fatten the rich with tax dollars from those who dread winter bills? Imagine that: bail out the Wall Street predators, idle rich who’ve been at the wheel to this economic Pearl Harbor? It’s not difficult to understand why the proletariat and their legislators, even those of the incumbent party, are reluctant to support a lame-duck administration saddled with credibility peering up at zero?

But, let’s not digress. Why accentuate the negative, the depressing? Extract yourself from it all, focus on the playoffs or weekend football, stack wood, turn on Dr. Phil or Oprah or Springer or anything but a dysfunctional government speeding toward the ancient oak. Better still, dig out your fishing rods and head to a nearby lake or stream. Local anglers will be pleased to learn that MassWildlife’s annual fall trout-stocking trucks have been on the road this week, depositing 66,000 rainbows and browns, a foot long or better, in a body of water near you. According to information supplied on the agency’s Web site, local stream fishermen will find what they’re looking for in the Deerfield and Millers rivers, while lake and pond enthusiasts will be happy with the developments at Ashfield Pond (in the vernacular, Ashfield Lake), Laurel Lake in Erving, North Pond in Florida, Upper Highland Lake in Goshen, Lake Mattawa in Orange, Lake Wyola in Shutesbury, and Sheomet Pond and Laurel Lake in Warwick.

Raised at the Belchertown, Montague and Sandwich state hatcheries, the frisky fall trout might offer respite from the dire straights we’re in. After eight years of opening your quarterly 401-K statements with trepidation, there’s a glint of light in the deep, dark well, elections on the way; then this looming disaster. Sounds like high time to hang the sarcastic “Gone Fishing” sign for the front door.

It’s gotten that bad, this Lone Star State fiasco. Let us pray an Alaskan Hail Mary ain’t next.

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