Stillness, Prairie Scenes and Trout

“How we spend or days is, of course, how we spend our lives”.

Annie Dillard


river shelter (1)

river shelter


“Jeez, it looks like I’m not going to have a lot of time to fish this October. I better make the most of the weekends this month: September. The first week is already almost done. It’s done, done, done….done like dinner. The month is going fast. So I better get out there. The forecast is calling for good weather tomorrow and Sunday. Nothing but blue skies! How rare. Not much luck in that department all through the latter part of August. It will be perfect for sight fishing. Perfect for spotting trout, especially when the sun climbs high. Their dark backs will show up in the shallows. If it’s a little breezy I might spot a few good ones moving around. They’ll be looking for what the wind has delivered. They are always easier to see when they prowl. Motion gives them away. You just have to be patient and watch. You use the sun to your advantage and wait and watch. Forget casting. When you feel like tossing something out there just to do something, or because you feel you won’t catch unless your fly is on the water, just say “No”. You have to fish with your eyes, not your arm. Stillness is your best weapon. Forget about all the equipment and technology: the breathable waders, the fast action graphite rod, WF fly line, a long leader and all the rest. That’s all fine and good but stillness is where it’s at. You can’t worry about getting skunked. Worry about that and you start casting everywhere. Then you spook fish. You spook the real good ones. You cast right over fish you should have seen. You even wade right on top of them and see them bolt. I’ve been there. I still go there sometimes when I get impatient. When I’m in a hurry. When it’s not happening for me. It’s not a good place. Stillness is better. I better get out there this weekend. It has already snowed once. Winter is coming. It think it’s coming early this year. It’s knocking at my door. I kind of feel it’s stalking me. Once it hits it will be a long wait until next season. No, I better get out there. I’ll go and spend a day”.


walk to river

bob st mary's my pics sept 6, 2014 064

ftbow2 (1)

rainbow on dry fly


river in distance


rainbow on dry fly

rd convoy

harvest time on prairies: convoy

rainbow trout on dry

rainbow trout on dry fly

big wind

it’s windy on the eastern slopes, photo r. dewey



5 thoughts on “Stillness, Prairie Scenes and Trout

  1. Good stuff Bob. I’ve been thinking the same thing. September comes and goes so fast. Gotta get while the gettings good. Hunted birds yesterday and today. Well, at least my wife and the dogs did. I tagged along with camera. This morning, we we’re on the leading edge of a front blowing down from your neck of the woods. A north wind and high thin clouds made for great walking and photos. Hope you have similar good conditions for getting out and about.
    Tomorrow? Hmmm….fishing!

    • Les: Yes, September goes by quick: too quick. Sounds like you just spent a nice Fall day hunting birds with family. BTW, checked your photo credits awhile back on your blog and you’ve been in (pics and writing) some great outdoor mags. I really liked the shots in Gray’s Sporting Journal of birding in Alaska on that open hilly terrain…amazing pictures. My favorite was called “resting” or something like that. It is a pic probably of your wife sitting with one of your dogs with an incredible hilly backdrop. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a Hardy (british) cover shot. An amazing series of photos. Also liked your pics on the slide show: silhouette shots, those ram pics, and of course bird dog shots. And another standout for me was a cover shot on a mag that might of been about cooking wild game or something like that. Gray’s…doesn’t get better than that.

      • Bob, thanks, glad you found enjoyment in some of those images. That shot of my wife Jo and her first dog Zach is pretty special. In one direction was the Pacific Ocean. Over the shoulder was the Bering Sea. Through binoculars, we watched a brown bear feeding in the estuary. We could see some notable caribou bulls too. To top it off, the “hilly backdrop” was the lower flank of a volcano. Coincidently, fair skinned as she is, I’ve always thought the picture to be “Hardyesque” as well.

        Thanks again, keep posting those great fish shots.

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