I used to live in rural Kansas and this is the time of year we always looked forward to. To be In the woods as the first birds begin to sing, to hear the turkeys fly down off their roosts. I loved fishing for bass with my fly rod at the various church ponds. In the spring we caught huge bass and crappie. Here's two kids with their birds on opening day. Steve Schroeder sent me this photo of his son and his son's friend. .Next year I'm going back to see if I can get a tom myself.
The Cast, a fly fishing newsletter I am working on with VisitCasper.com has launched its newest feature, You can check it out here: The Cast I managed to get wild horses, Jim Harrison, and Chad Hanson all in the same piece.
We had a rare nice day this week. The winds were light and the temps soared to the mid 40s. I went out to the public access along the North Platte to try for an early season rainbow. I didn't move a fish. But the evening was nice and the dogs got a chance to stretch their legs.
I have a new project to announce. Working with Visitcasper.com , we've come up with a 12 episode newsletter we are calling The Cast. Here's a link https://visitcasper.com/the-cast-the-sweet-stuff/ to the first episode. The Cast will be a place where we will celebrate the fishing around Casper and beyond. I hope you'll sign up and read some issues.
Fresh off the presses, the new edition of The Drake is out. My feature, Mosquito and Char, is in this issue right beside one of my literary heroes, Tom McGuane. My story is a fishing story with a twist. Bill Mixer, my hand model and coffee epicure, is in this version, though we cut his role severely.
I went out with Chad Hanson to look at wild horses and wet a line. The horses cooperated, but the fish did not. I used to not give up so easily, but when your guides are full of ice the line won't flow through your rod, and when you can't cast, why bother? It was a beautiful day and Henderson got to scare up a flock of 14 wild ducks as a bonus.
We finished the upland bird season this week with a limit of roosters. Rocket surprised me by hunting wire to wire, never taking a day off, always being the last dog to load up. Henderson made great strides too, but he gives up early and doesn't quite have it all worked out yet. He loves rivers and fields. He loves to run, but he hasn't quite tuned in yet to what we're going. It will come. It was a great season. Thank god Wyoming has so much public land and walk-in areas. It was a pleasure to meet some of the game wardens this season. Those guys and gals work hard to keep opportunities open for all of us.
This time of year is a good time to take all of those wild bird carcasses and make some stock. I made a bunch this week. I used the legs and thighs of 5 pheasants, a whole woodcock, and the skeleton of a roasted blue grouse. I also baked a slab of Alaska rockfish in lime juice, garlic, and what-have-you. My old dog Rocket has hunted through the season. He's beat up. At 14 (that's 98 for humans) I'm keenly aware that it hurts him. But when a dog like that comes around (and they don't come around) how can you leave them home? After a big day in the uplands, I don't expect him to rise. But he rises, stiffly, and shakes off the years. Look for a post about him later this year.