Deer season started Friday while I was busy at work, but my stands have been set for a couple of weeks to allow nature to get back to normal. I drove up early Saturday morning to try and sneak in before the sun peaked over the ridge. I had set up two stands, one a tree stand and the other a pop-up blind. Truthfully speaking, I really enjoy hunting out of the blind better due largely to the concealment factor. I make it a point to sit almost all day and I like to read, drink water, fidget, and lay down for several power naps without worrying about my movement throughout the day. So as I pulled my truck up to walk to my stand I notice another truck already parked along the road. As I walk down the beat up ATV path, I come across another truck and about the spot I would turn into the woods towards my blind, another truck is parked with 4 guys gearing up, talking loudly, and having a beer…at 5 in the morning. I made an executive decision to turn around and sit in the tree stand, but already my day felt ruined. My best laid plans had gone awry and my spirit was greatly deflated. A long story short, the only wildlife I saw was a pack of blue jays which squawked so loud all morning it gave me a headache. I sat until 11 when the sun was high in the sky and I decided to make another change of plans.

I was on the water by noon, fly rod in hand and a smile on my face. It was a Saturday, the Rim was crowded with weekenders, and I had the small stream completely to myself. The fish were eager and hungry even during the hot midday of August and the mini hopper proved again to be extremely effective. I fished every pool slowly, taking my time, until the monsoon rain opened up a few hours later. I took shelter under the large pines that guard this creek and as I stood waiting and watching, I took stock of my situation in life and wondered again why God continues to bless me in every way. I have a beautiful wife who does not raise her eyebrows when I tell her I am going fishing or hunting, I have a job I enjoy, I have a roof over my head and food in my belly, and I am standing next to a beautiful mountain creek catching wild fish on dry flies. God is good and I thank him for these things.

Lesson of the day: Always bring your fly rod when you go hunting, just don’t expect to hunt too hard.

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