Sight-casting to redfish is one of the pure joys of the outdoors.
Originally published on Sunday, November 18, 2012
Days are shorter, life is faster and a "thank you" is harder to come by these days.
The wild is where we go to forget about the tension that maligns our world today. If your heart is heavy, give the outdoors a shot. Better yet, sit down and write down your blessings.
Here are a few of mine:
Bend of a fine-tuned piece of graphite
Red earlobes from a cold boat ride. Redfish tailing in the shallows. The first sound of autumn specklebellies. A setting sun on Galveston Bay. Speckled trout dunking a cork on a San Antonio Bay reef. The salty-sweet taste of a Matagorda Bay oyster.
Geese hitting a fresh-cut rice field
Flounder staging on the drop-off near Sea Wolf Park. Football-sized specks at the wells in Trinity Bay. Watching water leave the marsh on a hard northern and contemplating leaving the decoys. The wheeze of a plump greenhead. Two-pound sand trout pulling drag.
The sight of water-filled ditches after a solid rain
Snow geese slicing through a dense fog. LCRA giving the okay for rice water. Blue-winged teal as thick as the mosquitoes I am swatting. Working a small Super Spook over a grassy pothole. Attending a Ducks Unlimited banquet.
My dog's first hunt after months on the disabled list
Pintails working a secluded marsh pond near Rockport. Giggling as my wife struggles to land a big fish.
El Campo whitewings blistering sunflowers on opening day
A heavy-horned eight-point with six more winter to live. Yard-long redfish turning the water orange at the jetty. The shrill of sandhill cranes leaving the roost. The sight of a greater Canada goose flying with a bunch of cacklers. A field of green blanketed by white. My daughter excited about wearing camouflage.
Gulls hovering over a school of hungry trout
Flounder rushing out of Rollover Pass. Canvasbacks flying with a dozen redheads in Port O'Connor. A chopped beef sandwich from Jr's after a fast hunt on the Pierce Ranch. The spray of a trophy speck smacking on a topwater. Silver kings rolling on the beachfront.
A trash-can-sized slick with a distinct watermelon aroma
The wake of rooting redfish along a West Matagorda Bay shoreline. Birds working in the middle of Sabine Lake. Five dozen greenwings working the Cameron Parish marsh.
And don't forget
Watching the sun ease over the eastern horizon, knowing God is still in control.
Bink Grimes is a freelance writer, photographer, author and licensed captain (firstname.lastname@example.org).