I once caught October and held it wriggling in my hand before it swam away.

 

Smaller than one might expect - only fourteen inches long - yet, there it was.

 

The trout’s flank - a shining field of goldenrod backlit by the setting sun. Deep, olive-green hemlock forests shot through with somber browns of oak along its back.

 

Black spots - the eyes of whitetail deer as they ghost through aspen thickets. Scattered dots of crimson - blood from the hunters harvest spilled on ocher forest floor.

 

Gill plate tinged with blue from a sky so clear and bright that thoughts drift unbidden to early season grouse hunts with dog still rusty and birds more often heard than seen.

 

Leading edge of fins as white as the paper birches that grow along the tiny trickle in the hollow where the old doe leads her fawns to drink.

 

October, so pure and full of life, I desire to hold on - possess, prolong.  But I must release so that this moment may return to me, next year and the next.

 

As October kicks from my grasp and dives deep into the steady current of time I am filled with hope.

 

 

Color photo of a brown trout with a fly in its mouth. Pulled to the surface by the flyfisher it is half in and half out of the water.

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© Allan Sutley 2015