We dug the hole at 2 o’clock, by four o’clock; the two Dutch ovens are stuffed with beef chunks, carrots, onions, potatoes and some brandy, brandy just to melt it all down. After the coals were glowing, we lowered the cast iron pots, buried them, and headed for the boats.


There really is no fragrance to fall water like mid summer. In the fall, it’s just cold and deeply blue if not black in color. The wind this afternoon is friendly, even gentle out of the west, but today its crisp and headed for cold and we all know it. With a bit of a walleye chop, we motor out to our respective honey holes.


Wind swirls rush across the lake surface. Blue water goes black, little waves flip on themselves turning from white to silver then all goes ripply back to normal.  I get a small walleye. The loons here just weeks ago, are nowhere to be seen.  I look around the lake shore and notice Birch bark seems to be more visible flapping this afternoon. My eyes lock on apiece of bone white driftwood that I sure would like to take home. Someday, I’m gonna haul a lakeshore of those rocks home, set one piece of driftwood on it and maybe that will cure the lust I have for how much I enjoy that simple scene, but not today, today the water is too cold. 


Two more walleyes and I think the sunshine recedes to fast for my liking. From the Duluth pack I grab and put on a red wool shirt to take the nip out of the air. I head for what I hope is a nice warm dinner.


One by one the boats come back. Every body, including me, has a red beaker and somehow, for the first time in a long time, it’s not my turn to fillet fish so I start splitting some firewood. Two lanterns get lit and start to hiss, it draws us all closer. 


We all want what’s in those iron pots. We gather folding chairs, stack split wood, light the fire and get hungrier by the minute. Tent tarps get checked, heads without hats are covered. Everybody has gone from summer shirts to bundled warmth and I can feel the chill of the introductory north air settling into this evening. It’s finally time according to the head chef in camp to take a peak at the first fall feast.


You’d think we were mining gold. Two of us move the dirt back; another guy sweeps the ashes away as the ladies in camp remove one lid. The steam erupts and the air is filled with an aroma a red nose can’t resist. There is plenty of fish, and it was a good summer of fishing and yet not one of us wants a fish fry. It’s a meat and potato night tonight.  The trout whisperer



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