As often, I find myself behind the season - photographically, that is. I have an awful lot of photos taken throughout the end of August and into September. I think it might be winter by the time they're all posted at my usual rate of twice a week, so please bear with me as I allow summer to linger just a little bit longer.
Frank and I spent some time up at his family cottage earlier this month. We enjoyed some warm, sunny weather along with a few cool, rainy days. The former suits me just fine because that's exactly how I love it to be when I'm at the cottage. The latter worked best for Frank, as that weather is generally conducive to better fishing. Of course, it was one of those warm, sunny days when I caught the biggest fish in my short angling history.
Let's back up a bit. On one of those overcast days, Frank came back to the cottage from one of his solo fishing adventures. He seemed particularly pleased and went on to share that he'd caught a real beauty of a walleye - about 20 inches and so perfect in colouring and vitality, that he chose to release it back into the water after unhooking it. "You want those beauties to reproduce."
A couple of days later, we were out on the lake together, and it was a lovely afternoon and wonderful just to be in a bobbing boat, watching the birds and listening to the sounds of nature. But we weren't having much luck attracting anything to the ends of our rods. We moved over to the area which proved lucky for Frank earlier in the week.
After a short while, I felt a strong, but not terribly insistent tug. Actually, it was more resistant than anything, and I thought I had become snagged on something. I reeled in, and though I certainly felt some weight, I didn't feel much fight. It couldn't have been very big. I told Frank that a few times. It kicked up more of a protest as it neared the boat, and Frank spotted it before I did. I kept on saying that it must be small but Frank's smile said otherwise.
He grabbed the net and we hauled in this lovely walleye. We looked it over and Frank mused about the possibility of it being the very same fish he'd caught earlier in the week. He unhooked it (something I've yet to do when it comes to walleye - they have big teeth and sharp fins!) and measured it (just over 20 inches) and wondered again if it might be the same one. I asked if he thought we ought to let it go and he said "No, we'll keep it," and he swiftly and humanely turned it into that night's dinner possibility.
Into the cooler it went, but not until after the obligatory pose with the catch. This photo is courtesy of Frank. Image cropping was my contribution.
Later, when Frank filleted the catch, he examined the contents of its stomach to discover a somewhat intact smallmouth bass. I'll spare you that photo, because it wasn't a pretty sight but that might have been why there wasn't much fight in the walleye. It was already full, and too busy digesting. Or it could have actually been the fish that Frank caught the day or two before and was still tired from the tremendous fight it gave him at that time. What do you think?
In any event, we gratefully enjoyed a delicious dinner of walleye, beans and potatoes. I had fully intended to take a photo of it while it cooked and later, on the plate but I simply forgot about it. But until just now, I never noticed the word "surgery" in the newspaper, along with the blood splattered on it. I'm easily amused.
As the day turned to evening, we sat and enjoyed our surroundings. Just beside the dock, this little cedar makes a brave effort to grow amid rocks and roots from other trees. They sure are a hearty plant.
The sun spills onto the hillside, bathing it with rich, golden hues.
Let's get a closer look at that tree stump.
The sunset was a beauty, as so many of them are up at the cottage.
And the clear sky of nightfall provided us with a good look at the Big Dipper.
I'll have more photos for you in a few days.