Why Brown Trout Get so Yellow in the Late Fall
The water shrinks, uncovering gravel bars as wide as interstates.
My felt-soled boots crunch those river rocks and dried moss,
the whole strip of land that same white-brown, the color of pale flesh,
once hidden, once a deep green, now open to the grey autumn skies, faded,
waiting for the snow to cover everything again.
It is easy to wade now, easy to lean back into the rod
and launch curling hooks of black fur at the far bank,
the dark water, the end season.
Brown trout like cutbanks.
Shorelines that cavern
a hundred miles or three feet
under the frozen meadow grass and earth,
eroding the foundations of trees,
laying the river’s path
ten years beyond.
Brown trout live in those caves
and wait for Fall.
when its time to spawn
that last hour before dark
looking for an opposite,
for an egg-filled redd.
Angry at the minnows who get in their way, angry
at the hen that won’t submit, angry
at the world for loving rainbow trout and cutthroats, angry
at their ancestors for ever leaving Germany.
How I love those fish.