September, Week 2

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Cooper and I continue to aggressively pursue these elusive 20’’ Smallmouth Bass. Day after day, our days off consist of early morning coffee, snacks on the go, and endless tanks of gasoline. In fact, I feel strongly that I should become a Gold Club member at Exxon based on the amount of fuel I purchase. If you would tally up the receipts spent on fuel alone,  it would equal that of a small scale military invasion. However, the fishing continues to be worth every penny. We are well into topwater season here in Virginia. I would go on to say that we are at the tail end of it. The morning are getting cooler and daylight fades earlier earlier. Fall is right around the corner…..Cooper and I can’t wait. As Fall sets in, the transition from flyrods to shotguns ensues.

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Fall brings a new perspective to Cooper and I.  We don’t completely shut down our fishing operation.  We will still chase Brown Trout and Muskie at every available opportunity, but hunting waterfowl and upland birds is something special to the both of us. From a hunters perspective, this is the season in which I amp up my training regiment and fine tune Cooper. From his perspective, this is the season in which he gets to leave the damn boat.  I can tell he is getting sick of sitting in the floor of the boat. I watch him throughout the day and I can’t help but notice how his mind is wandering. Id be sick of it to.  With every downstream movement of the boat, there is uncharted land that he needs to explore. Soon enough…

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The initial introduction to Fall hunting starts with Dove season. I would compare Dove season to welcome week for college students. Hoards of drunken college students run rabid through the streets of their universities, so to do bird hunters and their dogs. They lumber through acres of corn and sunflower blasting apart the atmosphere as Dove fall to the Earth. Dogs and hunters alike are howling at each other. Both wanting to be cut loose.  Dove season is a special time for Cooper and I. We walk miles and miles each day flushing these beautiful birds. With each bagged bird, I am allowed the privilege to take part in the transformation of Cooper from a young bird dog to a finished bird dog. If anything, Dove season is the time for hunter and dog to make a peace offering for the bullshit we put each other through outside of hunting season.  Cooper, this Dove is for you….

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Wes Hodges Fly Fishing

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