I've been out fishing a bit through our beautifully extended fall (making up for that late spring, methinks!). Fishing has been good, the scenery beautiful, and the peace and quiet complete - so I thought I'd post a few pictures as we pass into the winter season. It will be my first winter fishing a double-hander, and the first year in at least a decade that I'll be pursuing Steelhead (gave it up when they closed the East coast Van Isle rivers) and I'm really excited about exploring those North Island rivers - stand by for further photo updates, ha ha! I know it's an introduced species (American Bullfrog) - but I couldn't believe the attitude of this fella - I thought he might take a shot at the camera as he posed for the photo op on the Tsolum river! Sun peaking through the ferns on the road out to Tahsis. A beautiful fall day on the lake. The sun and breeze had the skating spiders hoisting their "sails" by the hundreds. Invariably they would run into us, cut their sail loose, climb to our highest point (usually the brim of one's hat), redeploy their spinnaker and continue their voyage. Heres my fishing partner giving one a head start. One of the fish that were rising for the odd spider. The one I caught just previous to this was the largest I encountered this year - but was so girthy that it gave me the slip as I "one handed" it for the portrait! The mouth of an inflow creek at a lake well into the interior of the Island - the weather was cold but the Cutties didn't care! One of the very wild Cutthroat that held in the outflow's current and took streamers with abandon. A somewhat surreal shot took the other night, on my way out of the bush - with the moon very nearly full and slash burns raging on the hill-side. The thing that really made the evening memorable was the Cougar that crossed in front of my truck a few kilometers from where I took this picture. With all the time I've spent in remote places, it seems incredible that I had never seen one before - though I know they have seen me on many occasions. One winter a big cat followed my track through the snow just below Marie Canyon on the Cowichan. When I came back down river, I could see where it had come out of the woods and covered my tracks with it's own. However, this was my first sighting and I'll remember it turning to look at me from the safety of the timber as I hit it with a million candle power spotlight - such confidence and poise.