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Stories from the valley

Just perfect silence – Fall in the Sierra

Contributed by Tim Johnson

Fall is a great time to get out and spend some time in the Sierra. The weather is mild with a snap of fall and the crowds have all gone home for the start of school. All that is left is perfect silence. 

A number of years ago I discovered the joy of fall fishing in the high elevations. “What have I been doing all these years”, I thought as I cast a fly line on a lake I had all to myself. Even better, the fish keep banker’s hours this time of year, waiting until ten in the morning or so for the water to warm enough for them to start rising. 

Add the fall colors, so pronounced along the many small rivers and creeks, and it was just amazing. 

Perhaps most overwhelming, however, is the silence. In some cosmic alignment, the sounds just float over your head and into eternity. 

Such was the case last weekend when Ann I ventured just over Carson Pass to a small lake. We launched our boat in late afternoon and within an hour we had seen migrating ducks and two bald eagles perched overlooking the still waters for a trout. Never did we see another soul. 

Soon even the slight breeze that chopped the water stopped, leaving the lake a perfect mirror. As we sat watching for the rings of a rising trout, neither of us spoke. The silence was just too perfect. 

Summers are great and the mountains a cool get away from the hot Sacramento Valley. Fall though provides a chance for you to lose yourself in the silence of the heavens as the season peacefully pivots to the darkness of winter.