I’d read the essays and a book by an area outdoor writer and worked up the gumption to ask him to go paddling and fishing with me. He agreed and we went in late August 2012. An unexpected treat was the trees were already changing in western Ontario, which stretched the fall for me. A greater unexpected treat was canoeing with someone who knew the names and proclivities of the birds. I can identify and eagle and a loon, but my friend knew all the feathered folk by profile and call and I learned that there’s much more than loons and eagles in Ontario. We started out at a lake with a campsite as flat as a pool table, but since he was fly fishing, I suggested we move to a lake with large numbers of bass, the penalty being a lousy campsite. I’ve spent months on this lake, so I might know it better than anyone else on Earth, which means I hardly know it, since the combinations to lakes are always changing and the tumblers are down in the deep dark. We found bass in bunches and had good luck catching them with leeches. We thought the pattern was bass bunched over rocks off islands, but then we’d catch a bunch in a shallow, muddy bay, so, in the end, the only pattern we found was catch one and you’ll likely catch a score more. My buddy liked to take naps and there’s a pic of that, followed by a pic of one of his fish, one of mine, and a pic of the canoe atop my car. Oh, Canada!