It is nearly dusk on the lower Guadalupe, one of those incomparable evenings when skies are clear, humidity is low and the only insects in sight are lightning bugs. The river is low and has been since the drought came along in ’05, and maybe that contributes to the blessed dearth of mosquitoes. But water flows deep enough for the handful of fly fishermen who have spread out along this stretch to get a hit every 20 minutes or so. They aren’t speaking—it’s not even clear if they’re together—and are too far away for me to hear the zzz-zzz-whoosh as they rhythmically cast their lines over and over. I can hear the burbling Guadalupe itself, but just barely.
The Houston Astros got things on the right track back at the turn of this century, when the ball club abandoned the Astrodome’s unnatural indoor confinement for the refreshing outdoor playing field
at Minute Maid Park. Swapping synthetic turf that can make balls bounce funny and players’ knees balk for real grass was maybe the smartest trade the baseball club has ever made.