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The wind pushed against the earth as though to tip the balance as it shifted on its axis to begin the tilt away from the sun. The water shifted with the earth, and fish stayed deep in the slow current.
A dark shape on the water; a cicada struggling to stay in the light.
I have a cicada pattern, and cast it out among the riffles. It bobs and drifts. Time flows with the current. A riffle breaks, bends, comes together again, as a fish rises. I lift the fly, give it to the wind. It dimples the water then bobs and drifts.
The wind persists; its breath is cold. I don a jacket, the unattended fly slowly following the arc of the line as I spin in the wind. I hear the take, look up to see the line straightening, lift the rod, and a fish breaks into the light.
The net gathers it in, and an ancient, timeless circle is formed, linking observation and application, hunter and prey, hope and fulfillment. The fish twists in the net, twists off the hook, uses the fulcrum of my grip to lever itself free. And the circle is complete.
The night shades in behind the wind, and the wind steps back, and darkness slowly fills its place. It settles on the water and smoothes it to a sheen. Fish trace circles on its ebony surface. I cast out a caddis, and a fish scribbles at the fly and is hooked. I draw it out and the last light runs down its sides.
I trace my own circle and then straighten out for home. Behind me the darkness presses close, but before me the western sky still casts its glow, silvering the ripples of my passing. Time passes with every swelling note of every frog, with each tick of a bat's tiny teeth on my trailing line, and the light slips away.
All too soon the day is ended; all too quickly the longest evening of the year has passed.