The Hex hatch is over. It feels good to have the whole lake to choose from. You launch in the channel again, but this time the south lake calls. You answer.
There are two ways to fish: give the fish what they're eating in hopes they'll eat your imitation, or give them what you want them to eat and see if you can get them to eat it. Midges are hatching, and some caddis. A few fish are coming up for them. But muddlers are the menu you offer.
You don't find many fish; you don't seem to be able to make them eat a muddler. After awhile you cast and strip, not to make them eat it, but just to see if they will. You are surprised and delighted when you find two fish who will.
A rainstorm rolls in from the southwest. This one sweeps across the lake. It takes you in like a long-lost friend.
Everything is washed clean. Everything can start fresh. You consider changing flies and tactics, then stay with what you're doing. The simplicity and rhythm, the clean lines of it, feel right. You have already attained completion. Now you want it to last.
You work your way back up the shoreline, each cast like a bead on a rosary.
Back in the channel you cast, then look at the moon, and miss a good fish. But you're glad to be looking at the moon.
A final fish takes your fly.
It comes like a pleasant afterthought.