You have some time to fish, but you need to go into town for some gas. That puts you five miles farther away from Trout Lake, and five miles closer to Cutthroat Lake. So, being the cheap bastard you are, you decide to save gas and go to Cutthroat Lake.
It's about time to check it out, anyway. You've had some good days in August during damsel time, and some wonderful evenings when the big fish were in the shallows hitting hoppers. You have that new damsel tie that the fish shouldn't be able to resist, and a couple of muddlers that have been surefire at Trout Lake.
When you get to the water's edge there are three or four swirls and boils right at your feet. That gets you all excited--you've seen big fish cruising by right there before--but then you realize they were made by turtles. There are always turtles "rising" here, but never so many paddling around in a gang. Must all be teenagers out of the same hatch.
But you're still hopeful. So you give it your best shot until dark. You work the shoreline, you work the open water, you troll all over the place. You throw your damsel and your muddlers. You troll in the sun and in the shade. You troll in the afternoon and at dusk. You troll flies that have actually caught fish right here in this lake. You troll right through a heavy Callibaetis hatch with a fly that has actually caught fish right here in this lake. Nothing. You only see two splashy rises--far, far away--the whole time.
Are you sure these fish are trout?
So was it worth the gas? Yep...
"Always leave them wanting more," they say. I'll be back.