You make it to the river for the tail end of the evening. The last time you were here it was cold and windy; now it's warm and calm. The river is low, but it's deep in all the right places. You notice it smells different than the lake, earthier, perhaps fishier.
You go down the old path. It's gotten steeper with all the high water this year. You see where some deer have slipped, but you make it down on two feet.
You fish the Bridge Run. You have thoughts of ranging farther, but it feels good to stay and give the run a thorough working over.
You watch the flow carefully, looking for any signs of fish moving. One man told you that while floating the river on an inner tube with his family he saw fins cutting the surface, and a dead sockeye on the bank. You think you see fish, but realize you're looking with lake eyes, and you're only seeing the complexities of the current. But there are fish, even if you can't see them. You catch a smallmouth on the swing.
You try different flies, reeling in each time you change, and working out longer and longer casts again.
You catch another smallmouth on a fast strip. Then you catch a whitefish on the swing. He goes limp as you strip him in, then fights like mad when he feels your grip.
It starts to get dark before you're ready. You catch another whitefish on the swing. This one fights all the way in, and you think it's a good smallmouth before you finally see him.
You release him and carefully start the wade out. There's a big lure hanging from a branch. You can reach high enough to pull the branch down and retrieve it. Jeremiah will be glad to have it. You climb the rocks and head for the truck.
You found yourself thinking about the lake sometimes while you were fishing the river. You'll hit the lake next. But you're glad to have made the transformation, rigging a river rod, digging out some different fly boxes, stretching those wading muscles.
Some say this is a time of divided loyalties. You say, "Let's fish."