It's the first day of fall, but it still looks like summer when you get to the lake.
That big brown calls to you, so you troll a new muddler down the shoreline to the Drake Tower.
You throw some casts out as you pass through and a tiny little fish takes the skunk off.
You try for him again, and get one beautiful porpoising rise on your fly right up against the log, but you miss him. You come back later and manage to hang your fly up. The untold story of close-quarters fishing. You leave him alone after that.
You're ready to see if that big brown is still around, so you drift down and begin to probe the weed beds and the shoreline.
You put your fly down on the outside of the weed bed and there's a little take--you hear the plip, and a little drop of water actually squirts up. Once again you expect another little fry and are surprised to feel the headshaking weight of a good fish. It's a brown. Not the brown, but a very nice fish. The colors of fall are just appearing on the hillsides, but they're at full strength on this brown.
The lake remains quiet. You continue to search the shoreline and its weed beds.
You catch a beautiful rainbow, all summer yellow-greens and pinks. You want a shot, you want to hold on to that color, but he won't stay still, and flips out of the net and off your lap and off the fly and is gone. Like summer itself.
You begin to work the shoreline back toward the truck. There are precious few fish in open water, and you hope you might find something precious tucked away under a willow.
The sun goes down behind the ridge.
An eagle heads for its home on the mountain.
The quarter moon shows itself through the pines.
It shines golden by the time you get to the take out.