You hurry back the very next day. You hike down the path that used to be a waterway and launch in the channel again. You try not to disturb the caterpillars as you pass.
The wind has shifted again over the last twenty-four hours and the smoke is gone.
It's warm and calm, and you feel confident. You tie on a big hopper pattern and wait for the fish to go crazy over it.
But the fish are laying low.
You get one or two bumps on the hopper, but it isn't bringing the fish up. So you tie on the light stimulator.
So you tie on the 5X tippet and the griffith's gnat. You figure this should solve the puzzle, but there seem to be some pieces still missing. The evening rise is much more subdued than the night before, and you can't get a cast over the fish.
You stick with it, though, trying to put all the pieces together. You cover a lot of water.
Finally, just before dark, you get your fly in front of two fish in quick succession. The first time you can see your fly and the take; the second time you only see the take and are pleased to discover that it's your fly that was taken.
You're relieved. To celebrate you tie on a bead head micro leech and troll back to the channel. You find the last piece of the puzzle for this trip.