Hot. Blessed heat. Blue, blue lake and sky. North lake this time.
Muddler again. Casting and stripping. Lots of new blow downs to probe.
A rise in water you just covered. Right up tight against a log. You go back, tease and taunt. Break down his resistance. He takes in spite of himself. Little. But game.
Then. You cast in, strip out. A tiny rise, behind the fly. You throw the fly right back, thinking another little rainbow. You let the fly sit. A heartbeat. A sipping take, you tighten, a yellow depth charge. You try to hold him, but he gets into the willows. Breaks off. Takes your muddler. You sit. Watch the ripples fade away.
You wait. Tie on another muddler. Wait some more. He'll be back. His shoreline. Then another pretty little rise tight against the bank. Could it be? You cast back in. It's him. He takes. You've got the angle this time. Work him in. First good Brown of the season.
You work around the shoreline. Fishing just for fun now. Having fun. Try the inlet. No fish today.
Fish rising. Then down. Then rising again. You stick with the muddler.
You get hits. Pick up another little gamer.
Then see a fish working. Jumping, porpoising. You work him. He whacks the muddler.
You kick back across to the truck side. No hits on long tow. So you prospect along the bank.
One more fish wants a muddler.
Now you're sure of it: winter's really and finally over.