You have the rest of the day free so you tie up a little something and hit the road for Trout Lake.
The south campground is deserted--for now--so you pull in and launch. It's only your second time this spring at the south end.
You see the first damsels of the season. Time to be getting ready.
But now you tie on your new muddler and begin. The rhythm of shoreline casting is as familiar as your heartbeat.
The new fly takes a fish and one more of your favorite cycles is completed: from random materials to finished fly to fly in trout.
You hook another fish who looks like he thinks it's all very funny to be fooled by a fly like that.
You wind around the shoreline and come to the end of the south end. You can cut across the channel and start up the other side, or you can keep going and head into the little pond.
The few times you ventured back here before you caught only baby fish, so you have been calling it "The Nursery." But you wonder if the high water might make a difference, might bring in bigger fish. You decide to work the whole shoreline and see.
You don't catch a single baby fish this time, but you find a nice big one. Later and farther around you hook and lose another big one. Live and learn.
On into the season, after the water level has gone down, it will be shallow and weedy. But you like it back here now. So does the eagle. He lets you get just so close, then sails away.
Back at the channel you look over your new lake; you're glad you decided to try it out again.
You head back out into the south lake and work along to the launch site. You take a break. The fly is a bit battered, but you leave it on. You'll fish out the evening with it.
You work north up the east shoreline. It's a beautiful evening, cool but blessedly calm for a change. Fish begin to rise out in open water, but you slowly and carefully pick your way along the willows and driftwood. It takes awhile, but you find a nice fat Rainbow. Or he finds you. You stop stripping, look away, and when you look back he's on.
You decide to troll the muddler back closer to the take out, but before you do you see a fish working a section of shoreline, so you work him. You miss him twice and then don't see him for awhile. So you start to kick out into open water, and there he is again. You cast a long line and drop the fly right on his last rise, and he takes it. Nice.
Now you start to troll. You get a take and have a fish on for a moment, but then he's gone. Nothing else comes to the trolled fly.
So, back closer to the take out, but still out in open water, you stop, dry out the fly as best you can, and cast it into the midst of the rising fish. You let the fly sit. A good fish sucks it in and gives you a ride for a few seconds, but then comes off. You strip in and check the hook point. Still there, still sharp. Must be you.
You try again, get another take, and this time net him.
It's getting dark, so you kick in, trailing the fly behind you. Just before you reach land a fish takes it.
You're tempted to stretch it out a little longer, but you don't. You're satisfied. You've done reasonably well. Your new fly, on the other hand, has definitely out-performed you.
You can live with that.