Sometime in the recent past you grab some midday action at the lake. It's a risk. You don't have much time, which means you won't have the luxury of adjusting to conditions changing over time. No, you'll have one chance. Adapt or die.
You feel confident. You've got your muddlers. You work where you know the fish are.
They're still there, and they're taking something on top. But it isn't muddlers. You've seen this before. It's a midday phenomenon. They're on their Damsel Lunch. Damsels and nothing but damsels. It's why you came up with your damsel tie. Nothing else worked.
You don't have any damsel ties. You looked, but you can't find any from last year. And you haven't tied any up yet.
Adapt or die? Looks like today you die. Which means the streak is over. You haven't gone fishless at Trout Lake for, oh, a very long time. Until today.
As the time winds down you try to accept the inevitable with some measure of grace. Then, as you're stripping in your muddler just before you have to leave, grace comes to you in the form of a beautiful little trout right out of nowhere.
You're happy and grateful as you kick in under cartoon skies.
So, soon after, sometime in the more recent past, you go back to the lake with time for the whole evening to roll through its changes for you. And you're ready. You tied up some damsels.
You work the muddlers. You work the damsels. You aren't catching anything. Maybe it's the wind. Maybe it's you. Maybe the dream has come crashing down.
You cross over to the far shoreline and put your muddler down right where you found a big Brown earlier this spring, and, just like then, a big nose comes up and takes the fly. A superb Brown.
And to think, for awhile there you thought it was all about you. It's not. No, it's about this, the life of the lake as it rolls out and rolls on eternally. It doesn't know you exist. But if you can just let it roll, it will let you roll with it.