You top off a busy day with some quiet time at the lake. It's still hot at five o'clock when you get there, but it will cool down at dusk. An unusual east wind clears the smoke from the latest burn.
Not much happening. Then you come to a little bay where fish have been working the last few times you were here. Sure enough, you see a cagey rise up in the grass. On those previous occasions the fish persistently resisted your best efforts to catch them, and you have kicked away with grudging respect. But you've also told them, "One of these days...."
This is the day.
You settle in for the job and work the fly up along where they like to be, tight against the shoreline in lots of cover. Nothing. Then, on a relatively short cast you're stripping in right through the heart of the bay and there's the slightest resistance. You set and you've got one. You can't tell if he's embarrassed, but you feel like he might be, that it was more his mistake than your skill. At least you've got a point on your side of the column now.
You're relaxed. You take your time moving on around the shoreline in John's Cove. You bask in the sun pouring down the mountainside. The wind is strong and swirling now, and your "pinpoint" casts are often getting blown short or, worse, long. You kick in several times to unhook the fly from branch or driftwood.
Once, though, you forget how relaxed you are, and you yank on the snagged fly in frustration and it snaps off. You think you know where it is, but by the time you kick in to look for it you can't find it. It was your newest tie, the green muddler. You're going to miss that fly.
You blow with the wind--now out of the north--on down the shoreline. You continue to have a hard time getting the fly to go where you want it to go.
You kick across the lake.
On the other side you're starting to feel the coolness of the mountain's shadow, so when you take the pause that refreshes you slip into something a bit more comfortable.
The wind begins to back off, but it still swirls. A gust comes in from the east and you can smell the smoke from the fire that's off to the west of you. Fish begin to come up and chase the muddler. You catch one that doesn't know any better yet.
Not a lot happening on the north edge of the south lake, though. This area will pick up and become a hot spot when the aquatic weeds get higher. You drag the fly behind you as you cross the channel to work John's Cove again, and a fish rises right next to you. You flip the fly out and this jacked up little Brown is on it.
On the other side you take your time and concentrate on a fishy stretch of willows. You've found good fish here before, and you know one or two are likely to be home now. You cast in close and let the fly sit or twist in the breeze.
A nose comes up and you have a nice fish.
Then another one.
And a third. This one is foul-hooked, and you try to haul him in three times before you get him in the net. Each time both ends of him are thrashing the water. You end up soaked. But he still got the worst of it.
You head in. Ten o'clock, and all's well.