It was like a dream of Spring at Rocky Ford. The first thing I did was take my jacket off, and I never put it back on. It was warm in the blessed sun.
Marsh hawks--a brown female and a ghostly white male--patrolled the verges of the stream, and a majestic Cooper's sliced by overhead. Red-winged blackbirds chirred in the cattails, and a Meadow Lark sang its little heart out. Too soon, too soon.
The parking lot was full, and it was crowded along the shoreline. We kept shuffling and reshuffling. I fished three different spots before settling in at one of my favorites. A big fish also settled in just off the bank.
But he wasn't eating. I tried out several flies on him, including this new muddler. He didn't move a fin.
But that didn't stop me. I tried going deep, but I kept coming back to dries. It was a dry or die kind of day. I tried a caddis. I tried a griffith's gnat.
The day began to wear away and I tied the muddler back on and stuck with it.
I wasn't getting the same attention that I got the other night, but I got a follow--a big wake that bore down on the fly and then veered away at the last moment. So I continued to work it as the light faded. But I finally decided that maybe my new muddler was just too big. It was a #6. So I switched to the #12 muddler from the other day.
That seemed to make a difference. I got two swirls from one fish. Then I pricked one but missed the hookup. And then I cast it out into the channel, and before I started to strip it a big, beautiful fish took it with conviction. It was time.
I fished out the day and watched the sun go down and the moon come up.
I hit the road, and as I rolled over the high country I wondered when I would have to wake up from this dream of Spring.