Balsam Root shine brighter than the spring sun...
...and light up the hillsides.
At Trout Lake you gear up and solve a mystery. You find a fly lost weeks ago when you snagged it on your vest and broke it off. Tucked under the flap for the net D-ring. How did it get there? You put it on the fly patch.
The day is pleasant, the north end calm.
You love this view as another fishing voyage begins.
You start with a muddler. You always start with a muddler. You kick across.
The inlet is rushing, here...
...and all along the western shoreline. The sound of spring.
You throw the muddler around, but it gets little notice. So you tie on that prodigal scud three feet under an indicator and fling it out.
There you go.
You have a fine time. Your indicator reflexes need honing, but you catch some pretty fish before a nice leaper finally snaps off the scud. Lost forever now.
A breeze kicks up from the south.
It blows the floating islands of spring algae back into the area formerly cleared by the current from the inlet flows. You tie on another raggedy nymph and fish in and among the islands.
The fish are in there.
A pair of Ospreys has been calling back and forth and dropping into the lake like feathered meteors. You catch one as it flies overhead after buzzing an eagle.
You take a break at the main inlet. Later in the season you will traverse way up this channel to find water shallow enough to stand in. Now you stop at the entrance and think about the Browns that will prowl the deep cold flows right where you're standing now.
You make a change and tie on a little Adams. Midges have been hatching steadily all afternoon, and fish are coming up top now and then. You give the Adams a little twitchy pull and get some to come up top for you.
Evening is advancing. You decide it's time to get back to a muddler.
It's cooling down, too. The floatant is stiffening up.
You work the shoreline, enjoying the rhythm of the casting, and the sounds of the lake as the day winds down.
You kick out and begin to make your way back to the other side.
You trail the muddler behind on a long line and watch the light going out of the sky.
You're almost across, and have been musing on how long it has been since you haven't caught anything on a muddler, when you catch something on the muddler. One of those little silvers that can't control their emotions yet.
On the other side you work the shoreline in the dusk. You see a rise just as you cast beyond it. There's a big boil as you line the fish. A few minutes later you're stripping fast when a streak of lightning just misses the fly, leaving a dark trail of swirling water. Browns. Must be.
You climb out and look back down the shoreline. A rise. You say out loud, loud enough for them to hear you, "I know you're in there!"
You pack up and start for home with a smile on your face.