Two trips, a few days apart. On the first trip, you're there for a long time.
You work south down one of your favorite shorelines with a tried and true muddler.
Conditions seem right, and just the day before you found willing fish. But on this day the fish stay down. Once you get a good take, but the fish is off in an instant. You just keep going down the shoreline.
Clear down at the south end you finally find a fish. He's sipping bugs on the edge of some drowned willows, leaving the most delicate little rise rings. You drop the muddler on him, and there's no more delicate sipping. He hits it hard, is hooked, and digs down into the weeds. You manage to dredge him up again. A feisty Brown.
And here's the truth of it: foul hooked. Somewhere in those weeds he succeeded in shucking the hook, only to have it snag him again as he lunged to escape.
You commiserate, and make sure he's good to go.
You go on around the shoreline, but things are still slow. Then you find another fish working the willows in a little covert. You drop the muddler on his head, and he's willing.
It's getting dark, and you decide to head in.
You're dragging the fly behind you as you kick through the twilight, and just at the channel one more fish closes the day.
On the second trip, you're there for a short time. It's a hundred degree day, and you've tied up some Damselators to work the weed beds with.
The Damsels are doing their part.
Now if only the fly would. You find fish taking Damsels out of the air, and off the willows, but they refuse your fly.
Then you find just what you need. A fish is rising splashily over a weed bed. You put the fly down, and he's on it. A Brown seldom refuses.
You stick with it, and work around the channel, and get more refusals from Rainbows. You'll need to work on that.
Then the wind starts to kick up. That's rare. This is usually the time when it calms. Soon it's blowing hard, with swirling gusts that make it necessary for you to hold your hat on.
You tuck up against the shoreline and switch to a muddler. There are some fish still working there, and you show them the muddler, on a dead drift among the rolling waves. One of them takes it. He's not big, but he's one of the hardest fighters yet. He runs line out until you have him on the reel, then takes line out twice more on lunging runs, making the reel sing.
You kick across the channel to start down another shoreline. The wind increases in intensity. You still have to hold your hat on your head. It's the comfortable straw one, which you wear on calm days, which this day was when you got here. You have a more wind-resistant hat in the truck, so you decide to go get it. You have to kick hard against the wind to get back to the put in.
You pull in out of the wind, and wait for awhile, weighing your options.
The wind just keeps on whistling through the thrashing branches of the big tree over your head.
Time to head for home. There will be other days.