Along the path through the cattails, another sign of Spring: a turtle has risen from the hibernal mud.
It's a breezy, sunny afternoon. I will soon remove my jacket and fish in shirtsleeves for the rest of the day.
I turn around and find another turtle basking in the sun. I know how it feels.
Fishing is slow. I spend most of the time with small flies: griffith's gnats, nymphs. Then there's a mayfly hatch, not heavy but steady. They look like Tricos.
I tie on a Trico dun and get some attention. Spunky fish, but small.
The Tricos go away. I try a few different flies, all dries, but nothing comes up for them. Later, as feeding activity increases, I go to a big muddler.
I find a good fish. It whacks the muddler as soon as it hits the water. I have it for a minute or two. Then it comes off. It leaves only ripples.
After awhile I find another good fish. It grabs the muddler on a fast strip. I work it carefully; I won't lose this one. Then it comes off, too. More ripples.
I try a griffith's gnat again. It seems like the logical solution. I make my argument with cast after cast, drift after drift. But the fish aren't buying it.
So I go to a small stimulator. I'm stripping it in slowly when a head comes up and engulfs it. For a moment I think this it: finally a big fish. But it's another small fish.
I cast and strip the stimulator for a while longer. I'm amazed to hear a solitary frog on the far bank. It croaks hoarsely for a short time, then goes silent.
Time to go. The day didn't go exactly as I hoped, but the more I think it over the luckier I feel.