Wild roses are blooming at the channel access. The rich scent hangs in the warm, still air.
You tie on a brand new muddler.
You get a hit immediately, and miss it. You go back, get another hit, and miss again. Or is the fish striking short? You don't know. You go in for a third strike and hang up on the driftwood. You kick in to release the fly and look down into the fishes' lair and wish you could see more from their point of view.
You kick back out and work the shoreline around the channel and out into the south end. Things are slow, but when you do find a fish tucked into the willows it hits the fly, but you continue to miss. You even strip in to check the hook point. Yep, still there.
You switch to a bead head leech and troll your way across past the RV village at the far end. No noisy takes disturb the evening calm.
On the other side you tie the muddler back on and start working the shoreline back toward the channel.
Bingo. It all comes together.
All hit the fly with the intent to kill. There are no misses. All are healthy and well-conditioned and fight surprisingly hard for their size.
What's different from before? Some mysterious nuance of light as the sun slid behind the ridge, you suppose. Or the fish simply decided, for their own good reasons, that it was time to eat.
We don't need to know everything; we just need to be at the right place at the right time. Most of the time we won't know when that is until it happens.
As though to confirm your thoughts, after a long stretch of shoreline without a take, it happens one more time.
Once again, for one more trip, this beautiful lake has been the right place at the right time.