Off you go again.
Up on the flats the winter wheat is asserting itself in a wash of green.
Down in the Grand Coulee the snow is a memory.
You slog through the cattails to your casting platform. The day is mild, the creek is calm, and fish are moving.
You throw a muddler wet and gurgle it in. You get some interest. After a few more casts you get a commitment.
Then there's a change in the weather. A squall blows in. The rain hits your face like buckshot.
You pull your hat down and fish through it. The fish, though, back off for the duration.
Soon there's another change in the weather and the wind drops. The slick water looks right for a dry.
The fish come out again and want it. Even a blind fish finds it.
You rest that fly and tie on a new black humpy. You drift it. No response. You twitch it. Just upstream a fish comes five feet out from the bank to waylay it. It's a nice fish. You decide to take some shots of the fight. You get one and the fish comes loose. One thing at a time.
You cast the humpy out again and the best fish of the day rolls on it. You pay full attention this time.
The humpy stops getting noticed. You clip it off with appreciation.
There's a change in the weather again. A restless breeze comes up. You can sense the cloud mass slipping and sliding overhead.
A gap opens up between the clouds and the horizon. A high pressure ridge is expected. Here it comes.
You keep fishing. You follow the lead of mayfly sign and fish may nymphs and dries. That doesn't work so you try a muddler dry. That doesn't work either. The fish can't make up their minds.
Then there's a change in the weather. A hard wind kicks up. It blows straight in on your right shoulder, shutting down any possibility of a cast in that direction. So you fish to the left. You tie a muddler wet on again and get some follows and misses.
The wind blows harder. You jam your hat down tighter. You see an occasional fish still breaking the waves but your fly gets no more attention. Then you stop seeing fish.
You hope the wind might quit or moderate but that's not going to happen. You go ahead and rig for mousing and give it a good shot. The wind roars in your ears and the fly whistles around your hat and you take extra care to avoid burying its hook in some fleshy extremity of your own.
After awhile you accept reality: the creek is blown out. You leave with a strip of light still showing in the sky. But you get back to the truck at the same time.
It's the change: you could swear winter just left and spring is coming in on a gale.