A summer milestone has been reached: the milkweed and the Monarch have found each other.
You come to the channel access. The water level is ebbing. It leaves behind dragonfly wings glittering in the mud.
You tie on a new purple muddler.
The atypical July weather continues. It's cool and breezy.
You prowl the shoreline of the upper south lake.
You cross over trolling a Black-nosed Dace.
You come upon the Kingbird nest and find it sadly empty. You saw eggs here on June 25, and even if the eggs hatched within a day or two of then, it's still too early for the nestlings to have left the nest. Some disaster befell this bird family.
The mother bird is still guarding the nest, and you see her fly to the nest and settle into it as if her brood were still there. You wonder if she will lay more eggs, but the Cornell Lab of Ornithology tells you that she will have only one brood--the one now lost to her.
You move on around the shoreline, working the purple muddler.
The breeze settles down and the lake begins to calm.
At dusk you stop and clip off the muddler. This is not a purple day. Time for a new strategy. You add a 5X tippet and tie on a little Lady McConnell. There has been precious little fish activity, but now you're seeing the occasional rise.
There's a rise ten feet to your right. Another one in the same area. And then another. It's the only working fish you've seen all day. You drop the Lady into the zone and wait. The fish takes it, calmly and efficiently. You're pleased to find a Brown on the end of your line. The Brown has the opposite reaction, but you manage to get it into the net.
You put the Lady out there again, but the rises dwindle away. You were lucky to find that Brown. You kick back to the channel drifting the purple muddler behind you. You feel the tick of bats on fly or line, you can't tell which, and then you're at the take out.
You load up and give thanks, for your time at the lake, for the gift of a fish, and for the realization that once again you know the meaning of contentment.