It's another new muddler for another day at the lake.
You work the channel shoreline, especially John's Cove, but nothing doing.
You kick back out of the channel into the north end. You're drifting the muddler behind you. As you leave the channel you decide to strip in and change flies. You're stripping the fly...
And the fly yanks back. A fine, heavy fish has grabbed it and wants to play tug of war.
It's the best fish you've seen in a long time. Out of nowhere. You weren't even paying attention!
How do these things happen? Luck? Serendipity? You think it's pure grace. Grace: receiving something good even when you don't deserve it and didn't make it happen.
You decide to keep the muddler on the line and head north, working the weed beds and shoreline. You're inspired.
After awhile you switch to the natural deer hair marabou muddler that the troutlings at the inlet liked so well. No sooner do you cast it out than a troutling here makes a fool of himself over it.
You keep going. The old familiar casting rhythm feels good, and it has been awhile since you worked this shoreline. You have happy memories of good fish taken along here.
You go all the way to the big Ponderosa.
This used to be your north lake parking spot and access point.
You're close enough that you could kick over to the inlet without much trouble, but you turn and head back south.
You've seen some cinnamon ants struggling on the water, so you tie one on as a trailer behind the marabou muddler.
A yellow leaf drifts by. It seems like a harbinger of things to come. You will make the most of the fleeting days of August.
With the coming of dusk you hope the wind might die down, but it livens up. Single fish are coming up in the riffles, though. You watch closely for a rise within casting distance.
You find one. You cast your tandem rig to the rise and wait to see which fly, if either, the fish will take. It takes the muddler. You set and work the fish into the net. You're surprised to see that you brought him in thanks to the ant hooked in his nose. How did that happen? Luck? No. You think you just got graced again.
You fish to the take out but find no more fish.
But you're really happy with the big, beautiful fish you caught--or were given. You're grateful, and you're humbled.
Grace. It makes you feel like saying grace.