At last an opportunity to wade bright water! Though the forecast promised clouds alone, the sun shone brightly in the bluest of skies: a welcoming!

I found my favorite little stretch of the river quiet and walked alone by the path, stepping in where the clear, cold flow bubbled over the black stones, eager to fish. This tiny run holds great memories for me, battles won and lost, amid the wonder of new water and the glory that is spring. The variety of holding water in this brief environment convinces me that trout should always be present.

There was no hatch to bring trout to the surface, not that I expected one, and I knotted my cricket to probe the various holding lies before me. I worked upstream slowly, thoroughly, joyfully embraced by my surroundings: alone on bright water with bamboo and the dry fly. As I moved up I began to make a few casts to the side and down, drifting the black fly through the same areas I had covered from below. With the different angle, the cricket floated back deeper in the shade, less than six inches from a pocket in the bank and I found a response! So often this is a game of inches.

The brown pulled hard in the fast water when I drew him from his hide, the old rod bending into a deep, wide arch. I enjoyed every moment of him.

In the net at last I admired his dark coloring, a product of shade and those black stones. Not a big fish, perhaps sixteen inches, but as welcome after my long hiatus as any trout I ever encountered.

I worked carefully through the pool upstream, sorting through each bit of cover and shade, though it seemed that brownie was as alone there as I. One angler, one trout, joined on a perfect afternoon. The dry fly season continues…

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