As I walk along the banks scouting for trout suspended in the water, I think to myself, could this be it, could this be the biggest fish I ever catch. My heart palpitates when I see that log in the water. The unmistakable reddish pink color. I squat down, making myself small, tying not to scare the beauty off.

It’s feeding, swaying in the water catching the bugs as they float down. The placement of my cast is crucial. I may only get one, maybe two casts before I scare it off. Unhooking my rig from my Sage, I cast my fly line farther downstream getting just enough out.

My first cast is a perfect drift, floating over the nose of my prey. Nothing, no flash, no attempt. I try again, and again a perfect cast and drift. No action. I’ve already exceeded my limit. I either try one more time with no return, or change my rig. I change my rig.

I stand after a brief moment, he’s still there. Still feeding. I cast my line, hitting the exact spot I want. It’s coming, it’s coming and finally he flashes. Yes! Fish on! He’s a runner. Downstream, upstream, around boulders, this guy isn’t going to give up easily.

I go for my net but it slips from my grasp. I force my glove covered hand through the frigid water and grab it before it floats away. I’ve got it, but the fish runs for his life. I can feel he’s tired so I reel slowly trying not to brake him off.

As I turn him from front to back to disorient him, he strains for one last ditch effort. I’ve outlasted him, the worthy adversary is caught. And as I lay me net down in the water that holds my prize, I can’t help but fight back the smile. A smile that always seems to be plastered on my face after a catch like that.