We edged up to the lip of the canyon and saw the tea-tinted water below. When we got out of the car, we were greeted by pufts of mayflies. Their question-mark bodies rose from the water and went off to wherever it is they go to harden up. The day was partly cloudy, which kept the temperature down. My hands shook as I tied on flies at the riverbank—everything seemed perfect.
But it wasn’t.
I tried a combination of nymphs through great pockets but didn’t even get a hit. I tried another combination, then another. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if my buddies were having any luck. One of them caught a fish the size and shape of my forearm—but that was the only one.
Eventually, one buddy went down the canyon, the other went up. I scrambled to higher ground and watched them both fish for a while. I used them like surveyors. If I saw one pulling out fish, I’d go over by them. But neither did.
So, we changed locations. We went to a place where we always have luck. It was better, but not great. By the end of the day, I’d nearly made it to double digits, but I had expected more.
I know I should be grateful for those fish I did catch, but I’m just not that kind of an angler yet. I wish I was, but I start feeling itchy when the fishing supposed to be great, and it’s only okay.