I stand knee-deep in moderate current, eyeing the grassy bank across and slightly downstream from me. I’ve walked to the end of my street to access a shallow, rocky reach of the river that runs through my backyard.
I strip some line and make a false cast; strip some more and make another. I surprise myself when the size 12 foam spider I tied 30 minutes before lands softly in an eddy. I am delighted when it disappears in a boil of water.
I slow the line with my rod hand and begin retrieving with my stripping hand. My rod bends nearly double as the fish at the end of my line makes a run for a submerged tree branch.
I’m grinning like a kid on Christmas morning by now. I’ll admit, I may even have let out a little “whoop!”
I bring the fish to hand and crouch to admire the brightly-colored 8 inches of fury that I have captured.