There was a constant wind blowing from the south. The wind drove itself into the mountain range on the opposite side of the lake. He had taken the canoe to the farthest southern corner of the lake. There, the canopy of evergreens block the wind. The water was smooth.
The lake was nice and cool. The native trout were active. He watched them rise, leaving small rings. There was only the sound of the wind reaching, and swiveling away from the soft branches of the evergreens.
Raising his arm, the fly line became active and arched beautifully through the air. He’d seen a riser just ten yards in front of the canoe. He landed the fly just inside the outer portion of the ring.
Immediately his line became taught, his rod bent in half. He could feel every movement the large trout made. It fought severely. The fly snapped back into the air, and flew toward the canoe. The fish was gone.
He could still feel the vibrant activity in his hands, arms, and mostly his mind. He lay the rod down, letting the fly line drift on the water. He wanted to remember the feeling of the strike. And he wanted to remember the feeling of his failure. He reached into the inner pocket of his wool coat and found the half-smoked cigar.
He liked that a cigar lit hard after having been smoked and let to die out. He needed to cover the cigar from the wind and point it down to warm it sufficiently before trying to smoke it. If the smoke from the cigar didn’t travel fully through, he’d need to start over. After the third try his thumb would be slightly burned. If the wind was too heavy the cigar couldn’t be lit. He’d be left with a smoldering cigar and burned thumb. But, if the cigar was lit, he would enjoy the feeling of the smoke. He’d watch the swirls leave his mouth and range wildly around his face. No one arrangement of smoke was the same. Thinking about this made him ache with warmth.
(photo taken by me while fishing.)