North Mills River. It is a tranquil river with lots o big rocks, riffles and deep pools for trout. I like nothing better then to stand in the river's shallows and watch a trout rise to the fly I am floating down river.
Sometimes all I see is a dart, a quick look and total dismissal from the fish. The fly was the wrong color or style, didn't smell right, floated to high in the water, moved to fast or not fast enough. Whatever was wrong it was wrong enough to make the fish decide to pass on my offer. The only reason I see these fish is the flash of their lighter underside as they make the quick turn back down to the depths of the pool.
Other times the fish takes a quick bite, only to spit the fly out and dive even quicker. I'm sure the feathers, fur, thread, plastic and metal bits that make up my flies are not anything like a tasty bug. Less often are the times the fish gulps the fly and I set the hook. If I keep the line tight while I reel in the fish I have the opportunity to see its beauty up close, and briefly marvel over the colors and patterns covering the fish that live in the these beautiful cold water mountain streams.
I took a photo of a trout I caught on the Mills River before I released it, and later that day painted the fish.