When I arrived, I felt as if all of life's troubles are worth just coming up here a few times a year and writing first responses in a notebook I keep in my car. A practice that's made occasions of doing this since summer 2014 seem a long time. Arrivals can open up perspective widely and put you directly in touch with life's lastingness. Otherwise, who would disagree that 2014 was a short time ago? A day on the job may seem to last too long, but the weeks and months track by pretty quickly, a state of affairs I don't disagree with, so long as I am able to get away and experience the value of deeper durations.
I finished a couple of pages, set the notebook aside, and confidently jaunted to water's edge, wearing the hiking boots I much prefer for gravel and rocks, to cast a Chartreuse spinnerbait. Air temperature at least 80 degrees, sunlight abundant, water clear as a bell, clearest I've seen here. Not hits came on the first few casts, and I felt convinced by the general ambiance that this wasn't going to be fast fishing.
With that clear water and cloudless sky, I suspect most of the bass moved deep, although sunfish and yellow perch schooled abundantly in some shallow spots. I fished everywhere I could, and caught nothing, although a young man showed up and caught two on a white spinnerbait--about two pounds each--by casting out into deep water, which I did too, though not only that.
I sighted a largemouth of at least four pounds in close, which refused the spinnerbait. I switched to a plastic worm. By the time I pitched, the fish had vanished. At sunset after a few hours, I had pitched and cast that watermelon-colored worm a lot, last of that this year. I also switched to a red tandem willowleaf spinnerbait, which made no difference.
It was a tough one, but I didn't give up. I thought I was on my way out, parking near the exit to cast one last shoreline, when I decided to go back and slowly fish the area where I sighted the big bass with the worm. I caught a little peace. An outing that began so well became one of the most unpleasant I've fished in many years. I can't remember the last I felt my nerves as confused while fishing as today.