"Can't stand prosperity, can you?" I grumbled as I rose to assess the damage.
My side was soaked, from just under my right armpit to my crotch. A quart of trout stream sloshed about in the hip boot on that side.
I thought about walking back to the car for a change of clothing, but then I realized that I'd forgotten to bring along my trusty "falling-in kit."
"You're out of practice, man," I observed with a wry smile.
With the air temperature hovering near 90 degrees, the fall into the 62-degree water actually hadn't felt all that bad. Besides, my nylon shirt and pants would dry within minutes.
Fishing days don't come frequently for me nowadays, so I soldiered on despite the mini-aquarium in my boot. I squelched upstream, flicking the little yellow dry fly from pocket to pocket and hoping the rest of the trout hadn't killed themselves laughing at my impromptu ballet.
They hadn't. A hundred yards on upstream, another 8-incher nailed the high-floating fly. After I released it, I noticed that one of my casts had put an overhand knot in the tippet section about a foot up from the fly.
"No big deal," I thought. "The fish in this section of creek tend to be small; and besides, there's only 100 yards of water left before I get back to the car."
Famous last words.
Ten minutes later, almost within sight of the car, a brown poked its nose through the surface and slurped down my offering. I set the hook - a little too hard. The tippet snapped exactly where the casting knot had been. I tied on another fly, but no trout rose to it by the time I reached the car.
Soggy sock aside, I can think of few more pleasant ways to spend 2 1/2 hours. And if I ever learn how to walk on greased bowling balls, I'll be golden.