Two casts in, something angry ripped my beer-head baetis off the line with 2 big shakes. I used to be able to tell the size of a fish plus or minus 2 inches from the moment I hooked up. Not so anymore. Learning what fish feel like on the fly rod has been one of the biggest challenges, but having recently landed a few 20"ers, I am pretty confident this guy was much bigger than that.
Then a few casts later, something lighter took me for a ride. After a nice surfacing and plenty of swim-bys, he broke me off.
Fast forward a week.
Determined to finish our exchange, I popped back to the same run yesterday. Despite the silty water, I managed to hook up with a fish before heading into the office. I'm 90% sure this is the same 19" fella. My need for closure satisfied, I left with a grin on my face. Long live the baetis.