It became more just wading up the small creek rather than constantly seeking another small pool to cast into. Occasionally, I’d unhook the nymph and let it and the dry fly move through the air, but really I was just enjoying the profound beauty of the mist, the light rain, rushing water, and moss-covered rocks. 

The air was 57 degrees and the water was 50 degrees. As I waded up the creek, the typical fog–that so often thrills me in the Smokies–started to form over the water. The softness of air enveloped me with light moisture as it kissed my face and hands. Everything else was under waterproof cover. 

I saw only one trout and it was a brookie that danced with me until I freed it to carry on in the watery realms. But today, it was simply a bonus to connect with a fish for a few moments. Otherwise I was absorbing the beauty into my cells, feeling the peace of mind that comes from being in the present moment. 

It always amazes me what two hours wading a mountain stream does for me, to me. Hours later, I’m still feeling the creek water move through my body, the mist caress and envelope me as it did the rocks and trees. And I’m already excited about returning, to the creek…to myself.

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