Flyfishing can change lives. That’s not always a good thing. Flyfishing can also ruin lives. At this particular moment, it’s a tossup for Dave Karczynski. Fresh out of grad school, he’s living day-to-day in his parent’s rural Wisconsin cabin and attempting to figure out the rest of his life. It’s not going well. When a flyrod enters into the equation, the plot thickens and Karczynski’s future teeters upon a very delicate line.

I was young. I was free. And I was screwed.
Below me, in the gin-gimlet pool, the trout rose again. He was 18 inches if he was eight, and in a tight spot. A snarl of branches formed the canopy above him, a limestone cliff pressed in tight just across. I stood chin-high in prairie, parting milkweed for a better view. The hatch was plain: mayflies, frail as vapor, wafted up and off the film. Not plain was how to execute a backcast or rollcast. Without a well-trained hummingbird hovering in to personally deliver my fly, there was no way I was reaching water, let alone a feeding lane.
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