Permit me to count the ways:
1. The day was hot but the water was cool. Perfect.
2. The gear that I had reluctantly accepted as a Christmas present from my ever-hopeful husband fit perfectly. I'm less than hourglass-shaped in my waders and wading shoes but for the first time I can stand in a river in comfort.
3. The river was gin-clear and there were minnows everywhere. Since I was a tiny child, I have been drawn to the beauty of the gravelly bottoms of puddles, streams and rivers; the clear water seems to act as a lens which magnifies and clarifies the colours and lines. Until now, the only fish I have been able to see well have either been unhappily hooked or glimpsed through the scratched glass of an underground viewing chamber*. Now I can go to them and watch their sinuous grace in 3D.
4. I was using a classic split-bamboo fishing rod with a Hardy Cascapedia reel. Even if I can't or won't catch fish, I can pass for a fly-fisher.
5. Jon was occupied upstream trying to pique the interest of a mammoth trout; that left me blissfully alone to practise my execrable casting. I learn best when I'm practising one thing and one thing alone, while alone. If, on such occasions, wise spouses always headed upstream, the divorce rate would plummet.
6. I am modestly pleased to report that I didn't get a single nibble. While Jon fishes catch-apologize-and-release, I would prefer never even to place that barbless hook. The few releases I've done have been fueled with remorse and panic. My perfect fly fishing scenario is that of casting well in a clear river on a good day (i.e. looking the part) and seeing nary a fish. Call me unusual. Many have.
So - I am actually looking forward to fly-fishing again - not so much that I wanted to brave thunderstorms tonight with Jon but with a new interest in becoming the sissy fair-weather fisher I was fated to be.
*My best painting of a salmon was inspired in Gros Morne, Newfoundland, on the Torrent River where the huge adults mass up before the locks open and they can spawn upstream. Even through the glass you can sense their impatience. I called it "Show Time!" and wished them all the best.