Something about the way the water chills my hands to the bone as I release the fish, and the way in which I am glad to shake them and shove them into my armpits - flyrod carelessly tucked under an arm - signals the end of the season.
I'm never glad, of course. On the other hand, I'm never really surprised that the time has come, and there is a certain inevitability about winding the flyline back in for the last time that comes more easily than I would think it should. Its as if the long mountain Spring and vivid Summer have merely been leading up to this moment, and I have been waiting for it all along.
And then, one day, there it is. The last fish. The end of the season.
I suppose the beauty of it is the fact that in the case of both the fish and the season I know that the absence is temporary, and the next one is just a few months away.