I call any indication of trout activity on the water’s surface that I can’t readily define as a rise form a “trout track.” A lot of times it’s the kind of nervous water you catch out of the corner or your eye that may be the prelude to a rise or the remnants of a rise that has already occurred. It might also be trout just moving around in shallow water. Sometimes it’s the tip of a tail or fin briefly poking above the water’s surface.
Now and then you’ll see a very subtle rise to a spent mayfly spinner that you can’t immediately identify as a rise, but it sure catches your attention. In other instances you may be seeing just bits and pieces of subtle rises that will take a little more time to sort out. Or maybe the trout are bulging shallow water as they chase down emergers heading for the surface.
More simply put it is this close to subliminal sense that you are on the verge of something happening. Trout are the move. You tell yourself that you’ll learn to interpret every slick, every wrinkle in the water’s surface, every nuance that’s alive and wasn’t there a moment ago.
It’s the most exciting time to be on the river.