Sulphurs at Twilight

I decided to get back to the river and see if the sulphur hatch I had experienced last week was going on–and force myself to stay late enough to really experience it. Seemed the word had gotten out and the river was loaded with guys, but all at respectful distances. Greetings were given, smiles were shared. Oh yeah…it was still going on, just had to wait til nightfall. I amused myself by hooking a 17″ brown on a barr emerger but in a lapse of focus he broke off. Later I walked in the exact opposite direction of the guys to go far downstream where trout were rising under overhangs to nymphs and emergers in the film. I couldn’t quite figure out the pattern and so in frustration tied on a big white cahill, maybe a #14 I think. Within a couple casts a big brown came out of nowhere, not even in the feeding lane, and chomped it. He was a handful to land and after several good runs, I got him in the net.

Later, I caught his little brother on a Royal Wulff (my first on that type of fly). He was spastic–and I suppose had never been hooked in his life, because he fought like mad with several jumps. Very spirited.

Since my last visit, it seemed that the hatch had slowed or rather, pushed later, because trout didn’t really start rising until after the sun set. I had a HARD time tying on the light cahill to imitate the sulphurs that started popping off in fits and bursts. It was magical because they seemed to glow in the twilight as they rose off the water. Way upstream, an angler must have caught THE fish of the night because he started yelling for help and a net. I myself cast only once or twice before an enormous brown took my fly and decided to run first upstream, then downstream. I forced myself to remember to keep an angle and play him back and forth. Finally he tired and I slid him almost backward into the net–but HOLD on, he wouldn’t fit. I was looking down at one of the biggest browns of my life.

Easily, 22″, maybe 23″, right then I should have cried out for help myself–so I could get a good picture. He was just too large to pick up in one hand and get a good pic. AND OF COURSE, I didn’t have the camera light on so none of my pictures of him in the net came out. More than the image of him though, his weight is imprinted in my memory. I put my hands around the back of his neck and felt a chord of muscle and determination as I slid him back in the water. I’ll admit, I was haunted for a day or two by not getting a good picture, but only for a day. We’ll meet again my friend, we’ll meet again.

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