July beauty

It’s July. It’s one of the best times of the year. You can fish the rivers until the soft red sky turns midnight blue. The trout rise slowly at 7 and build to a gloopy frenzy by 9 or 10. The big hope is a BWO spinner fall followed by the grand summer sedges.

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The evening starts with a prospective F-fly, perhaps a size 16. It’s got a little dusting of hare’s mask over a red thread body. Carefully flicking the 3 weight, all the good foam lines are covered. The sporadic rises of early evening slowly give way to the steady sipping of trout quietly feasting on spinners trapped in the surface. Time for the polypropylene sherry spinner, tied on a size 16 or 18 hook. It’s amazing how close the trout will let an angler wade: they only ask for quiet steps and gentle butterfly casts.

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The sky deepens and the spinners thin in number. Soon the continual tumbling song of the river is backed up by one of the most amazing sounds in the universe: a choir of trout enthusiastically gulping down sedges. They don’t ask for much: big deer hair concoctions plopped into the bubbles and glides. A little drag doesn’t seem to matter any more, and it’s just as well because the fly is soon invisible in the gathering gloaming.

Sometimes in fishing you realise that life doesn’t really get any better.