Photos By: Justin Dobson
It’s that time of year. Winds blow warm and blankets of green transform the landscape and create a canopy of shade and new casting obstacles. With it comes a new brood of winged food for our finned fare. I visited one of my favorite creeks last weekend for the first time since mid-march. What I found was a completely different scene. The 17 year cicadas buzzing an alarm all day, giant months swarming early morning parking lot lamps, areas where I’d normally rest were waist deep in grass and the mountain side was spiked in the white and pink of laurels in bloom.
This particular creek requires you to reserve a spot and carry a daily permit. I pulled mine from the folder which is set out for the early arrivals that couldn’t sleep the night before. Attached to it was a Yellow Drake, about a size 10. A big mayfly by GA standards, not to mention the USGS’s last survey doesn’t put them on the map in this part of the state. Thanks for the sign!
The floating fur, feather and foam are ready for sacrifice. There is something very dramatic about seeing a trout rise for your perfectly placed dry fly that can exhilarate your soul. There are the strikes that are shear aggression. When a fish appears from nowhere, under the bank or comes unglued from his camouflaged feeding line on the bottom to eat your fly in the most murderous way. They show their entire profile in a flash of color and leave you with a splash from their caudal fin. And then there is the gracious sippers rising like a submarine. When that last few seconds between rise and take seem like hours.
But nothing keeps you coming back for more like the ones that get away. It’s bound to happen, and most likely you only get one shot at setting the hook on a take, or fooling that swimming sipper. You can ask God to save the Queen or pray your presentation is a flawless drift, but sometimes, somehow, you come up short and you score one for the prey. But that’s what keeps you coming back for more. It’s the challenge, the excitement, the drama. It’s that perfect day, the perfect cast and the most perfect take. I love fishing dries.