We left early one late May morning and headed south to fish our favorite small stream. The conditions were right with overcast, and the air was still cool and moist from the rain the day before.
Upon our arrival, we saw red deer along the stream and paused to view them. We took our time getting ready and finding our equipment. Somehow things you need have a surprising ability to disappear in a fishing bag when you need them. We had a few sips of the now bitter coffee from our thermoses a few small crackers and began to become restless to cast our lines.
Shortly thereafter, the air above the stream began to slowly fill with a variety of pale yellow mayflies of various sizes. Then, we saw the first sign of what we were hoping for. A pale yellow mayfly of the larger variety, the Emphamera Danica.
Unlike in my earlier years of splashing through the water and casting blindly to every section, or even across the stream, I decided to fish upstream and slowly scan the stream for rising trout. This was after all a stream not much wider than my rod was long. Unfortunately, although we had seen Danica mayflies, the hatch was not as strong as we had hoped and those that did glide on the stream were not eaten.
We moved upstream quite a ways by car. A small opening in the forest, with a Swedish hunting tower was the perfect spot to stop the car. We go out, searched through the bags again for the mysteriously disappearing tools we needed scouted upstream. Just upstream of forestry road bridge, we heard a loud “plunk” sound.
We proceeded to slowly make our way toward the sound. A few Danica slid past on the surface, and the fish took one making the “plunk” sound we had heard previously. The fish was hitting sporadically every minute or so. After looking at each other in that awkward “who will catch it” look it was decided that it was “my turn” and I did my best to maneuver into position. It was a difficult cast to make. The fish sat between a few downed logs and rose quickly once a fly drifted overhead.
We, my dog and my friend Dave, were anxious to see the fish. I left my dog behind with Dave. Nivos, my dog, was whining with anticipation as he could feel the tenseness in the air. He wanted to smell and lick the trout once I caught it, a ritual of his. However, Dave moved closer with Nivos to get a view of the fish soon to be hooked onto my line.
The fish hit one more time…..I cast, the fish came up…..hit the fly….and I pulled, but no fish was hooked to the line. We waited. Did I spook him? The question was silently cast between the two of us as I looked back, although no words were shared between us. A minute later, the trout rose again. I positioned myself and got ready to cast. Just then I felt a slight breeze on my cheek. A shadow was seen in my right eye and before I knew it a loud crash was heard in the river.
The trout had not wildly hit a Danica. Nor did a duck erupt from the surface. The loud splash had been the result of a flying dog leaping from the bank into the river. Nivos simply could not wait any longer and decided to take matters into his own hands. As if he could sense the rhythmic takes of the trout, he jumped just as I was going to cast. Needless to say, the fish was spooked and Nivos was happy to have taken part in some Danica fishing.