Any dry fly fisherman worth his salt knows that spring time on the river can produce incredible hatches of mayflies that swarm the air like snowflakes, creating a magical atmosphere of energy and frantic feeding for the local trout that forage on these unpredictable feasts. For the dry fly enthusiast, these are golden moments where matching the hatch becomes of utmost importance. Nymph, emerger, dun, spinner..what part of the cycle to hit! There’s nothing more exciting than watching a trout come to the surface to sip a dry fly, or hammer a nymph on the swing. The tug on the line, the sudden bend and jerk of the rod tip, and the stripping of line off the reel. Even if your target fish are small rainbows, cutthroat or brown trout, does it really matter? With a 5wt or 6wt rod, these smaller fish feel as aggressive as a big fresh salmon or steelhead on an 8wt or 9wt double-handed spey rod.
I was lucky enough this year to spend some fantastic evenings on the Cowichan River, on those warm May spring evenings where the setting sun casts golden light on the clouds of spinners hovering low over the river, preparing to start the next generation of mayflies. It’s a good hour and a half drive from my office the river, so my time there was limited, but it was worth every second of time. As the sun finally set lower and the light faded, that hour and a half seemed like only a few minutes and the tranquility was worth it.