Every year, about the time the lilacs bloom in town, a phenomena occurs on the local river: the stonefly hatch. To trout who's average tidbit most of the year is a fragile little winged bug or it's larvae, these must seem like a 20 ounce porterhouse steak.
They are around 3" long, and fat. They winter over as larvae, buried in the rocks on the bottom of the river. Come June, they emerge, crawling out on the shore and up in the branches of bushes, or stalks of weeds and grass. They dry off, then fly about like small clumsy birds, fluttering and banging into things.
The large trout, usually wary and only feeding at night, suddenly and for a short period behave like drunken sailors on liberty.
Like a old streetwalker, I decided to take advantage of their behaviour. I headed downstream from where I usually fish to an area where the river splits in two for a half a mile, the flows are less and it's easier fishing from the bank.
Arriving early afternoon, this is one of the results.
I caught three others near this size, and missed or lost some others. Not bad for 3 hours of fishing. I wasn't tempted to keep any of these fellows, the once or twice a year I want a trout dinner I head up one of the tributaries and get a few pan-sized brookies.