Well, it's July.  Already.  Oh wait, we're almost half way through July. Already.  Damn.

June and early July seem to fly by; faster and faster each year.  This year was no different.  The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.  The rivers have been busy with anglers still chasing hex - the diehards are starting to look like the cast from The Walking Dead - but they're still there casting to rising trout in the dark.  Hex are still holding on strong, and I've seen some solid emergences even in the last few days, so look for the big bugs to last at least through the middle of the month before starting to taper off.  

After several weeks of the craziness, I was ready for a break.  My break consisted of a few nice long days in the shop - cleaning my office, getting caught up on everything that was set aside for the better part of a month, talking to guests in the daylight, and just reflecting on late nights on the river.  Then, last night, after a monsoon of a storm...I went home, poured myself a gin & tonic, and sat on my back porch and burnt a Monte Cristo.  And although we still have hex on the water night after night...and don't get me wrong - I love the fishing of spring and early summer...but for me, it's time to start switching gears.

Second season.  Dog Days.  Summer.  Call it whatever you'd like, but for me, it's one of my favorite times of the year.  It means tricos in the morning, attractors and terrestrials throughout the afternoon, summer olives in the evening, and mousing after dark.  It means switching focus from brown trout sipping on sulphurs and isos, to twitching stimulators on a warm afternoon for brookies.  It means floating the river all day long, jumping in to cool off, and enjoying the float (sometimes more than the fishing).  It means exploring; finding new water - untouched.  It means a much more relaxed pace, finding time to fish with friends, and not worrying as much if you've picked out the right spot to set up on to wait for a spinner fall of big bugs.  It means serenity...quietude...tranquility.  

I love early season spinner falls of sulphurs, isos, and drakes. I love Hex.  But I also love when they all come to an end.  That's one of the beautiful things about fly fishing.  It makes you longing for more in the years to come, and helps make those long, cold winter days go by just a little bit easier.  It also brings new opportunity.  It brings happiness.  It brings what I consider summer.

Fly fishing doesn't end after hex.  Sure, a lot of anglers return to their daily routine, and the rivers become much more quiet during the week, but this part of the season can provide some of the most fun you can have with a fly rod in hand.  So grab your rod, stop by and pick up a few olives and attractors, and get out on the river.  You'll be glad you did.

~E