by Mark Littleton
It had been a rough week. One of those weeks that seem to come
every few years. Events seemed to be conspiring against me. At times
like this, I usually console myself with the thought that there
are much worse things that can happen. In this case any worse case
scenario seemed too grim to ponder (sometimes thoughts of a painful
lingering death fail to cheer me up) . When the going gets tough,
the bums go fishing - I needed a day on the river. It was early
April and the March Brown hatch had been going for about a week.
This is a wonderful hatch, big mayflies that come off just heavy
enough to get the trout feeding steadily, but not so heavy that
the fish have multiple flies to choose from at any one time. These
bugs are so delicious that the trout to forget that there may be
someone around trying to stick a hook in their mouth. This makes
things a little easier when that is exactly what you have in mind.
I enjoy this hatch so much that, even if I was having a really good
day, I probably would have found an excuse to get to the river.
I went to the river alone, because sometimes alone is best. No
small talk, no talk of any kind, just you and the river. March Brown
hatches tend occur early in the afternoon, so I arrived at this
little place I know (troutbumese for "I'm not telling where") at
about 1:00. I walked in to the river and, since nothing was happening
yet, sat on the bank of the river to wait for the hatch. This was
a quiet, secluded place set back from the road. The only sound to
be heard was the sound of the river flowing by, and there were no
people anywhere in sight. The worries of civilization faded into
the background as I relaxed and waited. The healing waters of the
Yakima were working their magic. Two hawks soared overhead, one
Merganser, then another flew by. Later, hordes of swallows arrived,
flying low over the water. Swallows often arrive just before a hatch
starts, as if they can sense that the bugs will soon be available
to eat. Not long after the swallows arrived, the trout started to
feed. The hatch only lasted about 40 minutes, but it seemed much
longer. This was one of those days that you remember for a long
time. The fishing during this short hatch was as good as it gets.
The trout were cooperative; their takes slow, confident and steady.
By the time the hatch was over and I packed up to leave, the world
was looking a lot better to me. No matter how bad things may seem
to be, the river still flows, the birds still fly, and the trout