Now, in early June, i keep a constant eye on the weather forecast. If a thunderstorm is predicted for late afternoon, I try to take a day off at work and go fishing, because thunderstorms can cause massive hatches of mayflies. And among all the wonderful days during mayfly-season, those days with thunder and lightning have often been magical! Sometimes you will see more big fish on the surface in a single day, than all the rest of the year combined.
Is today such a day?
Indeed, the water seems to boil! A carpet of empty mayfly hulls floats on the water, and birds, dragonflies and fish feed ferociously on the emerging insects. It is a miracle of nature, and I will never get tired of watching the hatch of a mayfly! But behind the hills, a thunderhead like a dark mushroom cloud is approaching and fishing might end quicker than I hoped.
Yes it is such a day!
Only minutes later I am hooked up to the biggest brown trout of the year so far! I had seen this fish rise, but I had clearly underestimated its size… a wonderful, quite rise to my deerhair-mayfly. What a take, what a fight, what a fish!
After I have taken a picture and while I still marvel at this excellent fish, another big brown begins to rise just in front of me. This time it seems to be a dark male which pushes its body high above the water as it actively pursues the mayflies. My mayfly barely has time to land on the surface as the trout immediately pulls it into the deep. My arm is still a bit tired from the last fight, but with one big fish already landed I feel more calm inside… at least until I hear a sharp and loud thunderclap directly behind me. The thunderstorm is almost here, and it does not look very inviting.
A sticker that I have seen some time ago comes to my mind… “fish or die” had been written on it, and I had thought that this was more of a passionate exaggeration, a metapher of some sort. But as I stand in the water with a proper lightning conductor in hand, the threat feels pretty real – thunderstorms are a blessing AND a curse, and I am absolutely certain that I don’t want to get roasted. I decide that this fish has to be landed a bit quicker, and I fight it with more pressure that I would normal do. But it all works out, and I soon have another 50+cm fish in the net! What a crazy day, two such big fish in such a short time.