Took off out to The ‘Skins again for a look the other day….
It was overcast, a bit windy and as I hopped out of the car, the Red Spinner mayfly hopped onto my shirt – Rad. I just love the little critters. They spend a few months as a nymph and when conditions allow, they make their way from their silty, weedy homes up through the water column in an attempt to break through the surface film into the second mayfly stage known as a ‘dun’. They hopelessly sail on the waves drying their wings as the wind navigates. They need to make it to the waters edge for some pin rushes or a bush so they can fully dry out and then hatch into the third stage – An adult Spinner. Once this has occurred, they frantically flutter about in an attempt to find a mate and have a quick root in the name of survival, before meeting their ultimate destiny – death. All this happens in a day, often earning the name ‘Dayfly’.
To compound their piss-poor outlook, they have to avoid the hungry mouths of feeding trout who are very much switched on to the mayflies’ short-lived fate. This is where I come in – I continuously cast little flies that imitate mayflies at these bastard trout in the hope that I can assist at least half a dozen mayfly in getting laid, whose progeny will hopefully get laid, and so the cycle continues. At times, I succeed. It’s a tough gig, but someone has to look out for the defenseless little wonders.
Ironically, when I finally fool a trout and subsequently bury a hook into the jaw of these fish, I bring them to hand, I take a photo, release them back into the water and let them have another crack some other day. This often leaves me wondering who the shitting hell is actually in control of this putrid cycle of assistance, obsession and hunger? Lucky I bloody well enjoy doing it.