Free drifting, the sun setting in the west. Glare on the water is a golden toned negative, the visual hard to comprehend. In the flow at seven miles per hour you feel you are motionless, on pause, in a time warp of water and sky.

Red band trout inhale twilight drakes, the water erupting like popcorn at each rise. Bats dive and weave picking off the big mayflies. The fading light projects a sense of urgency to the drifter, yet, at the same time, it is calming too.

Sliding into ‘Tailout’ Grande is a good time to clip the hook.

Clipping the hook allows multiple takes and thus more gratification. As if the fishing is virtual. Yet it isn’t. The caddis are thick and the trout will eat the after dinner mint, but they are focused on the Rib Eye, and they are in rare form. They seek the drake, the cache smorgasbord after a long winter and spawning ritual. They need the drake, the clockwork hatch appearing when it is time to revitalize the redbands after the hard work they have endured.

Drifting free, the glare is gone. The lack of urgency is pinnacle. No visual at all, just the sound of late night gulpers and the Caddis. Caddis so annoying but in the same breath pleasant as they swarm the headlamp and face. The fly is under tension and casts are made selfishly to the sound of feeding red bands which should never be taken for granted. Thank you. Nothing virtual, just nature unfolding – jm