Night is coming sooner now. I know that the summer solstice is the beginning of the end but through late June and July as the weather warms you don't notice the minutes being shaved daily. There's still hope for better weather and vacations and time with family. And there are hatches to be fished.
Now the warmth no longer nurtures hope. It's just hot and you want it to go away. The quickening evening provides some solace from the days travails and relief from the scorch but it leaves precious little time for casting bushy attractors beneath leaf burdened trees.
Last evening the meetings ended late and the only stream I thought fishable was a twenty minute drive. And then there was a misplaced cellphone that needed finding and an aborted search for a camera and then stringing up a rod streamside. All tasks that conspired to deliver me at deep twilight to the banks of a reliable Brook Trout stream.
And it was as reliable as I remembered. Hoppers attracted attention but Stimulators hooked fish. They were where you expected them to be in sixty-four degree water; fast water and quick seams.
The brute of the night was twelve inches. Thick. White edged fins caught the low light. Dark in the body. Found at the confluence of two seams that merge below an L shaped plunge.
The Brookies in this stream are dark. The green swirls on their backs yield to deep, dark flanks where the halo'd spots are well hidden. I felt cheated when I first caught these fish. The blue and red markings are difficult to discern and that's one of the features I like most about the Brookie. But they're unique and knowing that you know of it kind of makes up for the disappointment.
Deep under towering pines I realized that I was now fishing to sounds of a rise. I hadn't seen my fly in fifteen minutes. I was holding on desperately for another tug on the line though truth be told the fishing was already satisfying and unhooking fish in the dark is an anxiety building task I'd rather not perform.
The August night's voices were already loud. I hadn't noticed them start and wondered if they just picked up at full volume or rose gradually so I didn't notice them at first. Warbling tree frogs and their amphibian cousins were distinctive but the buzzing and chirping bugs all mixed together into the white noise that makes sleeping with an open window soothing at this time of year.
A headlamp helped me find the path south and I joined the beasts that scampered beneath the leaf litter moving to home. Moving to safety. Moving in the darkness and leaving the burden of the light behind.