Spending more days then not on the river, plugs you into the subtle shifts and rhythms of the seasonal changes. Of course there are the big clues. Ones that even the casual observer notices like leaves are changing colors, or the days aren’t as long. You don’t necessarily have to be feral to pick up on those. Thanks Captain Obvious. The little shifts are the ones I use to check the progress of the seasons The salmon fly and golden stone exo skeletons on the trees are all but gone. Seeing what the catch of the day is in the spider webs. Looking in the lanterns in the morning really illustrates the shift in overall bug availability. In July these primitive bug zappers will be about half full of caddis after just one night! The bottom of the lantern one giant burnt caddis stack with the death toll still rising.
As the summer tapers so do the caddis numbers, then it is midges and little Mays. No wonder the trout are sipping in the eddies and slower pockets. Sure signs summer is winding down. Flies stuck in the guides hats change. Early season every body has a haphazard Chubby or Norm stuck on the bill. Now it is a mix of trout and steelhead flies decorating guide hats. Ahh yes, steel are here. Soon those trout flies will be gone for good.