THE EMPEROR AND THE CRANEFLY
Every now and then while fly fishing something a little out of the ordinary happens which surprises you. A short while ago I was fishing the Bushman’s River at Giants Castle and trying a new cranefly imitation, a large Emperor Dragonfly suddenly and aggressively attacked my fly in the forward cast as it gently floated down towards the water. It was clearly fooled by the imitation as a natural prey item. Intent on what it thought was a tasty meal the dragonfly held on and eventually became entangled in the tippet showing remarkable strength and remaining in the air like a helicopter out of control while I slowly retrieved the line. Even then the fly was firmly grasped and only after carefully untangling the tippet was it persuaded to let go. I’m pleased to say the Emperor was safely released and flew off unharmed. Not only did the new pattern fool the dragonfly, but went on to entice a number of small brown trout from the headwaters of the Bushman’s. Since then I have had many responses and similar tales of swallows, bats and other dragon fly species taking dry flies off the surface of the water. This is the first I have heard of a fly being taken in flight. The pictures tell the rest of the story.
The Emperor Dragon Fly
The Cranefly, now one of my signature flies.
A Bushman’s brownie that was also fooled by the same fly.
Please note that all written and photographic material contained in this blog and its posts are the sole ownership of the author/photographer and may not be copied or used for any purpose whatsoever without the prior consent of the author/photographer having been obtained – Peter Brigg.