At the time this story occurred I had recently started fly fishing, somewhere south of a year casting the long rod. I was fishing with my girlfriend at the time and my best friend. We were getting skunked on a limited access area of the Medina River in the Texas hill country when an early morning fog-bank dissipated and a small mayfly hatch materialized. These seemingly microscopic alabaster spinners suddenly appeared and sent the placid river into relative chaos. It was my first experience with the fabled “hatch” described in trout fishing magazines and legend dictated I match it.
Of course, we were fishing for bass and panfish with the closest trout over a hundred miles away, thus none of us brought any dry flies. Grasping at straws, I substituted a lack of spinner patterns with a Texas Dry Fly (read: a small white panfish popper) and sent it flying. As soon as it hit the water a ten inch Redbreast Sunfish smashed the popper. I yelled out the combination as my compatriots reeled in and swapped their patterns out for whatever they had that fit the small, white, topwater trifecta of criteria.
Pretty soon we were catching fish like gangbusters, ripping lips of all sizes left and right. I set a new personal best record three times during that hatch until the flies vanished as quickly as they had appeared leaving us to divine the next pattern that would bring fish to hand again.