The Sure Thing

Green Drake river

“It could be tonight,” he thought as he stood on the bank of the river.
The green drakes would hatch tonight.

All his life he had dreamed of a hatch like this: Fifteen minutes before dusk, cottonwoods caught in shadows, green drakes would suddenly appear, like someone flipped a switch, accompanied by the swish and crack of a fish launching completely out of the current.

Beginning of July and the hatch was overdue. An above average snow pack, ripping brown wave trains, and flows above twenty five thousand cfs made for colder than normal water temperatures and sporadic hatches.

He looked down stream and watched his buddy connect with a rainbow on the edge of some drowned willows. Yes, this would be his lucky night, exactly how it was supposed to be. He tied on his favorite pattern and scanned the water for rises. The light was dimming, the moment was right, and he gave a shout to his friend.

Were they really hatching?
Why didn’t he see any rises? Should he have stayed home and done his laundry?
Who had invented twitter and why?

“Do you see any?” Staring at the river, he wanted to believe they would hatch.
“Do you see any?” he yelled.

It would not be tonight. The answer was no—


Green Drake

Not tonight


The Sure Thing by Cameron Scott. Cameron’s work can be found in The Drake and The Fly Fish Journal as well as his website

Photos by Ben Hayes and Draper White

11 Responses to The Sure Thing

  1. Anthony Naples says:

    The sure thing!Thanks Cam. So it doesn’t just happen like that to me then? Reminds me of a time on the Taylor. Arrived at dusk – bright tailed browns going gangbusters on midges. Caught a few then lost the fly – the only fly. By lantern light, tied a ton of tiny midges, already feeling the tug, imagining the heft of huge trout on tiny flies. It was a sure thing. Next day…nothing. No midges, not a single midge.

  2. Rosemerry Trommer says:

    As in fly fishing, so in life. How many times have I thought “this could be the night …” oh that wanting to believe. Not the green drakes, but something else did hatch that night. Thanks for sharing it with us …

  3. Katey Schultz says:

    Nicely done! Love the anticipation in this one!

  4. Copi says:

    It’s like throwing darts sometimes…

    This one stuck Cam, thanks…

  5. Liza says:

    “Exactly how it was supposed to be.”

    Good stuff!

  6. Sandra Dexter says:

    Cameron, This is beautiful. I love the title “The Sure Thing” and then the ending “not tonight. This is so apropos to life. And then the middle, so tasty – not sure why tasty came to mind, but there it is. Like a sandwich, maybe – the meat.
    Sandra D.

  7. Sandra Dexter says:

    Oh, and the pictures are awesome. The big picture and then the detail – the hook, the fly – the green draper drake. This is a poem I would read over and over again.
    Sandra D.

  8. Glenn Smith, Guide. says:

    Cam’s poetry is like a line of white bubbles in the seam behind a fallen branch. Alway good to find, always worth a closer look and there will always be something rewarding lying below the surface.

    Love your work buddy


  9. Jeremi Kentz says:

    Amazing! Left me wanting more and knowing exactly what it feels like to It have it “not be tonight” and all in the same moment to boot! Great story, great writing!

  10. Dawn Robinson says:

    Cameron, thanks for sharing the writing. Always giving back to your writing community, expanding our world. Dawn

  11. I’ve always thought of fishing as a treasure hunt – You never know what’s waiting beneath the surface…Love the building of suspense!
    It’s one of the reasons we love to Live Better Outdoors!

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