For the baetids, it was a lovely late winter day, cloudy with just a bit of drizzle. They had been waiting, like we had, through ice and through sleet, for that first day in the 40's. I approached the spring creek shaking with anticipation, as I had practiced Roger's method relentlessly the evening before and was hopeful that it would produce a fishable hatch. The section of stream where I started was well known for early BWO action, and I noticed anglers taking their positions up and downstream from the riffle where I had chosen to start. First I whispered, "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis," just as Roger had recommended. No baetis. I again whispered, "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis." No baetis. I tried it again. No baetis still. I continued undaunted, for fifty three minutes, whispering "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis." No baetis.
Then I decided that I wasn't calling loudly enough, so just a few decibels louder I called, "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis." No baetis yet. So I raised my voice a bit more, calling, "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis." Other anglers started to move away from me, which I thought was not a bad thing, so I called even louder, "Here, BEE tis, here, BEE tis here, here little BEE tis." Anglers moved even farther away. But my calling was, for the ears of the baetis, to no avail. Finally, after two hours of calling, each time a bit louder, I decided to alter the plan slightly.
I began quietly to call, "Here, BAY tis, here, BAY tis here, here little BAY tis." At the first "BAY" a minute ripple showed just upstream, and a baetis created a tiny wake as it broke the surface and raised its dun sails. By the time I uttered "tis" forty more were drifting serenely in front of me, and trout had begun to dimple the surface. I called on quietly, and knotted a Gonzo baetis emerger to my 6X Frog Hair tippet. More bugs and more trout became visible. The other anglers, who had moved away, but not so far that they couldn't see that I had bugs and rising fish, while they didn't, began to draw near, as if attracted by a magnet. Soon they were within earshot, and though I had stopped calling, they had quickly figured out what to do, as they already knew the proper pronunciation. Within fifteen minutes, for a mile and half up and downstream of my position, anglers were softly chanting, "Here, BAY tis, here, BAY tis here, here little BAY tis," and the bugs, oh, Lord, the bugs. They covered the surface of the stream and made it seem a sinuous snake covered with tiny grey scales. They lit on the bare trees and made them seem to be sprouting tiny dun leaves. Eventually they took flight, blotting out the sun, and we all had to pull out our headlamps and flashlights to tie our ligature knots. It was glorious.
Now, what all this means, I won't begin to guess. Taxon and others must draw their own conclusions.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"