It was late Wednesday afternoon, May 23. I was wading knee-deep in a small New England river. All afternoon, caddis flies had been coming off the water in steady numbers. Though not breathtaking, it was certainly a decent hatch by any standards. I had already caught three nice brook trout, all wild and more than 14 inches. I had also lost three more, one of which was 20 inches or more and fought me for several minutes in a deep pool cut by whitewater.