... has returned unto me!
Let's admit it. You and I, we all lose flies in: trees, bushes, long grass, last years figwort seed heads, barbed wire fences, even inquisitive livestock, which may sneak up behind us, has been known to take our flies from us. No doubt you do your best to get them back, especially if they are dangling, as a wicked trap, waiting to bring the life of a passing bat to an unwarranted early end.
Last year, during the Drake, I caught a blessed sycamore tree (why this invader is not eradicated from the British Isles is beyond my comprehension) high and over water too deep for me to paddle into. The break was close to the fly and the hook point was embedded deep, so no dangling and no dead bats. Oh well, never mind, put on another fly and return from aerial gardening to fishing once more...
I forgot all about it.
Until, that is, the other day when I repeated the error and caught up in almost the same place as last year. This year the river is so low I could walk out on the dry shingle and carefully pull down the offending branch, safely retrieve this year's fly and could just reach to snap off the twig in which last year's fly was held fast.
It was interesting to see the knot had held firm whilst the monofilament had failed. On extracting the fly I might have repaired it with new tails but... the hook is rusted. The fly may have returned unto me but it is, in truth, defunct!
We owe it to the bats to do all in our power to get those dangling flies back.