Intense heat accompanied a wet-wading trip to a favorite smallmouth stream. A huge gravel bar near the bridge access hosted sunbathers and swimmers that I bypassed to wade downstream. My 5-weight propelled a yellow Bully Spider toward the rocky shoreline. The third cast brought a violent strike that led to a stubborn fight that included two tail-walking leaps. The bronze beauty was admired and released before I made another cast back into the same rock pile. The first line strip came to an abrupt stop and the line began moving sideways. A second hookset turned the heavyweight toward the rod before reversing course and slowly but steadily diving into the pool’s deepest water. I wondered aloud if I had hooked a large catfish. I was mindful that my 4X tippet was strained to its limit, but I had to continue pressuring the “behemoth” if I was ever to get a look at it. The tug of war continued for several minutes until it began swimming toward me. My first clue to its identity was the sight of a huge shadowy figure that seemed to pulsate as it both powered and glided along its chosen path. Finally, it came into full view. It was a turtle with a shell that was easily two feet in diameter!?! I made the immediate decision to donate the fly to the turtle by executing a “long-distance release.”