Art’s reflexes responded by giving a slight jerk on the fly to set the hook in the fish’s mouth. The tight line, made zig-zags in the surface of the water.
Bill saw Art’s pole flexing and grabbed up his net and moved into position to assist Art.
Art was working the fish upstream toward them.
Bill slid the net under the fish, then slowly raised it out of the water. Bill announced, “Got him!” and held the net up between them so they both could see Art’s catch. Bill spoke first, “Nice one Art, looks like it’s about 10 inches long. Great job Art, you played that perfectly.” Art responded, “Thanks, but without the net I might not have it. He tossed the fly as you netted him”.
Bill asked, “What did you catch him on?” Art responded, “I don’t know the name of it; it is a brown and red one my grandfather tied for me”.
Bill slipped the trout into his creel. Then he opened his fly pouch to see if he had a fly resembling Art’s. Finding one that seemed a near match, Bill used it to replace the one he was about to use.
Artie was, in the meantime, trying to duplicate his first cast hoping to duplicate the result. However, the fly flopped on a rock so Art manipulated his pole to get the fly into the water. The fly slid into the water. There was a sudden splash as a trout which was lurking beneath that rock ripped the surface in a vicious grab for Art’s fly. The fish had set the hook in his own mouth and Art began to play him in. Bill put down his own pole and brought the net to assist Art once again.
Bill scooped up the second trout, which was bigger than the first. Bill was more excited than Art by Art’s success.
Bill said, only half-joking, “Ok, now you put your pole down until I’ve had a chance to cast. I can’t catch anything if I have to man the net for you”. Art laughed, but did take some extra time drying off his fly so Bill could get his fly in the water.
Artie watched as Bill dropped his fly in the current and it floated down-stream. Paying out the line slowly, allowing the fly to go naturally where the current would take it.
Then where an eddy swept behind a stone and just as the fly accelerated into the eddy – wham – a trout struck.
A Rainbow Over the Brook
Art saw the trout leap from the water and clear the surface by a foot or more. Art thought he had never seen anything as beautiful as that fish in midair. Art headed for Bill’s net, hopping from stone to stone back across the brook. He grabbed the net and turned to select a dry route to Bill. Dry was not going to be. Artie joined Bill in the brook. Art made an involuntary sucking noise as he slid into the cold spring fed waters of Roseanne Brook. Bill said, “Don’t worry, you will be numb in a few minutes.”
Art reached Bill’s location in time to slip the net under the fish.
Art held it up for their inspection. It was the biggest yet. Bill observed, “This must be some sort of record, three strikes and three catches and all keepers.” Bill glanced at the sky and said, “It is time for us to head home.”
Art had already started to shiver as he collected his equipment and waded across the brook again and climbed out behind Bill.
Watery squashing sounds issued from their shoes with every step. Bill’s new moccasins were not going to be right ever again.
Once they were up on the rail-road tracks, something on the lake caught Bill’s eye. Art asked, “What is it, what do you see?” Bill, pointing out over the water replied, “I have no idea.” Art scanned the surface of the lake, then saw it. In a whisper Art exclaimed “What in the world is that?” Bill added, “Well, what ever it is, it is coming our way.”
They stood still and watched the indiscernible ‘something’ on or in the water apparently swimming in their direction. Two or three minutes passed as their eyes and brains tried to work out what they were seeing. Almost at the same moment they realized what it was. They were seeing the velvet’ed antlers of a nice buck that was swimming across the lake. They stayed still and waited, and sure enough the buck came ashore just yards from them. It too climbed up on the tracks, paused, then vanished into the undergrowth. Bill did not speak, but started walking briskly toward home.
Twenty squashing minutes later they were on the steps to Art’s house. After shedding their still wet shoes they went into the house. Art shouted as he entered, “Mom, I’m home.” Linda responded from the kitchen, “I’m in here.”