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Published on: Sep. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 27, 2010

Guide called them, "the next event" -- can be tiring. And people do fall down. Their waders suck water, and they are somewhat uncomfortable for the rest of the day.

Solutions: Have a change of clothes in the canoe. Fish when the weather is warm. Make a decision not to care. My borrowed waders leaked, the right boot. Wool socks help a little bit because wool tends to draw moisture away from skin and retain heat. Mainly, I decided not to care.

We fished from sun-up to sun-down, longer than I've ever fished before. I learned that trout like fast water. They nestle in front of and behind lodged rocks and then dart out into the current for food, such as crayfish, small prehistoric-looking fish called sculpins and the occasional worm with a hook in it. Enticed by the latter, they often swim downstream, which can be confusing. I know I missed one or two good-sized trout because I didn't feel them right away and didn't set the hook fast or hard enough. A swifter, surer tug back on the rod -- the set -- and I may have brought in more nice fish. As it turned out, I caught 14 fish, almost all trout, ranging in length from 2 to 13 inches.

Number 14 was a 2-inch long sculpin that ate my worm as it lay in a shallow riffle while I dinked around with a hopelessly snarled mess of line. Fishing line is terrible stuff when it's not wound up neatly. An autonomous loop began to unwind itself from my reel, tangle everywhere around my ankles, snag the gadgets hanging from my vest, run under the canoe and instigate one long and colorful string of expletives -- foul enough to even capture the attention of my Feckless Guide, who did nothing to help.

I finally had to collect myself, sit down on a rock and deal with it. It took about 20 minutes. Harmony and bliss returned in about 30. Euphoria came in 45 when I caught a brown trout that was about 12 inches long. These fish are not brown. They are red, white, pink, orange, blue -- rainbow -- but in addition to all the spectacular beauty of a rainbow trout, these have splendid orange polka dots. "Brown" trout? Whose idea was that?

Grasping a trout for the first time is hard and a little weird.

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