She says: He says

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Published on: Sep. 2, 1997

Last revision: Oct. 27, 2010

They are wet, slippery, strong and don't like to be out of the water. But just like handling an unruly child, trout require a confident, firm grip. Not so hard they become injured, but not so loose that they defy your well-intended wishes.

I set all my fish free, because we chose to fish a stretch of the North Fork of the White River managed by the Conservation Department for trophy trout fishing only, meaning all trout under 15 inches must be released. Had I caught one greater than 15 inches, I would have gleefully kept it. As the youngest of three children, I will probably never grow too old to show up at my parents' house once in a while, unannounced, for dinner..

He says:

It was the first time I'd ever heard "feckless" used on a trout stream.

But it didn't bother me much, at least not until later, when I looked up the meaning of the word.

I love trout, and I know my river -- every sweeper and every rock. I mostly fish alone, but this woman in the office said she wanted to learn to trout fish. She insisted -- you know how they can be -- so I agreed to guide her.

I don't mind showing children how to fish. They just take things in and pretty soon they're doing them. Adults are something else. If they don't know something, they sometimes pout and sulk and refuse to learn.

Anyway, I figured to teach her the basics of a rod and reel in a few minutes, point her at the water and that would be that. I would fish nearby, but not too close; stream fishing never was meant to be shoulder to shoulder.

This lesson plan conforms exactly to my theory of education. I believe people learn by doing and not having done for them.

Our fishing was delayed a bit when she took nearly a half hour to figure out that you had to flip the bail on the spinning reel to get line to release from the spool.

When she finally was able to overarm the split shot half way across the trout stream, she pronounced herself a natural athlete. I gave her some worms and didn't say anything.

You can't easily spoil a day on a trout stream; you have that cool water massaging your legs and the ripple of

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