“What do you figure he’ll weigh now, Doc?” said Steve. Mavis topped off their cups at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn coffee shop.
“A good three pounds, if my guessing is any good,” Doc said, shaking his head.
“Your dog?” asked Mavis.
“No, Hon,” Doc said with a smile, “Ol’ Lunker, that big trout down in Lewis Creek.”
The best fly tying and fly fishing had failed to bring O.L. to the net for a long time now. Oh, sometimes he’d investigate a fly closely and start a near panic attack in the angler, but then he’d turn back into his hole and let the fly drift on by. It was maddening.
“Maybe he’s just smart,” Dud said.
“Instinct, I think,” said Doc. “I just don’t think any trout is all that smart. But instinct could account for it. He knows what he wants to eat, and somehow, the flies we send him just don’t quite look right, or smell right, or float properly, or sink fast enough. Who knows?”
“I’ve tied my best for him,” Marvin Pincus said, looking semi-depressed. “I swear I don’t know what that fish wants.”
“You’re the best fly tier in the valley, Marvin,” Steve added. “If your flies can’t do it, I’m wondering if anything can.”
“Have you tried using bait?” Mavis asked. “My brother does okay with worms and salmon eggs.”
Every member of the world dilemma think tank gave hostile stares at their friendly waitress until she remembered something in the kitchen and left in a hurry.
“Bait? Use bait?” Doc moaned.
Marvin nodded. “Might just as well shoot the dang fish.”
Life, after all, would mean nothing without standards and values.
Slim Randles can be reached at (505) 306-6009, at 7308 Painted Pony Trail N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87120, at email@example.com or www.slimrandles.com. Brought to you by “Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing.”