with catalogs, he pulled the early
spring numbers of the catalogs
of Orvis and Dan Bailey,
and on this gray day of this
bleak February turned to the pages
of splendid photographs in color
of the trout fl ies. Dan Bailey's
number lined them up in rows
of six, stacked seven high. Inset
on one page was a photograph
of a vast brown meadow backed by
mountains, light blue and with many peaks
tipped and streaked with snow. Barely
showing at the far edge of the meadow
was a thread-thin scratch of light:
the river over there.
jet-black on light green, loomed
in an inset on one Orvis page of nymphs.
A hand suspended the trout just above
a blur of rapid water. One clear drop
of that water was hanging midway
along the jutting jaw of the trout,
another from one knuckle of the hand.
The fl y that the big trout had taken
had been removed. The hand was about
to release the trout.