A Novel

By James Bosch

The following excerpts are from Ch. 21 of the novel Hydropsyche.

He returned to the fishing holes in the river.

The line slid through his fingers like silk as the fly curled in an eddy near a shaded pool. In seconds, the soft suck near the surface was followed by a violent twist and turn. His pole, bent almost halfway, jerked up and down. The small hook, even though its barb was trimmed off, stayed in as the fish made its run toward the logs. Ian reeled, and then pulled. He took in more line.

This was a keeper.

Over the next hour at the pool, he came up empty. Ian switched back to nymphs. He had floating line on but rather than switching reels, he lengthened the leader. This would keep nymph presentation appealing.

Billowed line swung back and forth as the nymph slid out over open water. Below the surface, the sized 16 caddis nymph danced on top of the amber-colored stones and sand. He adjusted the line. Seconds later, a hit! His line tugged repeatedly. As he lifted the bending rod, its tip violently bobbed. The line tightened and creaked under the tension. Ian saw the fish cut across the riffles; its mottled sides glistened in the sunlight. He pulled up again and reeled quickly as the tip of the pole flattened. His line carried small droplets of water. The fish, now in full view, curled its caudal fin to the left. The net was extended as the wriggling fighter surfaced. Although not native to the river, the fish took on the colors of the water: the silver, reminiscent of the shimmering light; the pink, a sister to the rose-colored quartz of the sand; the grey and indigo-blue hints, coincidental matches to the smooth stones of the river. Ian smiled as he put the fish in the creel.

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