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Trout Fishing in the Battenkill River

Trout Fishing in the Battenkill River
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The river spread 100 feet wide here, and my trout lay about ten feet from the far bank. To place an accurate cast over him, I’d need to wade to midstream. There was virtually no discernible current. I began to edge forward, shuffling my feet slowly, wary of making waves. He rose again. I was closer, now, and I saw the size of his nose more clearly and mentally compared it with those I had judged on other rivers. A 16-incher, at least. Maybe 18. Not a Battenkill five-pounder. But a most worthy trout.
I had to resist the impulse to cast. I was still too far from him. One careless presentation would spook him. So I waded forward cautiously. He showed his nose again. He had established a rhythm now, and I had learned it.

A hollow thunk echoed from somewhere upstream, but it barely registered. I was focused on my trout. I was almost there.

Then the man in the canoe materialized out of the mist. He paddled placidly down the middle of my pool, directly over the place where my trout had been rising.

“Any luck?” he asked cheerfully.

I shook my head. “Nope.”

“Say,” he said. “You got the time?”

I glanced at my watch. “Three-fifteen.”

“Thanks.” He waved. “Well, good luck, then.”

I watched the canoe’s bow waves roll toward the banks. The canoe became a shadow before the mist enveloped it. I waded to shore.

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