"What does the trout think it is?" I asked.
"What do you mean what does the trout think it is?"
"Well, when you fish with a streamer fly, the trout thinks it's a little minnow. When you fish with a spinner, the trout thinks it's a bigger minnow. What does he think this piece of cheese is?"
"What does he think this piece of cheese is?" The smuggler scratched his head. "He thinks it's a piece of cheese! When you sit down to a piece of cheese, what do you think it is? A watermelon?" Leaving me with this inscrutable bit of Catalan logic, the smuggler headed upstream in what I had now come to recognize as the time-honored style of the Andorran fishing guide. Two hours later he returned. I had not had a bite. He had caught a few small trout on spinners.
"You must not become discouraged," he said. "I know a place...."
"I'm sure you do," I said.
The next morning at 7 we packed the car and drove over the pass of the Envalira, at 8,500 feet the highest in the Pyrenees, and down toward the French border. "Did you enjoy your visit?" the customs guard asked politely.
"Formidable" my wife said, exhausting her total French vocabulary in one shot.
"You wouldn't believe it," I said sarcastically, and we were waved back into the everyday world.